Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

NBC’s Must-See TV: “Today No One Can Deny That Extreme Weather is Here to Stay” Thanks to Fossil-Fuel Driven Warming

By Joe Romm  

"NBC’s Must-See TV: “Today No One Can Deny That Extreme Weather is Here to Stay” Thanks to Fossil-Fuel Driven Warming"

Share:

google plus icon

Texas State Climatologist:  “This is really the first time when climate change has manifested itself in a tangible way within the state of Texas.”

Koch-funded Richard Muller:  “The existence of global warming is pretty much beyond dispute now.”

NBC’s Anne Thompson:  Koch brothers are “oil billionaires and climate change deniers.”

Wow!  The NBC Evening news ran one of the best segments on global warming and extreme weather ever to appear on a major network.  Here it is:

The  weather is becoming so extreme in a manner that  climate scientist had been predicting for decade that it’s getting harder to ignore.   At the same time, climate scientists are starting to do a good job of documenting the link to global warming and  coming up with good analogies with which to explain it to the public, like Meehl’s steroids analogy.

Indeed, the AP also reported on a leaked version of a new IPCC report on this subject with the headline, “More weather disasters ahead, climate experts report; Some locations will become ‘increasingly marginal as places to live’.”  Here are some key excerpts:

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE OR COMMENT

Freakish weather disasters — from the sudden October snowstorm in the Northeast U.S. to the record floods in Thailand — are striking more often. And global warming is likely to spawn more similar weather extremes at a huge cost, says a draft summary of an international climate report obtained by The Associated Press.

The final draft of the report from a panel of the world’s top climate scientists paints a wild future for a world already weary of weather catastrophes costing billions of dollars.

The report says costs will rise and perhaps some locations will become “increasingly marginal as places to live.”

The report from the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be issued in a few weeks, after a meeting in Uganda.

It says there is at least a 2-in-3 probability that climate extremes have already worsened because of man-made greenhouse gases.

Other studies makes stronger statements (see “Bombshell: Study Finds 80% Chance Russia’s 2010 July Heat Record Would Not Have Occurred Without Climate Warming” and “Bombshell: Study Finds 80% Chance Russia’s 2010 July Heat Record Would Not Have Occurred Without Climate Warming“).

The final draft of the report from a panel of the world’s top climate scientists paints a wild future for a world already weary of weather catastrophes costing billions of dollars.

The report says costs will rise and perhaps some locations will become “increasingly marginal as places to live.”

The report from the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be issued in a few weeks, after a meeting in Uganda.

It says there is at least a 2-in-3 probability that climate extremes have already worsened because of man-made greenhouse gases….

“The extremes are a really noticeable aspect of climate change,” said Jerry Meehl, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “I think people realize that the extremes are where we are going to see a lot of the impacts of climate change.”

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters, who wasn’t involved in the study, said in the United States from June to August this year, blistering heat set 2,703 daily high temperature records, compared with only 300 cold records during that period, making it the hottest summer in the U.S. since the Dust Bowl of 1936.

By the end of the century, the intense, single-day, heavy rainstorms that now typically happen only once every 20 years are likely to happen about twice a decade, the report says.

The report said hurricanes and other tropical cyclones — like 2005′s Katrina — are likely to get stronger in wind speed, but won’t increase in number and may actually decrease. Massachusetts Institute of Technology meteorology professor Kerry Emanuel, who studies climate’s effects on hurricanes, disagrees and believes more of these intense storms will occur.

I’ll have more on this report in the coming weeks.

Kudos to NBC and the AP for getting the story right.

Related Posts:

‹ Help Put Climate Progress Over 20,000 Twitter Followers

Shale Shocked: “Highly Probable” Fracking Caused U.K. Earthquakes, and It’s Linked to Oklahoma Temblors ›

34 Responses to NBC’s Must-See TV: “Today No One Can Deny That Extreme Weather is Here to Stay” Thanks to Fossil-Fuel Driven Warming

  1. Craig says:

    Way to go NBC News! Unvarnished reporting. No on the one hand climate scientist A says, but on the other hand this hack from a fossil fuel funded think tanks says.

    And they even nailed the Koch brothers!

    • Artful Dodger says:

      The real tell-tale will be if NBC does NOT come back in the next few days with a ‘balance’ piece, explaining how there are uncertainties and dissenting opinions.

      If they do that, it’s ‘business-as-usual’.

  2. prokaryotes says:

    Stereoids is a good metaphor, for the carbon dioxide we emitting into the atmosphere.

