Kevin Trenberth on US wildfires, drought, and global warming

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Dr. Kevin Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, was interviewed on the PBS Newshour, July 2.  He was asked: Are the wildfires worse this year than usual? And the dryness, how unusual is that?

Trenberth gives a very concise scientific overview of the dynamics of current extreme weather conditions in the US, and says: “I don't think there has been anything quite like this before…. The odds are changing for these to occur with climate change, with the global warming from the human influences on climate…. This is the way it gets manifested…. This is a view of the future. So, watch out.”

Video and transcript of the interview on the PBS Newshour website here.

Earlier posts:

Washington Post connects wildfires, climate disruption; Obama doesn’t

Climate science denier Colorado Congressman wants federal wildfire disaster aid

Weather extremes in a changing climate: Like Barry Bonds on steroids.  Scientists Richard Somerville, Kevin Trenberth, Gerald Meehl, and Jeff Masters on the link between climate change and extreme weather events.

Ben Santer on the attribution of extreme weather events to climate change.  In a video interview with Climate Science Watch, Santer answers the questions: What is the most appropriate way for reporters and scientists to make a distinction between climate and weather when discussing the attribution of specific weather events, such as heat waves, droughts, and intense precipitation to climate change? What do you think is the most important message for the public to take away from witnessing these events?

Straight talk from Kevin Trenberth on denialists, climate science communication, and climate change policy.  Trenberth challenges the climate science community to stop making so many type II errors and being so reticent about discussing policy options. And he challenges the policy community to focus much more on the need for long-range preparedness planning for the likely disastrous consequences of climate change.

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