We are being treated to a series of storms up here in the north- It seems that we are having another one every second day. It has been quite a nature-show.
We all start to wonder about the over used phrase ‘global warming’. Is this the cause of the apparent increase in volatility of our Atlantic weather systems? Or is it just a variation within normal?
Whatever, the storms we complain about in the UK (even here on the Wild West) are nothing compared to the weather systems that kill thousands in places like the Philippines. Is there evidence that the increase in super storms might also be down to climate change?
There is some interesting discussion about all this on Climate Radio– reflecting on the Warsaw Climate Talks back in November.
The science is ever more categorical about the fact of climate change, but also about the potential for positive action;
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released in October showed us that in the absence of an effective international agreement we are on a high-emissions scenario racing towards an inhospitable 5 degree world of escalating extreme weather. It also showed us that if we switch rapidly to a low-carbon pathway it is still technically possible to limit warming to two degrees centigrade.
The responsibility still lies primarily with us in the rich West. For example, the US are responsible for around a third of the worlds carbon emissions, despite the shift of much ‘dirty’ industry towards the East.
We might lose the odd fence, the odd roof tile. There is a lot more at stake.