  3. Timeslayer says:

    Wow is right. That was a responsible and informative TV news segment connecting climate change to our current extreme weather. Probably the first one of its kind I’ve ever seen in American news. If only they would run this segment EVERY NIGHT until every American understands the issue.

    TS

    • WyrdWays says:

      What really helps here is when scientists nail numbers to extreme weather events – like they have just done with 2010′s Russian heatwave, by saying there is an 80% chance it wouldn’;t have happened without global warming.

      This will help kill the ‘cherry-picking’ accusations; and much more firmly than talking about ‘likely’, ‘probably’, ‘maybe’ caused by global warming.

  4. Peter Mizla says:

    I watched this last evening on NBC- I was surprised, but happy to see the link between extreme weather events and risng C02 levels finally seen on the evening News. The 4-5 minute story was well done.

    When Anne Thompson brought up the BEST Study, and mentioned it was partially funded by ‘Oil Billionaires and climate change deniers’ the Koch brothers, I started smiling.

    • eyeballs says:

      Sad afterthought: Let’s see how much NBC stock the Koch brothers own by the end of the week and whether poor ol’ Anne still has a job. …

  5. Robert In New Orleans says:

    Wow,I saw this live last night and I was shocked by this sudden deviation into reality.

    I wonder what happened at NBC News and does this mean a change in their long term position on the reporting of GW/CC stories?

  6. Tom Lenz says:

    I’m hoping the rest of the status quo media start jumping on the bandwagon now in a scramble to maintain their credibility after ignoring the biggest news ‘story’ in human history for far too long. The pressure from the OWS movement and the growing public sentiment against BAU could be getting to them along with the impossible to ignore weather. At some point their non-coverage of this looming disaster will begin looking like a cover-up and and that won’t be good for ratings.

    • Merrelyn Emery says:

      Spot on Tom. You can only deny reality for so long, unless you are a genuinely ill wacko and these mobs are not wackos but money making machines.

      Next stops along the way: Obama vetoes the pipeline and signs a UN treaty, ME

  7. Jeff Huggins says:

    NBC, the Republican Debates, Climate Change, and ClimateProgress

    CNBC is hosting a Republican debate on November 9, and NBC is hosting the debates on January 23 and March 5 — according to the last official debate schedule I’ve seen.

    NBC should pose the clear, specific, and pivotal climate change question to the Republican candidates if it takes its role to serve the public good seriously.

    Something like this: “Do you agree with the major scientific academies and bodies worldwide that climate change is real and is caused mainly by human activities such as the emission of greenhouse gases? If not, why not?”

    We should do what it takes to encourage, prompt, and ensure that NBC and the specific debate hosts pose such a question. I’m hoping that ClimateProgress will run a post specifically addressed to the major media outlets, by name, raising this issue and asking — demanding — that the Repub candidates be asked specifically to speak their views about climate change. In an earlier comment, I listed the complete debate schedule, as I understand it.

    Great segment by NBC, and great post, Joe. Thanks.

    Jeff

  8. Ernest says:

    Thank you! Also, did a good job in hitting the salient facts and points succinctly. Hope is spreads.

  9. SecularAnimist says:

    “NBC’s Anne Thompson: Koch brothers are ‘oil billionaires and climate change deniers‘.”

    The use of the 100 percent accurate term “denier” instead of the widely used, and completely wrong, term “skeptic” is a HUGE change.

  10. Mark says:

    keep slugging Joe.

  11. Phil M says:

    Wait, this is main stream media. How could this happen, have we finally turned a corner of acceptance? Can they now also follow that up with a statement saying that climategate was a manufactured lie by the denial industry.

  12. Fire Mountain says:

    FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Celia Schorr says:

    Wow. It seems as though the BEST report provides cover for those (i.e., Muller) who want to back themselves out of the corner they painted themselves into. It also gives cover to the MSM – - allows them to stop the “he said/she said” non-coverage of the issue.

    - Celia

  14. adelady says:

    I do believe you’re on to something there Celia.

    I’d rather thought BEST was a bit pointless scientifically (yeah, yeah, I know there’ll be some interest in the analysis techniques), but as a dambuster it might work for some of the media. Reporters and interviewers will now have a new set of questions for the typecast, yet-again denier fronting up to criticise other climate work.

  15. Peter Mizla says:

    At his afternoon News conference today on efforts to restore those without power in Connecticut from the recent freak snowstorm, a reporter asked Governor Dannel Malloy if he believed this had something to do with global warming. The Governor replied ‘yes, I believe Al Gore’ and I believe in Global warming’.

    This was on local News in Hartford.

