After extreme weather events—fires, floods, droughts, heatwaves, blizzards, hurricanes, and the like—people might ask, “Was that caused by climate change?” Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe explains “that’s the wrong question. The right one is, ‘how much worse did climate change make it?'”
In this 2017 episode of Global Weirding from KTTZ Texas Tech Public Media and PBS Digital Studios, she dives deeper into the answer, and includes this helpful analogy:
In the same way that changes in our body’s condition, being tired and rundown, or having poor diet and exercise habits, can make us more vulnerable to disease and illness, changes that we’ve made to our planet, by adding heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere, can amplify the risks we face from many types of natural weather extremes…
She also explains how these amplifications might play out separately and in concert with each other in the coming decades, and how we might use this information to make better decisions.
Read more from @NYTClimate at The New York Times: How Has Climate Change Affected Hurricane Dorian? Plus: Children Change Their Parents’ Minds about Climate Change.
Follow this with more climate science and solutions: Climate Change 101 with Bill Nye + solutions great and small, how mangrove forests protect the coast, The Science of Hurricanes, and does ‘the ozone hole’ hold the secret to fixing climate change?
Bonus from Sir David Attenborough: How to Save Our Planet.
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