Global Warming Fuels Heat Wave

by Editor

This report in OPB News comes as no surprise! The latest bout of heat waves across the U.S. is a direct result of human made global warming. What will it take for Governments around the planet to start taking serious action?

OPB News reports:

What will it take? Is it too late?

According to several top scientists, the March heat wave that has shattered records across a wide swath of the U.S. bears some of the hallmarks of global warming.

In email conversations on Wednesday and Thursday, those same scientific researchers who specialize in studying the role climate change plays in influencing individual extreme events — a burgeoning field known as  “extreme event attribution” — said global warming may have made March’s soaring temperatures more likely to occur, although they add that natural variability has played a key role as well.

Since March 12, more than 7,000 warm temperature records (warm daily highs and warm overnight lows) have been set or tied, including numerous all-time monthly high temperature records.

Although studies have not yet been conducted on the main factors that triggered this heat wave and whether global warming may have tilted the odds in favor of the event, scientific studies of previous heat events clearly show that global warming increases the odds of heat extremes, in much the same way as using steroids boosts the chances that a baseball player will hit more home runs in a given year.

Gabi Hegerl, Chair of Climate System Science at the University of Edinburgh, said there is evidence that extreme heat events have become more common and more severe, including at the regional level in parts of the U.S. ”This is consistent with observing more and stronger heat waves,” she said.

Hegerl said that in order to draw conclusions about global warming’s role in this particular heat wave, one would need to conduct modeling studies where you compare the odds of this event occurring with and without added greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, “to see how much the warming has changed the odds.”

The reasoning behind such an approach is because both global-warming trends and shifts in atmospheric circulation may contribute to a certain event, so scientists need to observe the whole climate system at play to investigate how often an event with these extreme characteristics takes place under the two alternative scenarios.

It seems we hear the same story again and again. Is it too late? Do we need to start spending some of our hard earned tax dollars on resolving this major issue facing the planet?

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