Friday, November 6, 2015

Cedrick Hoang
Earth Science 1H
Mrs. McClellan
In this article called, “Scientists Study Links Between Climate Change and Extreme Weather”, written by John Schwartz, a new collection of studies show that when climate change and extreme weather were compared, it ended up with mixed results. According to a set of 32 distinct studies that examined 28 extreme weather events in 2014, “The studies this year are pretty evenly split, about 50-50, for those that did and did not find a role for climate change in the event’s likelihood or intensity,” says Stephanie Herring, a climate scientist who is the lead editor of the report. The report goes as far as to say that “human-caused” climate change significantly increased the likelihood of heat waves in various regions such as Argentina, China, Europe, Australia, and the Pacific Ocean. However, some events did not discern climate change in all events, like drought. Some droughts are caused by the increasing amount of carbon dioxide and government enforced policies, while others such as the Syrian droughts, were the effects of climate change. Fortunately, efforts are being made by scientist all over the world to evaluate the short and long term effects of climate change and to plan a response to the extreme weather and this ever-changing world. This “coalition” of scientist belong to the World Weather Attribution Program, a nonprofit “formed to quickly determine climate links to extreme weather events”. In the end, “the question is no longer whether there is an influence of climate change on extreme weather events. The debate is simply over the magnitude and extent of that influence.” says Dr. Mann, a climate expert at Pennsylvania State University.
Before reading this article, I heavily believed that all this extreme weather that has been happening in recent years was due solely to climate change and nothing else, but after reading this article, it has altered my perception on climate change, and I hope to the other who have read this article. It is a common misconception that people think that this “human-caused climate change” is the main reason for extreme weather, which is only half-true. As mentioned in this article, many other factors (major or minor), such as increase in carbon dioxide, government policies, and patterns of unusual winds, can all increase the likelihood and intensity of an extreme weather event. The fact that there is a 50-50 chance that an extreme event could be caused by either climate change or some other variable is quite frightening, as this makes the occurrence of an extreme weather event highly unpredictable. Failure to react quickly to extreme weather could result in devastating consequences in the near future.
I feel like the authors and editors who contributed to this article (Scientist Study Links Between Climate Change and Extreme Weather) did a compelling job. However, I think that this article has a few flaws that if tweaked and turned around, it could be even more intuitive and engaging for the reader. The most significant flaw in any scientific write-up is an absence of data, evidence to back up a main point, something that this article severely lacks. Another flaw is a lack of resolution to the problem of extreme weather due to climate change. The only solution I see to the problem is an organization created to prepare for extreme weather, but this article does not include the short nor long term proposals that the WWAP plan to execute to rapidly determine the link between climate change and extreme weather. Finally, and this is  a trivial flaw, is to include some personal input into this article and increase the level of vocabulary throughout the article.

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