Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/961/26110

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 September 2017

Extreme weather events and global warming

Aerial view of the flooding in Houston, photo Daniel Martinez/Air National Guard/CC

Aerial view of the flooding in Houston, photo Daniel Martinez/Air National Guard/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Pete Dickenson

In the aftermath of the devastating monsoon floods in Northern India and Bangladesh and Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico, the question is being asked if these events provide the final proof that global warming is contributing to make extreme weather events such as these worse than they would otherwise be.

Climate scientists up to now have been reluctant to link a specific hurricane or cyclone to human induced climate change. This is partly because there is a lack of reliable data on hurricane or cyclone intensity, a problem that is particularly true in poor regions of the world like South Asia.

Despite uncertainty linked to this lack of data, Michael Mann, a climate scientist from Penn State University in the USA, has now come forward to say that 'climate change worsened the impact of Hurricane Harvey'.

Stefan Rahmsdorf, from the prestigious Potsdam Institute of Climate Change Research in Germany, has also said that: "Harvey was not caused by climate change, yet its impacts - the storm surge, and especially the extreme rainfall - very likely worsened due to human caused global warming".

It will become clear in the coming months, as research is carried out, if Harvey will provide a definitive answer. What is absolutely clear now is that global warming has caused a 25 centimetre rise in sea levels over the past 100 years that makes the effect of extreme weather systems originating over the sea worse as they hit land.

The storm surge that they produce is more likely to overwhelm coastal defences, such as happened with Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.

Kerry Emanuel, a climate scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has said that Hurricane Sandy, that devastated the Wall Street area of New York in 2012, would probably not have flooded Lower Manhattan without the rise in sea levels. It is also true that the present terrible death toll in India and Bangladesh would have been lower.

Heatwave

If there is still some uncertainty over the link between climate change and hurricane intensity the same is not true for other climate change effects. Research has shown that global warming made the deadly European heatwave in 2003 twice as likely.

A more recent study has shown that the risk of 'extremely hot summers' is now ten times higher than it was in 2003. Also, the floods in Britain in 2012 were made 25% more likely by climate change.

It is important that we do not run ahead of the science in making claims about the detailed effects of climate change, any errors would only be exploited by the climate change deniers appointed by Trump to his government. But the overall picture is already clear, that global warming is a mortal threat to the planet which in the long term could threaten all life on the planet. Time is rapidly running out to take decisive action.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 6 September 2017:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight council cuts - back the Brum bin strikers!

Historic McStrike: if we don't get it, shut it down!

Problem gambling soars by 33%

UN slams Tories for disabled rights ruin

Them & Us


What we think

Tories weak: time for the TUC to act


Schools and teaching

Schools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay


Socialist Party workplace news

Strike together for better pay

RMT fighting for passenger safety, accessibility and security

Merseyrail strike over safety: Labour mayor and councillors must reverse their decision

Three week Argos strike ends

Fawley refinery canteen strikers tell their employer: "pay up"

College workers ballot for action in Nottingham


International socialist news and analysis

Hurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

Extreme weather events and global warming


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Determined protest against Chatsworth Ward closure

Young people are searching for an alternative - find it at Socialism 2017

Huddersfield A&E closure goes to judicial review

Three thousand attend Burston strike commemoration rally

Bristol's Labour mayor calls anti-austerity march - now stop making cuts!

Demonstrators see off far-right in Keighley

Anti-fracking campaigners' legal fight


Socialist Party comments and reviews

How the Single Market blocks socialist policies

Bosses' pensions robbery

Magic money tree

Warts-and-all account of class war and the struggle for LGBT+ rights

'Let the producers of wealth unite - and what can withstand them?'


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 September 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Global warming:

triangleTV Review: Apocalypse Cow

triangleTories look in wrong place for climate solutions

triangleStop climate change - fight for socialist change

triangleProfit system rapidly destroying environment

triangleExtinction Rebellion

Global:

triangleA new world order - global reconstruction after World War Two

triangleA CWI May Day 2020 statement

triangleGlobal covid-19 pandemic, capitalist crisis and bitter class polarisation in the United States

triangleCoronavirus plunges capitalism into global turmoil

Climate change:

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: After Starmer's victory - how to continue the struggle for socialism

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: How can climate change be stopped?

triangleBezos gives $10bn for climate - nationalise the rest!

Bangladesh:

triangleBangladeshi campaigners fight mining giant for justice

triangleBrutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

India:

triangleIndia: Fighting the curse of capitalism and coronavirus

Planning:

triangleSocialist planning is the alternative

USA:

triangleUS private healthcare system in meltdown

Hurricane Katrina:

triangleWe need system change to halt climate change

Environment:

triangleThe history of struggle to make the workplace safe

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

29/5/20

Labour

Lessons from the Corbyn experience

27/5/20

TUC

Covid crisis boosts union membership but TUC leaders want to cosy up to the bosses!

27/5/20

Coronavirus

Reckless, lying cheats

26/5/20

Coronavirus

United action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan

26/5/20

Coronavirus

Coronavirus pandemic news in brief

26/5/20

Coronavirus

More blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme

25/5/20

Coronavirus

Care home workers suffer PPE shortage and job loss fears

22/5/20

Coronavirus

Black and Asian Covid-19 deaths: an indictment of capitalist inequality

20/5/20

Coronavirus

Johnson's reckless 'back to school' plans threaten everyone's safety

20/5/20

Coronavirus

Confidence plummets in Tory strategy for Covid-19

20/5/20

Benefits

Universal Basic Income: not a solution to insecurity and poverty under capitalism

20/5/20

Covid

Furlough cut-off could force millions back to unsafe workplaces

20/5/20

Council

Crisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

20/5/20

Rich

Rich get handouts - workers get pay cuts

19/5/20

Coronavirus

Transport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999