Normally i try to avoid going on about numbers, since i think numbers can be incredibly abstract and hard for us to get our heads around and honestly. I think there are many better, more personal ways of communicating climate change, and i say this coming from a place of loving numbers.
After all, i am a physicist, but all that said i couldn’t. Think of anything that summed up the situation more starkly than the numbers themselves today. What do you think of when you think of the arctic? Maybe you think of polar bears or santa claus, or perhaps if you don’t know your geography, you think about penguins.
Whatever you’re thinking about, though i bet that somewhere in the picture, there is ice, what you’re – probably not thinking about, though, is wildfires, but the last two years have seen exceptional wildfires within the arctic.
In fact, june 2020 and june 2019 have had more substantial wildfires than the last 16 dunes combined, hang on so june 2020 and june 2019, more severe wildfires than the last 16 dunes combined. These wildfires are happening against a backdrop of a long period of extreme temperatures.
In the arctic and within siberia, in fact, thermometers have hit 38 degrees within the arctic circle. Let’s just say that again, 38 degrees within the arctic circle. This isn’t just shocking. It also has severe consequences.
These wildfires have released huge amounts of carbon dioxide, in fact, roughly the size of the annual emissions of the country of belgium. On top of that, permafrost, which is land that is meant to be permanently frosted over, has been melting.
This has been releasing methane and even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. On top of that, the melting permafrost is damaging infrastructure, which has perhaps contributed to huge diesel spill, which is now threatening the arctic ocean.
It doesn’t, take a rocket scientist or even a climate scientist to know that if you heat up the planet, you’re, going to have more extreme and more frequent heat waves. But climate scientists have confirmed that most of the world is experiencing exactly that and on top of this, the arctic is currently heating about three times the rate of the rest of the world.
Okay, but can we actually say how big an influence climate change has had on this extreme heat that the arctic is currently experiencing? Well often, when we talk about things like this as they’re unfolding, we have to say things like now: it’s too early to know exactly climate change’s effect on this particular storm, but in this case researchers Have quantified how big climate change’s? Influence has been, they did this by comparing the climate we have today with the climate that could have been had we not been emitting a whole bunch of greenhouse gases.
They worked this out using a combination of observations and climate models. I’m, not going to go into too much detail because i actually made a piece with one of the researchers for the youtube channel.
Hotmess go over and watch that if you want to find out more now, i want to pause for a second and ask you what you think the answer might be just how many times more likely do you think climate change might have made this event? Maybe even pause the video and leave it in the comments below i genuinely like to know your answers.
Okay have a think okay, so the answer is 600 times more lightly 600 times now. I know what many of you are probably thinking with any scientific result. There’s, always a range of uncertainty, and perhaps i’ve just picked the largest number to sound as dramatic as possible, but no no.
This is actually the lower estimate. The researchers found that the answer was at least 600 times more likely. In fact, the heat in siberia, their best guess for how much more likely it was made by global warming was 80 000 times, so it would have been virtually impossible without climate change.
These numbers are overwhelming, but i’d, like to end with just a few more. The world has currently heated by about 1 degrees celsius due to human actions, and we’re already seeing an impact on extreme weather events like this.
Can you imagine how big that influence will be by the end of the century where the world may well be on for about four degrees celsius of warming? If we don’t get our acts together, i’m, genuinely, not sure i can imagine that, but i know one thing for sure, which is that i don’t want to find out.
I’d, rather leave that situation in our imaginations. My videos on climate change – news like this are made possible entirely by my patrons of patreon. So if you’d like to support the channel, please do head over there and, in the meantime, make sure you & # 39.
Re, subscribed and watch a recent video on everything about climate change. Okay, until next time, bye.