8 climate experts weigh in, in 250 words or less.
To me this quote from Pielke Jr. offers the only empirical evidence in the article,
“The detection of changes in climate requires looking at actual data — and the data on tornadoes, large-scale river floods (in unaltered river basins), and landfalling hurricanes shows no evidence of trends in the direction of more extreme events.”
That is a fact.
Everything else is a guess about the future state of the climate. Are they educated guesses? Maybe, but still guesses.
Also having followed this topic closely for sometime I have developed opinions about the people making the guesses in this article based on their scientific acumen and their personal integrity.
Some of those opinions are not very favorable.
I think they are all confusing issues here.
If the power of storms increases that is not climate change. It may have no ecological impact at all. It may have a human cost but one I think we can easily adjust to. Well we should be able to but looking at New Orleans it isn’t clear that we will until forced. In that case the human cost is on our stupidity rather than the storms.
If the pattern of temperature and rainfall changes permanently that is climate change. If it changes enough it can be devastating both ecologically and in pure human terms.
There are some good arguments for a change in the power of storms but no empirical evidence.
There is not much evidence for serious climate change currently but there is strong theoretical reasons to expect it and the evidence from paleoclimatology that it does not take much to cause it. How bad and on what time scale seem to be the only questions.
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