Does Climate Change Cause Extreme Weather?

(groovy music) – Yo, we’re in the middle
of a serious heat wave. It’s been like 90 degrees all week. – Climate change, Miles, climate change. – It’s freezing. Is this rain ever gonna stop? – Climate change, Miles, climate change. – Whoa, so you mean to tell me when it’s cold and wet,
it’s climate change? And, when it’s hot and
dry, it’s climate change? So, is climate change to blame, or what? – When people hear climate change, most think global warming; the increase in the
average surface temperature of the earth, mostly due to
humans burning fossil fuels. This traps carbon dioxide
in the atmosphere, absorbing radiation and preventing it from escaping into outer space, which means the earth is slowly
getting hotter over time. Climate change is bigger
than that, though. It includes global warming, and all of the potential side effects, like melting glaciers
or frequent droughts. The climate and weather
are not the same thing. I repeat, not the same thing. The difference is a measure of time. Weather reflects changes in the atmosphere over a period of days or weeks, while climate is how
the atmosphere behaves over really long periods of time, like decades or centuries even. Scientists have accepted climate change as a general phenomenon. But, some politicians in Washington still don’t quite grasp the concept. – The world is really not warming. – Much of climate science today appears to be based more on exaggeration. – We keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record. I ask the chair, you know what this is? It’s a snowball. – So, what about specific, actual, freaky weather events like
Hurricane Harvey in Texas, or droughts in California? Major disasters like these are called extreme weather events. So, this big question
is, does climate change cause extreme weather? – The short answer is that climate change influences extreme weather, but it’s not as simple as one thing causing the other. Let’s start with what we do know. Extreme weather is on the rise. A recent study found that worldwide, there were almost two and a half times more extreme weather
events in the first decade of this century than in the 1980’s. To help tease out the relationship between climate change and
extreme weather events, climate scientists have
started using a thing called attribution science. And, what is that, you might ask. When applied to extreme weather, attribution science breaks down how much climate change
influenced the event verses just normal variations in weather. The best way to understand
attribution science is to understand the connection between smoking and lung cancer. Take Katrina, for example. She’s 60, has been a
smoker her whole life, and, unfortunately,
has just been diagnosed with lung cancer. Now, doctors can’t say
for sure that her smoking caused her lung cancer, but doctors can say that her smoking
great increased her chances of getting lung cancer. Now, imagine Katrina as a hurricane. To understand the role of climate change, scientists would need to figure out if Katrina could still happen if humans had never burned fossil fuels. – But, how do scientist study a world where humans don’t burn fossil fuels if that world doesn’t exist? – The answer is models. I’m talking about climate
models, of course. They’re basically computer programs that simulate how the earth’s
climate will change over time. – So, let’s say you’re
trying to figure out if climate change played a
role in Hurricane Harvey. Using attribution
science, you’d essentially set up two models: model one, the world without humans burning fossil fuels, and model two, a world like ours today,
where we do burn fossil fuels. Then, you run the scenario
millions of times in each model. In each run, you tried
a different variation. What you get is a probability, how likely the hurricane was to occur in a world without
humans, verses the world as it exists today. In general, climate change models can’t tell us if climate
change is the cause of any particular extreme weather event, but they do indicate that climate change is making those events more severe. Climate change is
causing higher sea levels and warmer waters, and that’s leading to stronger hurricanes
and heavier rain fall. Going forward, the overwhelming scientific consensus is that if climate change continues at its current
rate, extreme weather will only get more extreme. Do you think we could find a way to slow down climate change? Or, should we just focus on how to deal with more extreme weather in our future? Let us know what you think
in the comments below. If you like these videos,
don’t forget to subscribe, and check out our videos
every other Wednesday. Thanks, guys. Peace. (upbeat music)

Comments 33

  • Did… youtube subscribe me to this channel for me..?

  • Thanks for watching! Please leave us some comments below.

  • The first thing that we should do is throw out all of the cooked data, badly run experiments, biased reporting and mass hysteria so that we can ask the basic question. Is global warming / climate change even real? If it is real, are we causing it or is it part of a natural cycle that we could never stop if we tried?

  • Burn sulfur in the stratosphere
    …and hope no big volcanic event happens

  • Even a small change in temperature (like less than 1Cº), is a LOT of extra energy added, because we are heating the entire earth.

  • Is the world actually getting progressively hotter because of humans? I've been told that there's evidence of the world getting warmer before, and this is just a repeating process of the earth getting warmer and cooler.

  • Good video. I subscribed a while back after seeing an ad on Youtube, but this is the first video I've seen. I think you guys hit on all the important points here. Especially with the differentiation between climate and weather. I (here in Ohio) find myself having to often explaining to conservatives that a particularly harsh winter is more directly to blame on the polar vortex, while explaining to liberals that a very mild and warm winter is caused more by a strong El Nino effect than global warming. The only thing I think was lacking was maybe an explanation on how global warming changes weather patterns in different ways for different places. A lot of people have the misconception that global warming means everywhere is supposed to be hotter. But while this may be true for some areas, other areas may become colder over the long term as wind patterns and currents change in response to the global temperature rise. Or both, like how the spring and autumn seasons will shrink for our temperate climates resulting in longer and more extreme winters and summers.

  • We should focus on slowing down climate change, but we should not forget extreme weather as well. And there is a super easy way to help Earth a little bit and our consumer world always forgets it: we shouldn't buy so much stuff and shouldn't drive almost empty cars.

  • I would love a video delving into the statistics of climate models; putting human influence in an understandable reference frame compared to natural influences (especially including global trends over millenia).

    I seem to see people arguing that humans are too insignificant compared to natural carbon emissions (volcanoes, wildfires, etc) or that THIS "global warming" is part of the eons long cycle that gave us ice ages as well as temperate ages. I'm not sure how much of each claim is true, and how much is just obscured facts.

  • Oh, damn… I'm so early on the video and the are already science deniers in the comments!

    Answering what you guys asked in the video, we should enjoy what's left for us. Humanity is a lost cause.

    Oh, yeah, those who don't have kids should seriously consider not having any in the future, by the way.

  • The US was under a mile of ice 14,000 years ago. We will warm up, then we will have another ice age. It's always been this way.

  • argg! I felt like too much time was spent on the hype itself and not enough on the actual models and studies. We're back to saying "theory says so", without any data. Yes, models are important to science, but when explaining things its important to demonstrate why we believe these models are correct.

    Thank you for trying to stay sane about the whole thing though.

  • I'm glad this exists, but I'm not the demo. Good work though 🙂

  • I think it's funny when we try to predict global temperature rising from now to 2100, but we fail to predict weather next week

  • What should we do? Biosequestration. Get algae to suck that carbon back out of the atmosphere, then stick it back underground (into the wells we've already sucked dry) to cook into new hydrocarbons for later use – rinse repeat. Forget solar panels, lets use natures solar power – chlorophyll.

  • Which should be focused on curbing climate change of adjusting to more frequent extreme weather events? I say both.

  • Great video on such an important topic! If you find yourself encountering "climate skepticism", skeptical science is a great resource:

  • I love how beyond the noise is participating and adressing concerns in the comments!!! Keep up the great work guys!!!

  • First you say emphatically that weather is not climate, but then claim that extreme weather is. You imply that this is because extreme weather events have increase by citing EM-DAT, which is a measure of increasing self-reported damage caused by events, not an increase in the severity or frequency of event themselves. Actual measures of the frequency and severity of extreme weather events shows an overall decreasing trend, not increasing. Harvey marked and end to the longest absence in major landfall hurricanes in history, over a decade.

    You also must appreciate storm category inflation. A century ago major hurricanes were categorized based solely on weather station data, so one of the weather stations it passed over had to record high enough sustained winds to reach a category. Today they use of aircraft and satellite observations, coupled with computer models, is how strength is assessed. If the models say that any part of the storm should in theory be reaching the criteria for a high category, that's how it's labeled, even if no weather station ever sees those conditions. This happened in 2016 when hurricane Matthew was labeled Category 5 even though no weather station saw it as more than Category 3. Had it formed a century ago, it would instead have been labeled Category 3, and probably not even that since the weather station that recorded it as Category 3 didn't exist then. Something similar happened in Australia in 2015 where a landfall "Category 5" tropical cyclone, Marcia, inexplicably did almost no damage – weather stations recorded it as only Category 2.

    You say there is an "overwhelming scientific consensus is that if climate change continues it its current rate, extreme weather will only get more extreme." This is simply false. While there are some scientists who have made this claim, that doesn't make it the consensus, let alone the "overwhelming" consensus. If there is an overwhelming scientific consensus, it is that all of human activity likely contributes to climate, although there is no consensus on whether the magnitude of that contribution is large or small. Read the Bray surveys of climate scientists, not the claims made by Cook & Oreskes (a psychologist and a science historian) who are only guessing at what climate scientists think without actually surveying them. The actual consensus among climate scientists if close to the consensus among climate skeptics.

  • Both 🙂 We clearly have to combat climate change. But unless we're proposing to be King Knut standing against the tide, we'd better learn how to deal with extreme weather conditions better than today.

  • We should use all our available tools to reduce the human impact on atmospheric CO2. #RethinkNuclear

  • Your final question was like asking: "Should we treat the symptoms of this life threatening disease or develop a vaccine?" Kind of a no brainer really…

  • I'd love for these videos to be more in-depth (however your production costs might prohibit that?). 4:50min for such an important and broad topic might add more noise rather than cut through it – even though it's well produced.

    Regarding climate change, I don't think humanity is nearly alarmed enough. Unsurprisingly.

    Vague numbers like 400ppm (400 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere), +2 °C global warming, metrical amounts of greenhouse gases are no figures that alarm the population. The general restraint of science is a great achievement however it is misplaced in this matter I think.

    – A lot of area around the equator will become inhabitable
    – So will many cities along the coastlines
    – Millions if not billions of people will flee to countries with more moderate conditions (conflicts caused by cultural differences will arise)
    – Thawing permafrost in the arctic will release more than double the current amount of methane (34 times more potent than CO2) in the atmosphere
    – Food will become more expensive as fertile land becomes more scarce
    – Armed conflicts will become more frequent (for clean water, food) – see syria where a draught fueled the civil war
    – Potential viruses unknown to humans trapped in the permafrost might be exposed
    – Increasing deforestation will lead to lower oxygen output, higher CO2 concentrations will have an impact on general health

    Going back to your question: I think we need to actively work against climate change in a collaboration unprecedented in human history. We have a huge blocker in our way though: Capitalism (or more precisely: captial). In reality a lot more wealth and lives will have to be destroyed in order for "us" (namely the powerful, rich) to act accordingly.

    A combination of a basic income, new energy production and storage technologies while stopping the burning of fossil fuels, collaborations between countries and perhaps a voluntary/paid (or mandatory, not sure about that) "environment duty" for citizens can be part of a solution.

  • You should make a video on the reversal of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers shown in studies from people like Ornish, Kempner, and Essylsten by placing them on a whole foods plant based diet

  • a snowball in HELL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • stop burining fossel fuels

  • All life including humans will be extinct in under a decade per 7th lesson video. There is no 2050 or 2100 folks. The CO2 in the atmosphere is a blanket and earth's getting warmer. As Siberian tundra now spewing methane from over 7000 blowholes, some craters a km wide, are joined by both Canadian/Alaskan methane pockets, plus from the sea floor now that we have a blue ocean region where there used to be ice, and places where methane is fizzing like ginger ale in areas 150 km wide, its 150-300 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas when first released, then 20-80 times more powerful in a few years depending on concentration. So if the blanket was an inch thick, imagine a blanket 150.- 300 inches thick. That's a 25 foot thick blanket folks. Warm enough? As sea levels rise and multiple nuclear plants fail combined with the rapid sea level rise, more superstorms, drought and famine, together triggering widespread mass migrations, kiss civilization, along with readily available parts and tech labor ALL goodbye, which means 1,600 nuclear facilities will, not maybe, catastrophically fail. Warm enough now?

  • How do we know the scientists climate models are correct? Easy: if they weren't than an industry that makes, globally, a TRILLION DOLLARS in PROFIT each year, ALL of which is threatened with extinction if the Scientists are right, would put up a trifle of their profits to manufacture COMPETING MODELS. Big Fossils doesn't bother to provide competing climate predictions. Why not? Because THEN they would have to JUSTIFY them, and no amount of money could protect them when their scam was undone. And THAT IS HOW you know the scientists are probably on the right track.

    3:38 "Lets say you're trying to figure out if climate change played a role in Hurricane Harvey." This video was released in Sept. By Nov, Kerry Emmanuel had already done an attribution study on Harvey. He found that Harvey's rainfall levels had a 1% (1 in 100) chance of happening, in any 20 year period in the latter half of the 20th century. However, by later this century, that will rise to a 20% (1 in 5) chance.

  • More bugs less food production more hot humid days 0 bennifit we all slowly die

  • Cut meat and dairy out of your diet if you care about climate change, or at least make changes to reduce your consumption. Animal agriculture emits more greenhouse gas emissions than all of transportation combined. The guardian just released a good piece discussing how a vegan diet is the single most important thing you can do to help stop climate change. Vegan is the future y’all, get on board.

  • is no one else going to mention the fact that Edna Mode is smoking a cigarette?


  • You see, I am higky conservitive and global warming/climate change exists and is happening. I agree we can do better on recycling and finding fossil fule alternitives but the media is goreifying and exaterating about the whole thing. They are using it to scare us and make us more easy to control. All we need to do is not acually stop using fossil fules but instead use a lot less of it and ease our way out of it slowly.

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