If you can't stand the heat, get off the planet

In today's "news", the recent heat waves around the world are exacerbated by human-caused climate change. This is exceedingly obvious to anyone who is not trying to wilfully suspend their belief in basic facts, but where this gets more interesting is that a team of scientists from around the world, under the auspices of the World Weather Attribution project, looked at the UK heatwave from the past week and were able to use sophisticated climate models to talk about precisely how much more likely such a heatwave is in our warming world and also how much hotter the heatwave was. Here are some of the highlights:

This is interesting for a few reasons. First, it illustrates that climate models are becoming sophisticated enough to look at specific events, not just long term trends. Second, it shows that our climate models are likely painting too rosy a picture of the future, meaning it's likely to be worse than is currently being projected. Third, this particular modelling was based on today's climate, which is only 1.2°C hotter than the preindustrial climate, and we're on course for over 2°C of warming by the end of the century, possibly more.

The cherry on the top is that during the heatwave, meteorologists faced unprecedented levels of abuse on social media, because of course they did.

[Meteorologists] faced "public ridicule, accusations of lying or suggestions of being blackmailed". Tweets aimed at BBC Weather and its presenters featured personal insults and messages such as "it's just summer" - many described advice on how to stay cool as pandering to the "woke-brigade" or for "snowflakes". Other tweets accused the Met Office and the BBC of spreading "alarmism" and "hysteria", telling both to "stop scaremongering".

I wish I could say that this is incredible, but it's sadly all too credible. And of course all of the powerful corporations and politicians that are responsible for climate denialism being mainstream will never be held accountable.

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Published: 2022-07-29

Tagged: politics

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