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2012 weather and climate: What the scientists say, and Michael Mann on dis-information

Here’s a couple of very timely in-depth (my favourite) articles on climate change.

Firstly, a look at the current weather conditions and their links to global warming. You have to register to read this, but it’s so important, it’s worth ten seconds of your time: “How global warming is driving our weather wild“.

What’s the headline here?

“James Hansen at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York has analysed records of local temperatures across the globe, in each case totting up June, July and August to get an overall temperature for this period. The results show that an increasing area of the planet’s surface is experiencing highly anomalous heat extremes each year, relative to the period 1951 to 1980 (see charts).”

Now, this doesn’t ‘prove’ beyond all doubt that the current weather is due to man made global warming, as the article says, but lots of other evidence also points that way. Being 95% right is worth acting on. More on all this here.

Secondly, a fascinating interview with top climate boffin Michael Mann, who describes anti-climate science as the “New McCarthyism” in US politics.

‘New McCarthyism’ Described by Climate Scientist Michael Mann

For some reason I can’t get the odd formatting ABC have used, to work on a PC, so had to read it on the IPad only (is that a sign for the future?) but if you can get into it, it’s interesting for the background, the naming of names (Koch brothers in particular), the corruption of politicians and the list of books and references for further research on the topic and the denialist community.

What’s very worrying is how Mann describes the organised, fossil-fuel funded intimidation of scientists to be in some cases rather effective. Scientists threatened with their lives and livihoods have often spoken out much less as a result of campaigns against them by right wing ‘NGOs’ and others.

This is economically and socially highly dangerous. Modern infrastructure cannot cope with the weather events climate change will bring, and which have only just begun.

Mann points out that in the US in the past year, for the first time, there have been 13 weather or climate-related disasters that each cost more than a billion dollars.

He points out that slowing climate change and keeping CO2 under 450 parts per million in the atmosphere is going to be a lot easier and cheaper than putting the genie back in the bottle and dealing whilst the weather changes.

The positive note here: We still just about have time to prevent the worst from happening, says Mann.