14 By Paul Homewood
What would we do without the Guardian?
This was what they wrote in 2012:
Seeing satellite pictures from Greenland last month, scientists from Nasa at first couldn’t believe what the data was telling them. About 97% of the Greenland ice sheet was melting. The rate was unprecedented, with the thaw more widespread than ever as unseasonally warm weather across the Arctic took effect.
“It was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: was this real or was it due to a data error?” wondered Son Nghiem, one of the scientists responsible for the research at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. In a normal summer, some melting is observed over about half the island’s surface area. This new data – from three satellites – raised serious concerns over the progress of global warming and the likely consequences.
For scientists at the Met Office’s world-renowned Hadley research centre in Exeter, the question was not just how fast Greenland was melting, but something much trickier. They have been crunching through years of data from dozens of satellites, trying to establish whether the conditions in the Arctic circle are related to the record-breaking washout of a summer in the UK.
The news could be disconcerting for fans of the British summer. Because when it comes to global warming, we can forget the jolly predictions of Jeremy Clarkson and his ilk of a Mediterranean climate in which we lounge among the olive groves of Yorkshire sipping a fine Scottish champagne. The truth is likely to be much duller, and much nastier – and we have already had a taste of it. “We will see lots more floods, droughts, such as we’ve had this year in the UK,” says Peter Stott, leader of the climate change monitoring and attribution team at the Met Office. “Climate change is not a nice slow progression where the global climate warms by a few degrees. It means a much greater variability, far more extremes of weather.”
A series of unusually wet and cold summers has afflicted the UK for several years. Remember the devastating floods of 2007, when some areas received double their normal rainfall for June? Or the predictions of a “barbecue summer” in 2009 that backfired badly on the Met Office as the (correctly anticipated) high temperatures were accompanied by heavy clouds and rainstorms? The impression that many Britons have had that summer weather has been getting worse in recent years is borne out by the data – five out of the last six years (2007-2012), have shown below-average sunshine from June to August, and in some cases well below average. All have had above-average rainfall – in some cases more than 50% above the long-term average. “It is not just a perception – we have had a run of relatively poor summers,” says Stott….
For the British Isles, the melting Arctic could hold the key to whether the weather is changing under human impacts. Recent poor summers have been strongly linked by scientists to a change in the usual position of the jet stream, a weather system that normally lies in high latitudes during the northern hemisphere summer.
This year, the jet stream moved much more than usual, passing south of the UK. It also persisted in this position for an unusually long time. If this pushing of the jet stream southward is indeed linked to less sea ice over the Arctic circle, as Hanna suspects, then the signs are that we will see many more of these wet summers in future.
Well, eight years, how did those predictions pan out?
Poor old Peter Stott, not for the first time, confused WEATHER with CLIMATE.
Since that washout summer in 2012, British summers have hovered around the average, none being unusually wet or dry.
And it was not just the UK which would suffer, according to the Guardian:
Nor has the UK been alone in suffering extreme weather. In the US, the eastern seaboard has been hit by heatwaves and storms but even worse has been the “dustbowl effect” in Texas and across much of the nation’s agricultural heartland. India’s monsoon failed to appear on schedule, leaving millions of farmers in the subcontinent facing destitution. Floods in Beijing, after the heaviest rainfall in 60 years, caused devastation to millions.
The consequences across the world have been and will be dire. A food crisis is now all but inevitable, according to the US agriculture secretary. Emergency plans are being discussed in India, while in China the clear-up is accompanied by concerns that environmental degradation may be making the country’s problems worse.
Well, how did that lot work out?
Since the hot, dry summer in 2011, Texas summers have either been wetter than normal or around average:
Tornadoes in the US have continued their long term decline:
India’s monsoon has done what it has always done, with the only drought years being El Nino related:
And global cereal production has grown by 16%
None out five would get most employees the sack, but in the world of climate science you get promotion and awards!
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
September 14, 2020 at 05:33PM