Extreme weather finally brings home the reality of climate change | Innovation
EUROPE swelters. Greece, California and even the Arctic burn. Following record-breaking flooding, Japan is now being hit by a record-breaking heatwave.
No one can say we weren’t warned. The reality of human-made climate change has been apparent for decades to anyone with even a tenuous grip of basic physics and chemistry.
Climate science remains an imperfect science. Researchers have been unable to directly attribute specific weather events to a warming planet even as they build evidence of an overall trend, a reticence seized upon by climate denialists as evidence of uncertainty in the science.
No longer. It seems likely that climate change made the current European heatwave twice as probable, and that disruption from similar extreme weather is a certainty we must now adapt to (see “Climate change made Europe’s heatwave twice as likely to happen” and “Our buildings make this heatwave worse – here’s how to cool them down”). Less certainly, rumblings of change deep in the north Atlantic Ocean suggest far worse is to come (see “The Atlantic conveyor belt has been slowly shutting down for over a century”).
Human-made climate change risks becoming a human tragedy. Those who wilfully deny its reality, or play the fool for the crowd or in defence of vested interests, must be called out.
This article appeared in print under the headline “No more denial”
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