  16. M Tucker says:

    Lester Brown of Earth Policy Institute has an interesting post today.
    http://www.earth-policy.org/plan_b_updates/2011/update101

    U.S. Carbon Emissions Down 7 Percent in Four Years: Even Bigger Drops Coming

    “Between 2007 and 2011, carbon emissions from coal use in the United States dropped 10 percent. During the same period, emissions from oil use dropped 11 percent. In contrast, carbon emissions from natural gas use increased by 6 percent. The net effect of these trends was that U.S. carbon emissions dropped 7 percent in four years. And this is only the beginning.”

    “The initial fall in coal and oil use was triggered by the economic downturn, but now powerful new forces are reducing the use of both. For coal, the dominant force is the Beyond Coal campaign, an impressive national effort coordinated by the Sierra Club involving hundreds of local groups that oppose coal because of its effects on human health.”

    “With emissions from coal burning heading for a free fall as plants are closed, and those from oil use also falling fast—both are falling faster than emissions from natural gas are ramping up—U.S. carbon emissions are falling.”

    I sure hope he is right and emissions continue to fall even after the US economy begins to pick up in about 3 to 5 years.

  17. Michael T says:

    NSIDC reports that October 2011 Arctic sea ice extent was the 2nd lowest in the satellite record:

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

  18. Paul Magnus says:

    Now that they have been so bold, others will follow.

    A tipping point?

  19. nyc-tornado10 says:

    as the lower levels of the atmosphere warm due to AGW, the upper levels of the troposphere and the stratosphere are cooling because less heat radiation is reaching this height, it is being increasingly absorbed in the lower atmosphere. This is causing an increased temperature differential between the lower and upper troposphere, which in theory should help boost the power of storms.

    In the fall – winter season, the lack of sunlight limits the warming of the lower atmosphere, and the cooler upper atmosphere has a better chance to cool the lower atmosphere. I believe this may be giving our winters a little more kick, along with the increased exchange of air masses between the arctic and middle lattitudes because of changes in the polar vortex in recent years (possibly due to AGW).

    Winter is not dead yet, although there will be a point when the overall warming will overcome these effects, possibly when the arctic ice cap is gone in summer.

  20. Paul Magnus says:

    Oh yes, oh joy….

    Murdoch press a threat to democracy: Cameron
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-03/cameron-launches-attack-on-news-ltd/3616902

    Is a threat to the climate too…

  21. Dan L. says:

    Not a false note in the whole report. Great job by NBC.

  22. Tim Kelly says:

    Understanding and accepting the problem is only part of the battle. Now we have to push the idea that there are solutions out there and there can still be a positive future. My comment is the result of a conversation I has Monday with a couple of friends who, for the present, have given up. They fear for their children’s futures, but don’t think we can affect positive change.

    • My experience is that folks like your friends who have “given up” fall into two camps:

      1) Those that care deeply and feel paralyzed. For these folks, “hopelessness” is like the 4th of the 5 phases of dealing with grief that Kübler-Ross described: “depression”. The good news is that they are almost to the final phase which is “acceptance” and leads to positive action.

      2) The other group are those that are pretending to care and despair because it is socially more acceptable than admitting to not caring enough about an issue important to their friends but for which they don’t want to inconvenience themselves. These folks are actually in the first stage of grief: “denial” but with social cover story.

      In my view, how soon we move to positive action on climate threats depends on what the relative percentages are for these two groups.

  23. Michael T says:

    Levi World Cup canceled because of warm weather

    HELSINKI (AP) — The World Cup ski races scheduled for northern Finland next week were canceled Thursday because of a lack of snow and unusually warm weather.

    The International Ski Federation (FIS) was looking to reschedule the men’s and women’s slaloms that were slated for Levi on Nov. 12-13 and would provide more information by Sunday.

    “The situation was looking promising until last Friday, when the forecast changed,” said Hans Pieren, an FIS race director. “Even with the highly efficient snowmaking installations, we simply had no chance when it’s not cold enough.”

    The federation said there was no snow cover in Finland at the end of October, “although it ought to reach the middle and north of Lapland by this time of the year.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/levi-world-cup-canceled-because-warm-weather-131911231.html

  24. dbmetzger says:

    A study payed for by the Koch brothers has a
    twist to it.
    Leading Global Warming “Skeptic” Changes Position

    A US self-described global warming “skeptic” has just completed a major global temperature study, concluding the world has been warming by one degree celsius since the mid-1950s. http://www.newslook.com/videos/368063-leading-global-warming-skeptic-changes-position?autoplay=true

  25. Shelly Leit says:

    NBC News has been horrible on climate change, not telling the public anything, afraid to state the obvious, for years. So large kudos to them for finally, finally doing what they should have done 20 years ago.