20 June 2019

Climate Stripes on the Solstice

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Climate scientist Ed Hawkins at the Uni. of Reading is known for producing some great info-graphics about our warming climate but one of his most popular is now known as the climate stripes. This Friday, on the solstice (1554 GMT) meteorologists around the world are going to display them. They are a powerful visual of how the planet is warming, and this time thanks to the folks at Climate Central in Princeton, we have the stripes broken down by country and in many cases city and state. Go here to find your area.

This is Maryland where I live and 5 miles up the road in Delaware:

Climatologist Brian Brettscneider posted this on Twitter. It’s based on the NASA GISS data. Note that the warming is much stronger in the north, as is expected. (See Arctic amplification).

If you have friends who think this is not due to greenhouse gases, point out to them that there are only three things that impact the Earth’s overall temperature:

Note that if it were not for air pollution, we would be warming even faster.

You can actually track the global CO2 average day by day on the ESRL web site here.

Since climate change has become a significant issue in the upcoming 2020 elections, social media has become full of myths and fake graphs. It seems to me that if you are going to tell every major scientific body on the planet they are wrong, you might want to sit through a class in atmospheric physics first. Otherwise, you will look rather silly to everyone not wearing hats made of tin foil.

To anyone who thinks it is not the greenhouse gases or some natural variation, then this superb infographic from Bloomberg is a must see.

I am in here along with a bunch of fellow meteorologists:

Humans are terrible at dealing with slow-motion disasters and climate change is the perfect example. We blame the hurricane or the heavy thunderstorm for the flood but warmer air holds more water and the sea level was already higher before that hurricane than it was when a similar storm hit 100 years ago. 

We are going to blow past two degrees and that means a different world, but if we go past 4C, we will see catastrophic changes in the biosphere. Yes, it’s really that bad and the UK Newspaper the Guardian was right to rename climate change to the climate crisis. If that disagrees with your politics or worldview, then too bad. The science is overwhelming and we should label things based on verifiable and testable data and not politics.