I start teaching again tomorrow, so it’s going to be a busy few months and posting will probably be light. I also don’t really have much to say at the moment, but that will probably change :-). I did, however, want to post this video that I found recently (see below). It discusses the link between weather events and climate change. It includes Kevin Trenberth making the point that the environment in which all events occur is different today, than it was in the past. Consequently, every event is different.
What I particularly like about the video is that those being interviewed regularly refer back to basic physics; evaporation, energy, increasing water vapour in the atmosphere, etc. We do have a very good understanding of the basic physics associated with climate change. Just because we have not definitely found some signal in a dataset, does not suddenly bring this understanding into question. Of course, if we would expect to have seen a signal, and do not, it might. Not seeing something in incomplete, or noisy, data does not.
Of course, there are certain aspects that are complicated and where the impact of climate change may not be obvious. There are others, however, where it would be extremely surprising if climate change did not increase the frequency and intensity of the most extreme events; as Kevin Trenberth says “at the high [is] when you start breaking records”. Maybe I’m biased, but I think it’s important to realise that our basic understanding of the underlying physics is very strong and that gives us a very good understanding of what – in general – we might expect. I’ll leave it there, and I recommend watching the video.