While it's hard to know how much global warming contributes to any single weather event, science tells us that we will see more and more extreme weather as the earth warms. Think of today's extreme weather as a "sneak preview" of what lies ahead on our current path.
"(Recent floods) not just by the power of nature but by the power of man." — climate activist Bill McKibben
“Like the sinking of the Titanic, catastrophes are not democratic. A much higher fraction of passengers from the cheaper decks were lost. We’ll see the same phenomenon with global warming.”
Wildfires dominate the headlines – but the media coverage focuses only on effects while ignoring a major cause. Talking about western wildfires without mentioning climate change is like talking about lung cancer without mentioning cigarettes.
"The odds that natural variability created these [recent weather] extremes are minuscule... To count on those odds would be like quitting your job and playing the lottery every morning to pay the bills."—Dr. James Hansen, NASA
‘Is it going to be bad or horrifically bad?’ This is what the scientists debate, not it could be fine. Nothing like that.’ – Dr. Justin Wood, climate scientist
“Think of climate change as something that increases our risks of being unlucky. We need to prepare up front as we move into a warmer, hotter, more extreme world.” – Heidi Cullen, Chief Climatologist for Climate Central.org
"If 1 degee melts the Arctic, we're fools to find out what 2 degrees will do." — Bill McKibben, environmental author & founder of 350.org
Alarmed by Hurricane Sandy’s destruction and the current drought? Warning: Mother Nature is now imposing ‘an extreme weather tax.’
'For US Department of Defense, climate change is a mission reality, not a political debate.' — Mark Wright, a Pentagon spokesperson.
“Climate change is a threat to our freedoms. If you're a Great Plains rancher or a farmer, your freedom is enormously constrained by the fact that you're in the midst of a two-year severe drought.” - Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication
Since 1950, the global percentage of dry areas has increased by about 1.74% of global land area per decade. That is 1.74% compounding interest, which Einstein calls the eighth wonder of the world.
"Unfortunately, the focus remains mostly on “global warming” instead of on the bigger concern—that we are disrupting the planet’s climate in completely unpredictable ways." — Ajit Varki and Danny Brower, writers of the 2013 book, "Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind."
“Climate is the canvas and weather is what is painted on it. Humans have changed the climate so now all weather is affected by us.” – Scott Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences at Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, New York.
Climate change will have major impacts on the availability of water for growing food and on crop productivity in the decades to come. Increased temperatures will lengthen the growing season in northern temperate zones but will reduce the length almost everywhere else. The livelihoods of rural communities as well as the food security of city populations are at risk.
1.4 F of warming so far has led to 40% less Arctic ice mass, Western wildfires that now consume 6x more forest, more frequent big hurricanes and insurance companies quitting many coastal areas. To imagine 11 degrees of warming, multiply by 8.
"Blaming La Nina for the record drought is like blaming the car engine for the speeding ticket. See what happens when the driver steps on the gas?" - Hunter Cutting, Director of Strategic Communications at Climate Nexus
The 'Tropic of Chaos'; the band encircling the middle of the globe between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, where already-destabilized nations are particularly vulnerable to the devastating effects of increasingly extreme weather patterns.