I have been critical of the media for ignoring the link between man-made global warming and the off-the-charts extreme weather we have been seeing. And many have documented how they have been downplaying the story of the century in the last couple of years.
But the extreme weather has been so unprecedented — and NOAA and leading climate scientists have been so blunt — that we have the unprecedented situation of the evening news shows last night on ABC, CBS, and NBC (and PBS) all talking about the link between greenhouse gases and the stunning heat wave. All the videos are posted below (with some of the best excerpts).
Here’s the excellent ABC World News piece, where Sam Champion, ABC News weather editor, says to anchor, Diane Sawyer
“If you want my opinion, Diane, now’s the time we start limiting manmade greenhouse gases.”
And here’s the CBS News video, with the accompanying online story, “NOAA links extreme weather to climate change”:
On Tuesday, for the first time, government scientists are saying recent extreme weather events are likely connected to man-made climate change. It’s the conclusion of a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The report says last year’s record drought in Texas was made “roughly 20 times more likely” because of man made climate change, specifically meaning warming that comes from greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide. The study, requested by NOAA, looked at 50 years of weather data in Texas and concluded that man-made warming had to be a factor in the drought.
The head of NOAA’s climate office, Tom Karl, said: “What we’re seeing, not only in Texas but in other phenomena in other parts of the world, where we can’t explain these events by natural variability alone. They’re just too rare, too uncommon.”
And here’s the NBC Piece, “The New Normal?”:
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And finally, here’s the PBS piece, “Extreme Weather Records ‘Like a Baseball Player on Steroids’ “:
THOMAS KARL: The temperatures the first six months of this year in the U.S. are the warmest on record. And, in fact, the last 12 months of the period May through June have been the warmest on record. Why? We believe there is an important human component explaining these record-breaking temperatures, and that’s the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere….
Again, the more recent record even exceeds the heat that we saw in the 1930s. That is the warmth of the last year, the warmth of the past spring, last winter, last fall and, if you remember, the record heat last summer, particularly in the Southern part of the U.S., where Texas and Oklahoma had such severe heat and drought….
Well, the best way we can describe it, it’s sort of like a baseball player on steroids.
Now, if you’re going to break records, home run records, you’re likely going to have to be a home run hitter to break home run records. With someone on steroids, the likelihood of hitting a ball over the fence and hitting a home run increases. And that is what we’re seeing. The increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere leads to warmer global temperatures.
Those then break global temperature records. They also have other impacts, like increases in precipitation intensity, more intense droughts. These are the kinds of things we’re seeing, more records with greater severity and intensity than they would — might have otherwise been.
Watch Extreme Weather Records ‘Like a Baseball Player on Steroids’ on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.