San Francisco — On Thursday, scientists from the government informed that 2014’s extreme weather events — like last year’s wildfires in California and the cyclones in Hawaii — were worsened by the pollution and its consequential climate change.
Some of the consequences of climate change can be seen through the case of the Dungeness crab harvest in California, which has always earned a good annual profit nearing $60 million. Now, due to unusually high temperatures in the Pacific, there’s a spreading of toxic algae on the ocean that compromises the crab’s meat, making it dangerous for consumption.
Since last year, there have been a large number of reported weather incidents directly related to climate change caused by human intervention, with factors such as burning coal, methane gas, and car emissions.
Some of these incidents include heat waves in South Korea, Argentina, Europe, China and Australia, as well as severe floods in the Oceanic continent, the constant California wildfires and other cases in the 28 events the scientists considered for their research.
Sarah Cohen, a marine biologist from the San Francisco State University, expressed her worries on the topic in behalf of the scientific community. “It’s unbelievably warm. We have never had a warming event like this. The extent of it, the different contributing factors, and how this going to play out this season leads scientists to have huge concerns,” she said, adding later that climate change is having a disastrous impact on the planet.
According to the study published on the American Meteorological Society (AMS), not all the extreme weather events are a consequence of human doings and it’s sometimes complicated to draw the line between cyclical weather patterns and human-caused irregularities contributing to global warming.
During the four years researchers have been analyzing the cause of catastrophic climatic events, humans have been the culprits of plenty of these incidents. Yet, they aren’t the ones to blame for some droughts —more likely to be caused by population growth— and snowfalls around the Northeast and Midwest areas of the United States.
Stephanie Herring, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate scientist and lead editor of the report, explained that in this year’s studies the incidents have been evenly split between those who were caused by climate change and those who weren’t.
Martin Hoerling, one of the researchers and a meteorologist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), explained that “The failure to find a human fingerprint could be due to insufficient data or poor models.”
Source: New York Times