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Friday, July 27, 2012

'Our Summer of Climate Truth'

Jeff Sachs:

Our Summer of Climate Truth, by Jeff Sachs, Commentary, Project Syndicate: ...When the temperature is especially high, or rains are especially heavy or light, scientists try to assess whether the unusual conditions are the result of long-term climate change or simply reflect expected variability. So, is the current US heat wave (making this the hottest year on record), the intense Beijing flooding, or the severe Sahel drought a case of random bad weather, or merely the result of long-term, human-induced climate change?
For a long time, scientists could not answer such a question precisely. They were unsure whether a particular weather disaster could be attributed to human causes, rather than to natural variation. ...
Several studies in the past year have shown that scientists can indeed detect long-term climate change in the rising frequency of extreme events – such as heat waves, heavy rains, severe droughts, and strong storms. By using cutting-edge climate models, scientists are not only detecting long-term climate change, but also are attributing at least some of the extreme events to human causes. ...
The evidence is solid and accumulating rapidly. Humanity is putting itself at increasing peril through human-induced climate change. ... Yet politicians everywhere are timid, especially because oil and coal companies are so politically powerful. Human well-being, even survival, will depend on scientific evidence and technological know-how triumphing over shortsighted greed, political timidity, and the continuing stream of anti-scientific corporate propaganda.

    Posted by on Friday, July 27, 2012 at 01:07 PM Permalink  Comments (40)


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