As I mentioned briefly before, I have just returned from Australia and as you could imagine, the heatwaves and wildfires were a hot topic(how funny am I?).
So the death toll is expected to exceed 200 people. Southern Australia has been experiencing extreme drought for many years now, so the whole place is a tinder box. Increased risk of wildfires is an anticipated, and probably already observed, consequence of global warming.
You are never on solid ground when attributing a particular extreme event to such a slow moving change in the average of all events, which is what climate change is, but….
“Given that this was the hottest day on record on top of the driest start to a year on record on top of the longest driest drought on record on top of the hottest drought on record the implications are clear…
It is clear to me that climate change is now becoming such a strong contributor to these hitherto unimaginable events that the language starts to change from one of “climate change increased the chances of an event” to “without climate change this event could not have occured”.
The above is a quote from a researcher at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) who has released a detailed analysis of the 2009 heat wave. Go to Brave New Climate for details, links and graphics.
Thanks to MT for bringing that to my attention, he adds:
“Eventually things get too weird. Eventually you don’t have to say “the sort of thing that is more likely to happen under climate change”. Eventually you have to say, my God, this is unnatural.”