| Green Weenie of the Week: Weather Disaster Forecasting |
1 Power LinePower Line by Steven Hayward
E&E News reports a significant step forward in climate change and weather event attribution today:
Researchers can now blame warming for individual disasters Actually the story rambles on a long long time without ever delivering a specific breakthrough as implied in the headline. Instead you get mush like this:
And as the science continues to mature, it may have ramifications for society. Legal experts suggest that attribution studies could play a major role in lawsuits brought by citizens against companies, industries or even governments. They could help reshape climate adaptation policies throughout a country or even the world. And perhaps more immediately, the young field of research could be capturing the public’s attention in ways that long-term projections for the future cannot. In other words, this amounts to a foot-stomping tantrum. And then there’s this, in paragraph 29 of the article:
“I think the public and many policymakers don’t really take those 100-year forecasts very seriously,” said Allen, who is now one of the world’s leading experts in attribution science. “They are much more seriously interested in the question of what is happening now and why — which boils down to attribution.”
Today, scientists still generally agree that it’s impossible to attribute any individual weather phenomenon solely to climate change. Storms, fires, droughts and other events are influenced by a variety of complex factors. And they’re all acting at once, including both natural components of the climate system and sometimes unrelated human activities. For instance, a wildfire may be made more likely by hot, dry weather conditions, and by human land-use practices. In other words, never mind.