Pope Francis has warned history will judge world leaders who do not act as he blasted climate change sceptics in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
The pontiff said the recent storms meant the effects of climate change could be seen “with your own eyes”.
There have been four major Atlantic hurricanes in less than three weeks.
But US Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt said it was an inappropriate time to discuss what role climate change may have played.
Instead, Mr Pruitt said the conversation should be focused on the clean up effort.
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Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado – whose city ended up partially underwater as Hurricane Irma swept across Florida – disagreed however, telling the Miami Heraldnewspaper: “This is the time to talk about climate change. This is the time that the president and the EPA and whoever makes decisions needs to talk about climate change.”
Can we blame worsening hurricanes on climate change?
By Matt McGrath, BBC News environment correspondent
Hurricanes are complex, naturally occurring beasts – extremely difficult to predict, with or without the backdrop of rising global temperatures.
The scientific reality of attributing a role to climate change in worsening the impact of hurricanes is also hard to tease out, simply because these are fairly rare events and there is not a huge amount of historical data.
But there are some things that we can say with a good deal of certainty.
There’s a well-established physical law, the Clausius-Clapeyron equation, that says that a hotter atmosphere holds more moisture.
For every extra degree Celsius in warming, the atmosphere can hold 7% more water. This tends to make rainfall events even more extreme when they occur.
Another element that we can mention with some confidence is the temperature of the seas.
“The waters of the Gulf of Mexico are about 1.5 degrees warmer above what they were from 1980-2010,” Sir Brian Hoskins from the Grantham Institute for Climate Change told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“That is very significant because it means the potential for a stronger storm is there, and with the contribution of global warming to the warmer waters in the Gulf, it’s almost inevitable that there was a contribution to that.”
Addressing climate change appears to have fallen down the agenda since Donald Trump took power in January.
The US president has already rolled back some of the environmental protection laws put in place under his predecessor, Barack Obama, and announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.
It is unclear where Mr Trump stands on climate change today. However, he tweeted in 2012 that it was made up by China “to make US manufacturing non-competitive”.
Pope Francis, who is returning from a five day trip to Colombia, has no such doubts. He fears the impact of climate change will be hardest on the world’s poorest residents, and has been openly critical of those who do not play their part in reducing its effects – including Mr Trump.
His most recent comments could also be seen as a thinly veiled dig at the president.
“If we don’t go back we will go down,” he warned reporters on Monday. “That is true. You can see the effects of climate change with your own eyes and scientists tell us clearly the way forward.
“All of us have a responsibility. All of us. Some small, some big. A moral responsibility, to accept opinions, or make decisions. I think it is not something to joke about.”
He then quoted a phrase from the Old Testament: “Man is stupid, a stubborn, blind man.”
“Those who deny it (climate change) should go to the scientists and ask them,” the Pope said. “They are very clear, very precise.”
And then, in the real world, REAL scientists keep working ..
12 New Scientific Papers: Oceans Cooling Globally As Glaciers Thicken
INTERESTING to see how the warmist community will spin the “science” from these latest inconvenient findings that contradict IPCC climate model predictions and the endless “Hottest Year Evah“ PR claims.
NO doubt, Climate Crisis Inc … and the UN IPCC won’t go near it. And don’t expect to see empirical evidence of globally cooling oceans and thickening glaciers gleefully reported on CNN, BBC or ABC Australia. Any climate news that doesn’t fit the human-caused warming narrative is expressly ignored by the #FakeNews mainstream media, using their favoured and most effective propaganda weapon – confirmation bias.
MORE from Kenneth Richard via Pierre Gosselin’s excellent site NoTricksZone :
12 New Papers: North Atlantic, Pacific, And Southern Oceans Are Cooling As Glaciers Thicken, Gain Mass
Contrary to expectations, climate scientists continue to report that large regions of the Earth have not been warming in recent decades.
According to Dieng et al. (2017), for example, the global oceans underwent a slowdown, a pause, or even a slight cooling trend during 2003 to 2013. This undermines expectations from climate models which presume the increase in radiative forcing from human CO2 emissions should substantially increase ocean temperatures.
The authors indicate that the recent trends in ocean temperatures “may just reflect a 60-year natural cycle“, the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation), and not follow radiative forcing trends.
Dieng et al., 2017 We investigate the global mean and regional change of sea surface and land surface temperature over 2003–2013, using a large number of different data sets, and compare with changes observed over the past few decades (starting in 1950). … While confirming cooling of eastern tropical Pacific during the last decade as reported in several recent studies, our results show that the reduced rate of change of the 2003–2013 time span is a global phenomenon. GMST short-term trends since 1950 computed over successive 11-year windows with 1-year overlap show important decadal variability that highly correlates with 11-year trends of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation index. The GMST 11-year trend distribution is well fitted by a Gaussian function, confirming an unforced origin related to internal climate variability.
