October 14, 2023 Editor

I Study Climate Change. The Data Is Telling Us Something New.

Oct. 13, 2023

image above: Source: Berkeley Earth Land/Ocean Temperature Record

Dr. Hausfather is the climate research lead at the payments company Stripe and a research scientist at Berkeley Earth, an independent organization that analyzes environmental data.

WN: I think every time I post about an article like that highlighted below, I refer to a “close family member” who, like his hero-god Trump, just knows with dogmatic omniscience that the vast majority of scientists who study climate change are wrong: that relative who is neither a scientist nor a god. His brother–absent the dogmatism–is in lockstep with that opinion.

I can only say: Sigh. . .


Staggering. Unnerving. Mind-boggling. Absolutely gobsmackingly bananas.

As global temperatures shattered records and reached dangerous new highs over and over the past few months, my climate scientist colleagues and I have just about run out of adjectives to describe what we have seen. Data from Berkeley Earth released on Wednesday shows that September was an astounding 0.5 degree Celsius (almost a full degree Fahrenheit) hotter than the prior record, and July and August were around 0.3 degree Celsius (0.5 degree Fahrenheit) hotter. 2023 is almost certain to be the hottest year since reliable global records began in the mid-1800s and probably for the past 2,000 years (and well before that).

While natural weather patterns, including a growing El Niño event, are playing an important role, the record global temperatures we have experienced this year could not have occurred without the approximately 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.3 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming to date from human sources of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. And while many experts have been cautious about acknowledging it, there is increasing evidence that global warming has accelerated over the past 15 years rather than continued at a gradual, steady pace. That acceleration means that the effects of climate change we are already seeing — extreme heat waves, wildfires, rainfall and sea level rise — will only grow more severe in the coming years.

In the past I doubted acceleration was happening, in part because of a long debate about whether global warming had paused from 1998 to 2012. In hindsight, that was clearly not the case. I’m worried that if we don’t pay attention today, we’ll miss what are increasingly clear signals.

Of course, the world will not cool back down for many centuries, unless world powers join in major efforts to remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than we add. But that is the brutal math of climate change and the reason we need to speed up efforts to reduce emissions significantly.

On that front, there is some reason for cautious hope.

Please click on: The Data Is Telling Us Something New

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.