For weeks now, it seems that the weather has lost his mind. Between heat records in Australia and historical freezing temperatures in the Northeast and Midwest, the world is witnessing the concrete consequences of serious deregulation of climate. While some people claim the “Age of Weather Extremes”, others are wondering to what extent may climate change be responsible.
Regarding the situation in Australia, drought and heat are definitely not a surprise for climate scientists who have been predicting the global warming of the planet by the end of the century between two and seven degrees. The outcomes of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere are not a secret for anyone – except for the ones who do not want to see – and the scientific consensus is demanding a serious global recognition and action in order to avoid more climate catastrophes such as the 2018 California severe wildfires or the unnatural drought encountered in Australia.
However, if the planet is warming, the extremely low temperatures striking the Northwest of the United States may thus seem inconsistent. If Donald Trump ironizes the situation by asking Global Warming to come back, he should know that extreme weather is one result of a hotter planet and the higher the concentration of dioxide in the atmosphere, the more frequent and severe would be those peaks. A climate scientist would answer that the climate warming surrounding the Arctic is currently deeply modifying the jet stream which, in this case, transported the cold air down the pole. The increase of greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere will indeed heat up the planet but still will not exclude climate variations, climate-related anomalies and peaks of extremely low temperatures. If those records of cold and blizzard should dwindle with the years, climate change will not ban all winters.
Henceforth, after having contemplated climate change as a broad, abstract and unreachable concept far from affecting us, the world is finally seeing what the stubbornness of great men could look like. Perhaps these early 2019 striking events will have, on the long term, managed to raise awareness on the incapability of the politicians to prevent their population from the major scale of the unexpectedness and the extent of the climate change’s outcomes.
Aurélie Calemard du Gardin