Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The conversion of a climate change sceptic

Mark Colvin interviewed Professor Snow Barlow, previously a bit of a climate change sceptic, about what changed his mind. Basically he thinks the climate change models have improved to a lever that he now trusts. He's also accepting the evidence of what's happening around him. Barlow also talks about how heatwaves will become more common:
SNOW BARLOW: Particularly heatwaves.

We know that when you look at the way you calculate temperatures, as you move it up a degree - and the climate in Australia has actually moved up by 0.85 of a degree centigrade in the last 50 years - you move the distribution of temperature. That means that you get more events, very hot days. In other words: heatwaves. And not only individual days that are over 35, or in some areas 40, but sequence of days.

So instead of having an isolated day, you may have three or you may have five. And individual occurrences of that is what we call weather, of course. But when you put them all together and you see what the model is projecting, they paint a very convincing picture.

I found this bit interesting:
SNOW BARLOW: For example, the industry that I've worked the most in which relates to climate change is the wine industry, the growing of grapes. And we have shown quite convincingly and published these papers in Nature, showing that vintages in Australia have moved forward - in other words earlier - by something like a day a year over the last 25 years.

And so there are some places in Australia where vintages now are somewhere between 20 and 30 days earlier.

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