Australian news, and some related international items

The world in denial about the climate crisis

 Climate breakdown is far more intense in 2022 than even many scientists
expected, yet the world still isn’t treating this like a crisis. I
underestimated the depth and intransigence of society’s collective
climate denial. Despite climate breakdown being far more intense by 2022
than I thought it would be – it all feels like a decade or two ahead of
schedule, somehow – the world still isn’t treating global heating like
the emergency it is.

To understand what an emergency we are now in, the
scale and variety of the climate damage we’ve already incurred, you only
need to look at a few of the most recent disasters. Hurricane Ian has just
pummeled Cuba and Florida. The full extent of the disaster will only be
revealed in the coming days and weeks, although first looks are shocking.

But we do know with certainty that Ian was supercharged by global heating
through several well-understood fundamental physics pathways.

Or consider the record extreme heat, fires, and drought that have hammered arid
subtropical regions such as California, Spain, China and elsewhere this

The planet has heated by about 1.3C on average since fossil fuel
burning began in earnest 150 years ago, and is now increasing by 0.1C every
five years. These mean values roughly double over the planet’s land
surfaces. That extra heat also supercharges heatwaves. In addition, global
heat is expanding the Hadley cell circulation and moving subtropical storms
poleward, causing a permanent increase in subtropical aridification.

All of this tends to dry out soils, kill trees and worsen wildfires. Or consider
the biblical flooding in Pakistan from a few weeks ago. Or the “doomsday
glacier” in Antarctica which promises “big changes over small
timescales”. Or record melt of the Greenland ice sheet. Or the crazy and
deadly disintegration of glaciers in Europe. In short, it has been a summer
of climate insanity.

But even so, this will be, on average, the coolest
summer with the least climate chaos for the rest of your life. That is just
the nature of trends. It should be terrifying.

 Guardian 1st Oct 2022


October 3, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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