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The ever-increasing threat of coronavirus, but the global heating threat is even worse

Climate change is the greatest threat, The Canberra Times, 18 Jul 20    While the world was preoccupied with an ever increasing number of coronavirus cases this week, a hugely significant scientific report was allowed to pass under-reported and unremarked.

This was the study of the 2020 Siberian heatwave by World Weather Attribution, a group of scientists who have been monitoring extreme weather events for years.

The heatwave had contributed to raising the world’s average temperature to the second highest on record for the period from January to May this year.

WWA said Siberia had experienced “unusually high temperatures”, including a record-breaking 38 degrees celsius in the town of Verkhoyansk on June 20, causing wide-scale impacts including “wildfires, loss of permafrost, and invasion of pests”.

The Russian government was forced to declare a state of emergency in response to these disasters.   It is believed that at least 56 Megatons of carbon dioxide was released into the atmosphere in June alone. There has also been an explosion in the population of Siberian silk moths with massive swarms causing further damage to forests, making them even more prone to fire.

While all of this, and reports food supplies are being affected with fish swimming deeper in search of cooler water, is alarming, the real cause for concern is the finding the prolonged heatwave had been made “600 times more likely as a result of human-induced climate change”……….

while it is a given that the climate deniers will dismiss the report as “bunkum” and “fake news”, those who actually know what they are talking about have no such doubts.

Michael Wehner, a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – who was not involved in the study – said the methodology was “state of the art” and that the findings were, if anything, “conservative”.

If, as many believe, temperatures in Arctic and Antarctic regions are “canaries in the coal mine”, this latest report is a warning that should not be ignored. Given it comes on top of linkages between Australia’s spring and summer bushfires and man-made global heating, it is yet another argument for this country to do much more to reduce to carbon dioxide emissions as a matter of urgency.

And let’s not forget, if 2019 was anything to go by, our next bushfire season is just around the corner.

While the federal government has done a commendable job in seeking the best possible expert advice on the coronavirus and then following it, it has yet to do the same with climate and energy policy. That has to change. Coronavirus is a crisis, climate change is an existential threat. https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6838483/climate-change-is-the-existential-crisis/?cs=14245

July 18, 2020 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change

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