"Even small rises in sea level will have very big impact in some places, as storm surges hit coasts. If you raise the floor of a basketball court by just a few inches, you will see many more slam dunks." — Twila Moon, University of Washington
"Just as steroids make the baseball player stronger and increase his chances of hitting home runs, greenhouse gases are the steroids of the climate system, they increase the chances of record breaking heat to occur compared to record breaking cold."—Dr. Gerald Meehl, UCARThis is our future if don't change course, and we're already getting a taste of it....
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.
Think of weather as a large die, with the number 6 signifying a violent storm. If you add dots to change the "1" to a "6," you've doubled your chances of a "6." But then when a "6" comes up, you can't tell: Is this the original, "natural" 6? Or the "new" 6 that you added? You can't be sure. But you can be sure that, over time, you'll get more sixes.Similarly, you can be sure that as the earth warms, we'll see more intense storms. Updated variation: "It is more like painting an extra spot on each face of one of the dice, so that it goes from 2 to 7 instead of 1 to 6. This increases the odds of rolling 11 or 12, but also makes it possible to roll 13." (Steve Sherwood) And a third variation from Jim Hansen: New Climate Dice
When you first arrive at the beach can you tell whether the tide is going in or out? No, not quickly: it would perhaps take you fifteen minutes of wave-watching before you could say for certain. And who's to say that a sudden big wave wasn't caused by a passing ship? It takes time to see the trend.Now let's adopt the scientist's method for determining the tide. This time bring a group of friends to the beach and position them 50 metres apart. When a wave lands, each person notes whether it reached further than the previous waves. If it does, that person shouts out , "a record!". So at first everyone is shouting out 'a record' very frequently—because the sample is so small. However, after 30 seconds or so the frequency will drop. Then after a few minutes the frequency of shouts will either noticeably decrease until they stop altogether (the tide is going out), or they will settle into a steady rhythm (the tide is coming in). Note that the more friends you take with you, the faster you'll arrive at an answer.
‘Weather is what you see outside your window, climate is what you see from a satellite.’ – Scott Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences at Suffolk County Community College, New York.
Climate is about long term trends. Weather is short-term fluctuations.Drawing conclusions about climate by looking at the weather is like saying 'I lost 2 lbs yesterday!' Every veteran weight-watcher knows that one day means nothing. It's the long term trend that counts.
"Weather is your mood and climate is your personality." — Dr. Marshall Shepherd, President of the American Meteorological Society
Weather is like CNN. Climate is like The History Channel.
Our very elaborate infrastructure won't work because it was designed for the climate we had, not the one we are going to have. — Dr. Richard Somerville, Distinguished Professor, Climate Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
When CC walks his dog, he moves in a straight line, but his dog, TC, tugs on the leash and wanders right and left. TC is Temperature Change (short term variance) and his owner, CC, is Climate Change (long term trend). Of course, they both arrive at the same destination.
'If you dismiss all climate science as a hoax, I can’t help you. That’s between you & your beach house — and your kids, whose future you’re imperiling.' —Thomas Friedman, NY Times columnist.
"(Recent floods) not just by the power of nature but by the power of man." — climate activist Bill McKibben