We evaluate the time derivative of full-depth ocean heat content to determine the planetary energy imbalance with different approaches: in situ measurements, ocean reanalysis and global sea level budget. For 2003–2013, it amounts to 0.5 +/− 0.1 W m−2, 0.68 +/− 0.1 W m−2 and 0.65 +/− 0.1 W m−2, respectively for the three approaches. Although the uncertainty is quite large because of considerable errors in the climate sensitivity parameter, we find no evidence of decrease in net radiative forcing in the recent years, but rather an increase compared to the previous decades.
We can note that the correlation between GMST [global mean surface temperature] trends and AMO trends is quite high. It amounts 0.88 over the whole time span. At the beginning of the record, the correlation with PDO trends is also high (equal to 0.8) but breaks down after the mid-1980s. The GMST and AMO trends shown in Figure 6 show a low in the 1960s and high in the 1990s, suggestive of a 60-year oscillation, as reported for the global mean sea level by Chambers et al. (2012). Thus the observed temporal evolution of the GMST [global mean surface temperature] trends may just reflect a 60-year natural cycle driven by the AMO.
Subpolar North Atlantic Cooling Rapidly Since 2005
According to Piecuch et al. (2017) there has been no net warming of the North Atlantic Ocean in the last quarter century. The warming that occurred in the 10 years from 1994-2004 has been completely negated by an even more pronounced cooling trend since 2005. The predominant (87%) cause of the warming was determined to be of the same natural (non-anthropogenic) origin as the subsequent cooling: advection, the movement/circulation of heat via internal processes. In fact, human CO2 emissions are never mentioned as even contributing to the the 1994-2004 warming.
Piecuch et al., 2017 The subpolar North Atlantic (SPNA) is subject to strong decadal variability, with implications for surface climate and its predictability. In 2004–2005, SPNA decadal upper ocean and sea-surface temperature trends reversed from warming during 1994–2004 to cooling over 2005–2015. … Over the last two decades, the SPNA has undergone a pronounced climate shift. Decadal OHC and SST trends reversed sign around 2004–2005, with a strong warming seen during 1994–2004 and marked cooling observed over 2005–2015. These trend reversals were pronounced (> 0.1 °C yr−1 in magnitude) in the northeastern North Atlantic (south and west of Iceland) and in the Labrador Sea. … To identify basic processes controlling SPNA thermal variations, we diagnose the SPNA heat budget using ECCOv4. Changes in the heat content of an oceanic control volume can be caused by convergences and divergences of advective, diffusive, and surface heat fluxes within the control volume. [Advective heat convergence] explains 87% of the total [ocean heat content] variance, the former [warming] showing similar decadal behavior to the latter [cooling], increasing over 1994–2004, and decreasing over 2005–2015. … These results demonstrate that the recent SPNA decadal trend reversal was mostly owing to advective convergences by ocean circulation … decadal variability during 1993–2015 is in largest part related to advection by horizontal gyres.
Yeager and Robson (2017) also point out that, like it did from the 1960s to 1980s, the North Atlantic “has again been cooling”, a trend which they and others expect to continue. Sea surface temperatures are no warmer today than they were in the 1950s.
Yeager and Robson, 2017 [W]hile the late twentieth century Atlantic was dominated by NAO-driven THC [thermohaline circulation] variability, other mechanisms may dominate in other time periods. … More recently, the SPNA [sub polar North Atlantic] upper ocean has again been cooling, which is also thought to be related to a slowdown in the THC. A continued near-term cooling of the SPNA has been forecast by a number of prediction systems, with implications for pan-Atlantic climate.
The Southern Ocean Has Been Cooling Since The 1970s, Contrary To Models
Latif et al., 2017 The Southern Ocean featured some remarkable changes during the recent decades. For example, large parts of the Southern Ocean, despite rapidly rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, depicted a surface cooling since the 1970s, whereas most of the planet has warmed considerably. In contrast, climate models generally simulate Southern Ocean surface warming when driven with observed historical radiative forcing. The mechanisms behind the surface cooling and other prominent changes in the Southern Ocean sector climate during the recent decades, such as expanding sea ice extent, abyssal warming, and CO2 uptake, are still under debate. Observational coverage is sparse, and records are short but rapidly growing, making the Southern Ocean climate system one of the least explored. It is thus difficult to separate current trends from underlying decadal to centennial scale variability.
Turney et al., 2017 Occupying about 14% of the world’s surface, the Southern Ocean plays a fundamental role in ocean and atmosphere circulation, carbon cycling and Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics. … As a result of anomalies in the overlying wind, the surrounding waters are strongly influenced by variations in northward Ekman transport of cold fresh subantarctic surface water and anomalous fluxes of sensible and latent heat at the atmosphere–ocean interface. This has produced a cooling trend since 1979.