Disaster! Calamity! Horror, shock and awe!
Jan 22, 2013
Bishop Hill in Climate: WG2

As if in glorious harmony with President Obama's renewed interest in climate change, a couple of articles have appeared selling the "AGW leads to weather extremes" story.

At The Conversation, the Australian website for activist academics, there is an article by Harry Blutstein of the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning at RMIT University.

Hurricane Sandy may or may not be a direct result of climate change, but what is certain is that the incidence of extreme climate events is increasing.

Such events are predicted by climate models, according to the IPCC, which has warned that “a changing climate leads to changes in the frequency, intensity, spatial extent, duration, and timing of extreme weather and climate events, and can result in unprecedented extreme weather and climate events”.

I think the claim that extreme climate events are increasing is not one that is supported by the evidence. The article goes on report on that rather dodgy Munich Re report on extremes that appeared at the back end of last year.

Meanwhile the New York Times is in full fire-and brimstone mode:

More than a 2-degree increase should be unimaginable. Yet to stop at 2 degrees, global emissions have to peak in 2016. The Carbon Tracker organization has examined fossil-fuel investments around the world (including 1,200 new coal plants) and determined that they would lead to a 6-degree world. A recent World Bank report indicates the bank cannot fulfill its development mission in a 4-degree world. Given what we know about planetary biology, 2 degrees seems nightmarish as it is.

Anyone would think they had something to sell.

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