The year Trump was elected was so hot, it was one-in-a-million

20142015, and 2016 each broke the global temperature record. A new study led by climate scientist Michael Mann just published in Geophysical Research Letters used climate model simulations to examine the odds that these records would have been set in a world with and without human-caused global warming. In model simulations without a human climate influence, the authors concluded:

To put those numbers in perspective, you have about a one-in-3,000 (0.03%) chance of being struck by lightning in your lifetime. You have about as much chance of being struck by lightning this year as 2014, 2015, and 2016 each being as hot as they were due solely to natural effects. That means denying human-caused global warming is like planning to be struck by lightning three years in a row. Perhaps a tinfoil hat will help.

On the other hand, in model simulations accounting for human-caused global warming, the odds of these events goes up substantially:

It’s unusual to have three consecutive record-breaking years even with the aid of global warming, but without the human climate influence, it simply wouldn’t happen.

Denial from the Trump admin and UK allies

These findings tie in to the “leaked” the National Climate Assessment report, which climate scientists sent to the New York Times for fear that the Trump administration would censor or suppress the document. Previous drafts of the report were available to the public, although few take notice before the final version is published. Climate scientists worried that the administration would tamper with that final version. Among the report’s conclusions:

Many lines of evidence demonstrate that it is extremely likely [95%–100% confidence] that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century … the likely range of the human contribution to the global mean temperature increase over the period 1951–2000 is … 92%–123%.

This conclusion is consistent with the latest IPCC report, which likewise concluded that humans are responsible for all of the global warming since 1951. These conclusions are denied by many members of the Trump administration. For example, Trump’s EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said earlier this year:

I would not agree that [CO2] is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.

Similarly, when Trump’s Department of Energy secretary Rick Perry was confronted with the 100% human contribution to global warming since 1951, he responded by saying “I don’t believe that ... don’t buy it.”

And of course the president himself has called global warming a Chinese hoax, and didn’t mention science once in his shameful speech declaring his intent to withdraw America from the Paris international climate agreement

Across the pond, serial climate misinformer Nigel Lawson recently went on BBC Radio 4 and claimed that global temperatures have declined during the past 10 years. That, of course, is patently absurd considering the record-breaking temperatures we’ve experienced over the past 3+ years. In fact, the short-term warming trend over the past 10 years is higher than the long-term trend.

Scientists were rightly appalled that the BBC once again made the “ignorant and irresponsible” decision to host a climate science denier.

Censorship isn’t the problem – denial is

It’s understandable that climate scientists would worry about the possibility that the Trump administration would censor their findings. Not only has the administration denied this politically-inconvenient science, but the Republican Party has a history of censoring climate science research. That’s what the George W Bush administration did just a decade ago. And the Trump administration has been telling government scientists not to use the phrase “climate change” and deleting climate science information from government websites.

At the American Geophysical Union conference (the largest annual meeting of climate scientists) last December, climate scientists expressed fears about this type of censorship. Many took to the streets to stand up for science. The scientists pledged to have learned the lessons of the Bush administration censorship, and not to allow the Trump administration to do the same. That’s why the National Climate Assessment report was sent to the New York Times. This time, climate scientists are fighting back against censorship of their science.

Unfortunately, scientific censorship is no longer our main concern.

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Posted by dana1981 on Friday, 11 August, 2017

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