Climatologist Slams Media for “Silent Summer”: Poor Coverage of Link Between Extreme Weather and Human-Caused Climate Change
The nation’s top climatologist, NASA’s James Hansen, has a new paper out — and he has been speaking out. At 350.org’s Moving Planet event in New York on Saturday, he said:
“Climate change — human-made global warming — is happening. It is already having noticeable impacts…. If we stay on with business as usual, the southern U.S. will become almost uninhabitable.”
Hard to argue with that.
The combination of extreme heat, constant Dust-Bowl conditions in the Southwest and South central, the whipsawing from drought to deluge in the Southeast, and decade after decade of sea level rise will create nearly intolerable conditions by century’s end (see “An Illustrated Guide to the Science of Global Warming Impact”). Conditions might look a lot like this:
Oops, that’s the US Drought Monitor for Texas this week! Dark red is “exceptional drought” (covering 86% of the state) — virtually no rain for a year. Red is “extreme drought” (covering 97% of the state) — a Palmer Drought Severity Index of -4 or worse.
Imagine what it will be like when much of the South is like this most of the time (other than the occasional record-smashing deluge) — and temperatures are some 9°F to 11°F warmer on average. It will be the great repopulation of the North.
Hansen also has a new paper out on climate change in which he says:
It is time for all of us to get Tea-Party-angry about what our political system has become and about the intergenerational injustice being perpetrated on young people.
Again, no argument here.
The most interesting part of the paper is his critique of the media coverage (“Silent Summer”), his discussion of the intimidation of climate scientists, and a tantalizing introduction to a forthcoming analysis on extreme weather and attribution to human emissions. Also, he doesn’t like the phrase “global weirding.” Here are the highlights: