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Professor Myles Allen: Climate Change - So Last Decade

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Presentation delivered by Professor Myles Allen, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, at Communicate, 3rd November 2011, as part of the Elephant in the Room session …

Presentation delivered by Professor Myles Allen, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, at Communicate, 3rd November 2011, as part of the Elephant in the Room session Communicate is hosted by the Bristol Natural History Consortium www.communicatenow.org

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • 1. Climate change – so last decade Myles Allen School of Geography and the Environment University of Oxford [email_address]
  • 2. The impact of “ climategate ” on the observed surface temperature record http://hadobs.metoffice.com/crutem3/jan_2010_update.html Before correction After correction
  • 3. Global warming is predictable – and predicted
  • 4. But who cares about global temperatures when this kind of thing is happening? The 2010 Russian heatwave
  • 5. Lots of people are concerned about extreme weather events
      • "They used to say we're changing the odds, we're loading the dice that make it more likely that we'll get extreme weather events. Now the change is we're not only loading the dice, we're painting more dots on the dice. We're not only rolling more 12s, we're rolling 13s and 14s and soon 15s and 16s.”
            • (Al Gore, September 2011)
    • Q1: “Could this event have occurred in the absence of human influence on climate?”
    • Q2: “How much has human influence on climate increased the odds of an event of this magnitude?”
  • 6. Loading the weather dice towards more heatwaves in Russia 4x increase in risk 1 1/10 1/100 1/1000 Odds of monthly temperatures exceeding this threshold in any year
  • 7. How do we keep the public’s attention? Should we be even be trying?
    • Climate science is becoming increasingly specific and technical: answers to the big questions
      • Is the climate changing?
      • Why is the climate changing?
      • What needs to be done to stop climate change?
    • are not evolving: not much new here.
    • Climate infotainment is dead.
    • Professional climate communicators and climate campaigners are dying out.
    • Climate change has become boring.
    • This may turn out to be a good thing.