James Hansen, eminent climatologist and Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies writes in the Washington Post to be published tomorrow.
"I was too optimistic" when I warned about the effects of Climate Change in 1988.
In a new analysis of the past six decades of global temperatures, which will be published Monday, my colleagues and I have revealed a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for our present.Hansen has been right for 27 years and we ignore him at our own peril.
This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened. Our analysis shows that it is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.
This is the world we have changed, and now we have to live in it — the world that caused the 2003 heat wave in Europe that killed more than 50,000 people and the 2011 drought in Texas that caused more than $5 billion in damage. Such events, our data show, will become even more frequent and more severe.The failure of action on climate change is a failure of all of us. There are solutions that can be taken. I wrote about them here. We just have to summon the will.
The future is now. And it is hot.