Crazy Weather

The weather has been crazy lately. Record-breaking warmth on Christmas day, astounding floods in the midwest of the U.S. and in the U.K., surprise tornadoes, it’s insane. People are taking notice. And it’s not just el Niño — it’s the deadly combination of el Niño and climate change. It even motivated MSNBC to do an actual (albeit brief) report on climate change, featuring Michael Mann.

Please watch. The quotes that struck me the most are “Climate change is no longer playing a subtle role” and “el Niño that has been supercharged by climate change.”

11 responses to “Crazy Weather

  1. So… MSNBC 5 minutes is more than other TV shows. Hmm.. the Sunday happy talk shows all have heavy ad buys from carbon fuel companies. It will be interesting to see what kind of advertising they present this Sunday. Almost more significant then their content. .

  2. Thanks, Tamino. Michael Mann says it very clearly. It does make me wonder what further weather disasters are already “baked in.”

    Here, in the UK, it is raining yet again and there are many flood warnings for the north and west. Having watched the record warmth of the US eastern seaboard and the growing cold pool south of Greenland over the last few months, this flooding has come as no surprise. There have been a succession of floods since 2000, the last severe ones two years ago. Meanwhile, the empty suit that is David Cameron (TESTIDC), brags about all the money he’s spending on flood defences, forgetting to mention how he cut back on the spending, The cost of last month’s floods are likely to run into considerably more than his planned expenditure over the next five years, and we still have the rest of the winter to come. The Great Atlantic Cyclone Generator has plenty of fuel still, and the westerlies send them over here.

    I was in Dawlish, on the Devon coast last week. In 2014, the sea washed out the rail tracks there, and they had to be rebuilt at considerable cost. Seeing the pummelllng that the sea was giving them, made me wonder how long before they go again.

    Happy New Year!

  3. This is one issue that scares me — if the impacts are already becoming very costly and more change is ‘baked in’, there will be competition for the investment funds between immediate repairs and adaptation and long-term mitigation. The need for immediate repairs won’t be neglected, for obvious reasons. So how can we ensure governments also make the necessary investments in mitigation? Obviously continuing with adaptation while ignoring mitigation would be like fighting a war that we will inevitably lose. But choosing investment in managing immediate symptoms as they arise over investment in prevention is all too common in our medical systems…

  4. Just looked at the Irish met office site to get monthly temp and rainfall figures for December at Dublin airport, which is 2 mi. from where I live. They only had figures going back 3 years displayed up front, and I couldn’t believe what I saw. So went looking for confirmation, and found it:

    December would appear to have broken records for being the warmest and wettest on record.

    Preliminary figures from weather stations around the country show temperatures were at least 3 degrees above normal almost everywhere and rainfall amounts were three times the December average.

    Source: A warm December breaks Met Éireann records

  5. MM still speaks with careful academic reticence.

  6. While the extremity of this El Nino is fed by global warming (as was the one in ’97-98), it’s important not to overemphasize it, since in a year or so it will be much cooler. All these extremes are important as an aggregate, rather than as specific events. We all know climate ostriches (I like that one, was it Victor Venema?) will go and find a similar record for each one, but they can’t really ignore the sums.

    • It was. Now in the public domain.

      An El Nino year is a good reminder how important a stable climate is. How much we have build our infrastructure and organization to cope with the climate that used to be normal.

  7. The first question the MSNBC interviewer asked Mann was “how do you think the extremes of the storms this last month may change public opinion on climate change?”

    Mann is an Earth Scientist. He’s an expert on physical phenomena related to climate, not on the dynamics of public opinion. When should we expect to see, say, Stephan Lewandowsky or Dan Kahan responding to that question on MSNBC?

  8. michael sweet

    I THought that Dr. Mann did a good job answering questions like Mal Adapted quotes He stayed on topics that he was expert in and he delivered a positive message in the end. Keep up the good work Dr. Mann!

    • FWIW, I agree with you about Dr. Mann’s responses. I did wonder why the interviewer would ask him that question, though. I’d be quite interested in hearing responses from someone with more appropriate expertise, and even more interested in poll results.