There is no time left to waste with climate change contrarians, implies a study conducted on the immediate effects of climate change, linking it to the accelerated increase in the occurrence of extreme weather phenomena. Up to 75% of extreme weather is caused by climate change.
The most important detail in understanding this study is comprehending the difference between causing factors and predisposing factors. Many climate change contrarians point out that climate change does not cause extreme weather. And there is truth in this, without minimizing the role that heightened temperatures have had on nature.
Climate change cannot, in fact, directly cause destructive weather phenomena, but it most definitely can predispose its occurrence. When the overall warming of the planet is up by a mere 1°C, this means that out of the days with extremely hot temperatures and days with regular temperature, the hot days will be more, and the temperatures will be much higher, in certain days, leading to extreme heat waves.
What used to be a one-in-1,000-days event or a one-in-three-years event has now turned into a four-in-three-year or five-in-three-year event, the study points out. The extrapolation of these numbers has led to the 75% quantification.
The worldwide goal is to keep global warming under a manageable threshold of 1.5 up to 2 °C. But what this recent study points out is a massive difference between the two values. While countries that have highly developed industries, like most of those in the European Union and the U.S. want to keep the threshold at 2 °C,but for obvious reasons, the majority of countries worldwide want it down to 1.5°C.
“The probability of a hot extreme at 2°C warming is almost double that at 1.5°C and more than five times higher than for present-day,”, explain authors of this recent study, thus making the difference more tangible.
The study conducted by Erich M. Fischer and his colleague, Reto Knutti, member of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology was published this Monday in the scientific journal Nature. What it plans to accomplish is to make the world aware of the effects of human industry on the planet and what the future is likely to bring if crucial changes are not made.
Determined to respond to most of the leading points in climate change contrarians’ rhetoric, this study used two separate computer models that closely simulate climatic behavior. One was loyal to the occurrences registered in the last few years and the other simulated what the weather would have been like without human industrial implications. And the differences are tremendous.
What climate change disbelievers frequently highlight is that we have had extreme weather phenomena for centuries and the study supports this statement. But there is a highly important detail: the frequency of such phenomena is much higher today than it has ever been throughout history, and it will keep getting higher, if the situation is left as it is.
Since the Industrial Revolution, for instance, the incidence of heat extremes has been showed to have quadrupled. And highly destructive weather behavior, such as intense rainstorms, that destroy entire crops in single occurrences every year, is also taking place 22% more frequently.
While there have been many other studies to discuss the matter of global warming leading to major extreme climatic behavior, it is Fischer and Knutti’s study that pioneers the prediction of the effects that global warming left unaltered will have in the future.
All of this has been made possible by using computer models, that have the ability to simulate the cumulative effect of a multitude of factors. Furthermore, they offer the significant advantage of being able to test out the effects of certain solutions, what exactly they are likely to change and how.
Computer models offer a basis for tangible outcomes that any plan may have. Therefore, it is crucial that they be used in further studies. For now, they have provided us with the pertinent information that 75% of extreme weather behavior has occurred due to climate change, that is bound to generate effort put into solving this matter.
The meeting held in Paris at the end of this year will involve the participation of more 190 country officials and has the precise goal that the study poses importance to, namely the decrease of greenhouse gas discharge.
Beyond any doubt, this study will be taken into consideration at the Paris meeting, since it is able to quantify not only the matters discussed, but the success of every solution that will be considered. Moreover, it has the unprecedented capacity of discovering the best combination possible of measures to be taken simultaneously, that will present synergistic effects towards the bettering of the global warming situation.
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