Peter Sinclair, an environmental advocate who maintains the YouTube series “Climate Denial Crock of the Week,” released a new video entitled “Welcome to the Rest of Our Lives.” Think Progress points out this title is a play on a quote by Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson.
The video compiles news clips on the Dallas hail storm, the derecho event, the heat wave, the Colorado wildfires, and experts calling what we see out the window “climate change in action.”
Watch the video:
Last week, The Blaze reported that scientists were calling the extreme weather events indicative of global warming as well. Still, it is acknowledged that linking weather events and global climate change isn’t necessarily a best practice as weather is variable whereas climate change would represents a trend.
A recent study though has done just that — linked global warming to extreme weather events seen in present day. Although, scientists can’t blame any single weather event on global warming, they can assess how climate change has altered the odds of such events happening, Tom Peterson of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told reporters in a briefing. He’s an editor of a report that includes the analyses published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
In analysis of the Texas drought last year, researchers at Oregon State University and in England noted that the state suffered through record heat last year. It happened during a La Nina weather pattern, the flip side of El Nino. Caused by the cooling of the central Pacific Ocean, La Nina generally cools global temperatures but would be expected to make the southern United States warmer and drier than usual. But beyond that, the scientists wondered, would global warming affect the chances of such an event happening?
To find out, they ran a lot of computer simulations of Texas climate during La Nina years. They compared the outcome of three such years in the 1960s with that of 2008, which was used as a stand-in for 2011 because they were unable to simulate last year. The idea, they said, was to check the likelihood of such a heat wave both before and after there was a lot of man-made climate change, which is primarily from burning fossil fuels like coal and oil.
Their conclusion: Global warming has made such a Texas heat wave about 20 times more likely to happen during a La Nina year.
Kevin Trenberth, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s climate analysis section, said that he found the Britain study to be reasonable, given what he called a flawed climate model. As for the Texas result, he said that given how the study was done, the calculated increase in likelihood “could well be an underestimate.”
Last year was the coolest since 2008 in terms of global average temperature, which was about 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit (14.4 degrees Celsius.). But it still remained among the 15 warmest years since records began in the late 1800s, the agency said. It was also above average for the period 1980-2010.
Let us know what you think of the “climate crocks” video and this more recent study in the comments.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.