Saturday, 28 July 2018

Climate change: the impacts of global warming are now ‘playing out in real-time’

Michael Mann is a climate scientist:
Michael E. Mann — Penn State Meteorology and Atmospheric Science
Michael Mann: The Penn State professor who went from stormless scientist to climate crusader | PennLive.com

Back in 1999, he gave us the 'hockey stick graph':

Hockey stick graph - Wikipedia
The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars - Wikipedia
Controversy behind climate science's 'hockey stick' graph | Fred Pearce | Environment | The Guardian

Which annoyed climate sceptics, who then in 2010 gave us 'climategate': 
An End to Climategate? Penn State Clears Michael Mann - CBS News
Federal Investigators Clear Climate Scientist, Again - Scientific American

Because Prof Mann really is the bête noire of climate sceptics - when it comes to a whole list of things, as covered in this blog:

What's happening to the Jet Stream - and whether we need a 'carbon tax' to deal with the consequences:
A Carbon Tax Won't Stop Hurricanes - Foundation for Economic Education
Futures Forum: Climate change: A Carbon Tax Won't Stop Hurricanes

The realities of climate science - and how they challenge the fossil-fuel industry:
There’s a Dangerous Bubble in the Fossil-Fuel Economy, and the Trump Administration Is Making It Worse | The New Yorker
Futures Forum: Climate change: and the 'carbon bubble' >>> prolonging the inevitable death of the coal industry - and inviting not only environmental but also financial disaster 
Michael Mann Faces Bankruptcy as his Courtroom Climate Capers Collapse | PSI Intl
Futures Forum: Climate change: and the coal mining industry 

The myriad myths around climate scepticism:
These are the best arguments from the 3% of climate scientist 'skeptics.' Really. | Dana Nuccitelli | Environment | The Guardian
Futures Forum: Climate change: and ‘the Chewbacca defense’

The facts and figures around sea level rises:
Carbon Cycle Feedbacks | METEO 469: From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming D7
Futures Forum: Climate change: sea levels rising

The impacts of human-caused climate change and how they are playing out, in real time, before us: 
Shattered records show climate change is an emergency today, scientists warn | Environment | The Guardian
Futures Forum: Climate change: "unprecedented temperature levels mean more heatwaves, flooding, wildfires and hurricanes"

Prof Mann's research is unfortunately being vindicated by what is actually happening out there - as covered on today's front page of the Guardian: 

Extreme global weather is 'the face of climate change' says leading scientist

Exclusive: Prof Michael Mann declares the impacts of global warming are now ‘playing out in real-time’
Emergency workers among damaged vehicles in a open parking area of northern Athens after a flash flood struck the Greek capital.
 Emergency workers among damaged vehicles in a open parking area of northern Athens after a flash flood struck the Greek capital. Photograph: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images
The extreme heatwaves and wildfires wreaking havoc around the globe are “the face of climate change,” one of the world’s leading climate scientists has declared, with the impacts of global warming now “playing out in real time.”
Climate change has long been predicted to increase extreme weather incidents, and scientists are now confident these predictions are coming true. Scientists say the global warming has contributed to the scorching temperatures that have baked the UK and northern Europe for weeks.
The hot spell was made more than twice as likely by climate change, a new analysis found, demonstrating an “unambiguous” link.
Extreme weather has struck across Europe, from the Arctic Circle to Greece, and across the world, from North America to Japan. “This is the face of climate change,” said Prof Michael Mann, at Penn State University, and one the world’s most eminent climate scientists. “We literally would not have seen these extremes in the absence of climate change.”
“The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle,” he told the Guardian. “We are seeing them play out in real time and what is happening this summer is a perfect example of that.”
“We are seeing our predictions come true,” he said. “As a scientist that is reassuring, but as a citizen of planet Earth, it is very distressing to see that as it means we have not taken the necessary action.”
The rapid scientific assessment of the northern European heatwave was done by Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and also colleagues in the World Weather Attribution (WWA) consortium. “We can see the fingerprints of climate change on local extremes,” he said.
The current heatwave has been caused by an extraordinary stalling of the jet stream wind, which usually funnels cool Atlantic weather over the continent. This has left hot, dry air in place for two months – far longer than usual. The stalling of the northern hemisphere jet stream is being increasingly firmly linked to global warming, in particular to the rapid heating of the Arctic and resulting loss of sea ice.
Prof Mann said that asking if climate change “causes” specific events is the wrong question: “The relevant question is: ‘Is climate change impacting these events and making them more extreme?’, and we can say with great confidence that it is.”
Mann points out that the link between smoking tobacco and lung cancer is a statistical one, which does not prove every cancer was caused by smoking, but epidemiologists know that smoking greatly increases the risk. “That is enough to say that, for all practical purposes, there is a causal connection between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer and it is the same with climate change,” Mann said.
Other senior scientists agree the link is clear. Serious climate change is “unfolding before our eyes”, said Prof Rowan Sutton, at the University of Reading. “No one should be in the slightest surprised that we are seeing very serious heatwaves and associated impacts in many parts of the world.”
Surface Temperature in 2017 and 2018. Source: GISS/NASA
It is not too late to make the significant cuts needed in greenhouse gas emissions, said Mann, because the impacts progressively worsen as global warming increases.
“It is not going off a cliff, it is like walking out into a minefield,” he said. “So the argument it is too late to do something would be like saying: ‘I’m just going to keep walking’. That would be absurd – you reverse course and get off that minefield as quick as you can. It is really a question of how bad it is going to get.”
Extreme global weather is 'the face of climate change' says leading scientist | Environment | The Guardian

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