May 08, 2008
Consistent With, Again
Posted to Author: Pielke Jr., R. | Climate Change | Disasters | Science + Politics
On NPR's Fresh Air earlier this week, Al Gore suggests that Typhoon Nargis, which may have killed 100,000 people in Myanmar, is linked to greenhouse gas emissions, or does he? He said "we’re seeing consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming."
What could he have meant? If you ask me, I'd say that the "consistent with" chronicles continue . . .
PS. Those wanting to do something positive in the face of this tragedy might visit this site.Posted on May 8, 2008 02:16 PM
while I won't try to minimize the horror that is going on in Myanmar, I am still bothered by this a great deal. Cyclone season peaks in April and November with the changes in the monsoon, meaning Nargis is consistant with the changing of the monsoon, as awful a storm as it is.
i have to admit a lot of frustration with the "consistant with" chronicles.
and yes i opened the wallet and sent MSF some money. They need it more then I do, right now.
Posted by: terry at May 9, 2008 07:36 AM
"On NPR's Fresh Air earlier this week, Al Gore suggests that Typhoon Nargis, which may have killed 100,000 people in Myanmar, is linked to greenhouse gas emissions, or does he?"
Gore explicitly states in that interview: "It’s also important to note that the emerging consensus among the climate scientists is even though any individual storm can’t be linked singularly to global warming — we’ve always had hurricanes — nevertheless, the trend toward more Category 5 storms, the larger ones, the trend toward stronger and more destructive storms appears to be linked to global warming. And specifically to the impact of global warming on higher ocean temperatures in the top couple hundred feet of the ocean, which drives convection, energy and moisture into these storms and makes them more powerful."
There's nothing irresponsible about that, and the trend towards increased intensity in storms is still the emerging consensus (vs. total number of storms). He is in no way claiming that warming caused Nargis, just as he's never claimed that it caused Katrina. He rightly points out that single weather events *cannot* be attributed to warming.
"He said 'we're seeing consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming.'"
Sounded to me like he said that about the melting Arctic:
"And as we're talking today, Terry, the death count in Myanmar from the cyclone that hit there yesterday has been rising from 15,000 to way on up there to much higher numbers now being speculated. And last year a catastrophic storm last fall hit Bangladesh. The year before, the strongest cyclone in more than 50 years hit China.
And we’re seeing consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming. The entire north polar ice cap, normally the size the lower 48 states, give or take an Arizona, is melting before our eyes. 40 percent melted in the last 20 years. And in the summer months it could be completely gone, according to one scientific estimate, in as little as five years."
Segment of the interview in question: 26:56-29:54.
Posted by: Jon at May 14, 2008 08:42 AM
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