Attribution science reveals how climate change puts us at risk

According to these two worlds, the question is not whether extreme weather events are related to global warming, but how the latter changes their intensity and frequency.

Hotter, faster, stronger: No, that’s not the common phrase for the next superhero movie. It is the effect of climate change on many extreme weather events. As the planet gets hotter, heat waves get hotter, wildfires spread faster and destroy larger areas, and thunderstorms and floods get more intense.

These effects are no longer a future or far-fetched concern: they affect all of us, the here and now. Quand, durant la dernière semaine de juillet, l’une de nous deux, Katharine Hayhoe, a rendu visite à sa famille, dans l’Ontario, le soleil était orange et brumeux alors que la fumée des incendies de forêt quile ravageaient it Up in the air. Last week, anxious Friedrich Otto called his family in the Rhineland-Palatinate, an area in western Germany where torrential rains triggered floods that killed more than 150 people.

We already live in a world 1.2°C warmer

We’re both climatologists, so when a disaster strikes, we’re often asked: Is it because of climate change or is it just bad weather?

If man is naturally inclined to classify things in simple terms, the question of the effect of climate change on meteorology cannot be reduced to this choice alone. We already live in a warmer world 1,2 °C Compared to the beginning of the industrial revolution. Every meteorological phenomenon we witness actually occurs in a changing climate context.

A more accurate question to ask is: Has climate change changed the intensity, frequency or duration of this or that phenomenon? The answer is yes, more and more. And thanks to advanced science, we’re starting to be able to give numbers. This is called “the science of attribution.”

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Make a model of the Earth without human influence

How can science deduce the exact contribution of human-caused climate change to a particular phenomenon, without having another Earth, identical but devoid of humans, for comparisons? The first step is to characterize the phenomenon using observations:

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Katherine Hayhoe and Frederic Otto

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Authors

Catherine HayhoeAnd Born in 1973 in Canada, he is a Professor of Political Science at Texas Tech University. she is an author Save Us – A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World (“Let’s Save Ourselves – Reasons for Hope in a Climate Divided World”) ed. Simon & Schuster, 2021. She has a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences and is the Scientific Director of The Nature Conservancy.

Frederic Otto Born in 1982 in Germany, he is an assistant director Oxford University Institute for Environmental Change, and author Time Fury – Investigating the Heart of Climate Change (Editor Tana, 2019). This physicist, philosopher, and climate scientist co-leads the initiative world weather referral, Which studies the impact of humans on extreme weather phenomena. According to the magazine, he is one of the 100 most influential people time.

Source

With 1,600 journalists, 35 offices abroad, 130 Pulitzer Prizes, and nearly 5 million subscribers in total, New York times It is by far the leading daily newspaper in the country, in which we can read “All news for print”

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