ONTD Political

Natural disasters not so natural after all

11:46 am - 04/05/2012
Industrial pollution linked to 'natural' disasters

Met Office research suggests industrial air pollution is largely responsible for changes in the temperature of the Atlantic Ocean which are linked to drought, flooding and hurricane activity.

Published in the journal Nature, the study is the first to clearly link aerosol 'dirty pollution' and, to a lesser extent, volcanic eruptions to observed 20th century temperature variations in the Atlantic Ocean.

These shifts in ocean temperature, known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation or AMO, are believed to affect rainfall patterns in Africa, South America and India, as well as hurricane activity in the North Atlantic - in extreme cases leading to humanitarian disasters.

Ben Booth, a Met Office climate processes scientist and lead author of the research, said: "Until now, no-one has been able to demonstrate a physical link to what is causing these observed Atlantic Ocean fluctuations, so it was assumed they must be caused by natural variability.

"Our research implies that far from being natural, these changes could have been largely driven by dirty pollution and volcanoes. If so, this means a number of natural disasters linked to these ocean fluctuations, such as persistent African drought during the 1970's and 80's, may not be so natural after all."

The Atlantic variations in question see warm and cold fluctuations in temperature over several decades. A warm period increases hurricane activity in the North Atlantic and rainfall in parts of Africa, while reducing rainfall in South America. A cold period has the opposite impacts.

A state-of-the-art Met Office climate model, which simulates the physical processes of the Earth's atmosphere, has reproduced the variations for the first time. It shows a clear link between Atlantic variations and the peaks and troughs in industrial pollution from countries around the Atlantic. Volcanoes also play a smaller role.

"Particles from industrial pollution make clouds brighter and last longer, which means they can reflect much more of the Sun's energy into space," said Paul Halloran, a Met Office ocean scientist.

"When we include these processes in our latest climate model the observed changes emerge. When industrial pollution peaked over the Atlantic, this effect played a big role in cooling the ocean beneath; as pollution was cleaned up - for example after the clean air legislation of the 90's - the seas warmed."

The research suggests human activity can, and already has, driven large-scale regional climate changes and, in this case at least, that natural variability doesn't have a big role to play.

Nick Dunstone, a decadal climate prediction expert at the Met Office, said: "Our research could have important implications for understanding human influence in large-scale climate impacts, as well as predicting and potentially avoiding future changes in the Atlantic region.

"However, it's important to note that these findings are based on only one model, so further research using other next-generation climate models is required to shed further light on the mechanisms at play."

Link to article

Link to paper (£)
x_butterfly19_x 5th-Apr-2012 01:32 pm (UTC)

Surely it must be willfully naive to state that human activity has only a negligible effect upon the environment? I don't understand how so many politicians are so vociferously or dismissively anti-green.
wingstar102 5th-Apr-2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
I agree. Worse! They make it purposefully difficult for people to actually help! More concrete and asphalt laid in, covering the green in the cities and spreading into the wild areas like the plague. Dumping toxic messes into our air and water and ground. Most cities, you can't even plant a little garden on the balcony of your apartment because it interferes with the flow of traffic in your complex. The less money you have, the worse the building you live in, with covered over lead paint, rotting floors and who knows what else. Energy efficient? Forget it. The list goes on.

You know why? Because they can. No other reason.
x_butterfly19_x 5th-Apr-2012 02:33 pm (UTC)
It is not good at all. :(
wingstar102 5th-Apr-2012 02:35 pm (UTC)
No it's not. I'm half tempted to say fuck it and start encouraging people to riot of this kind of crap, myself included.
wingstar102 5th-Apr-2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
To some extent, it's true in America too, but that's only because we have less space per sq. ft. per person to personally pollute, and only in the inner cities. But the suburbs? Those are the worse areas.
wingstar102 5th-Apr-2012 09:13 pm (UTC)
Only if they're new apartments. The old ones, not so much. Public transportation is a life-saver. LOL.
wingstar102 5th-Apr-2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it does.
mephisto5 6th-Apr-2012 09:19 am (UTC)
Old apartments can be retrofitted with better insulation (the UK govt is subsidising this at the moment), and the shared wall effect still applies, whatever the age of the apartment.
wingstar102 6th-Apr-2012 02:20 pm (UTC)
Absolutely they can! Being an electrician by trade, I've helped retrofit a few myself. For Americans though, they say it's too expensive. Well, a lot of Americans are like that. They won't drop a good size chuck on change on something that'll give them a whole lot more money in the long run. Gotta buy that fancy little iPhone instead. LOL.
nikoel 5th-Apr-2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
Because they don't want to do anything about it. Plain and simple.
x_butterfly19_x 5th-Apr-2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
It's always so obvious when they are bluffing. I mean, if a non-scientist like me can tell that...
x_butterfly19_x 5th-Apr-2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
That must be so frustrating!

They should get actual scientists in to write these articles imo
madman101 5th-Apr-2012 04:48 pm (UTC)

see, what i don't understand is why far-right-wingers can't glom onto something like this and shout, "man is deliberately causing weather alterations! - i.e., climate change!"

instead, every tornado, every flood, etc., somehow disproves global warming and supports the view that Al Gore is trying to pick their pockets, through carbon taxes.

i don't dismiss that Al Gore could have a nefarious interest in global warming. i don't dismiss that there would be vested interests in global strategies for attacking global warming. and i certainly don't dismiss the idea that certain militaries have explored means of altering weather, as a weapon of war.

but stop saying that "science proves that the ice caps aren't melting" - and then when they finally come around to agreeing that the ice caps are melting, then it's all because of weather alterations by HAARP, or chem trails, etc. fine. maybe these thing exist and do have a modicum of influence. BUT GET REAL.

carbon dioxide, which yes plants love to breath, is a pollutant because it, like methane, is changing our climate. it correlates to industrial burning of fossil fuels and yes COW FARTS. AND: Industrial pollution is linked to 'natural' disasters! global warming causes droughts which and famines, correlated to human wars. this isn't by secret design of the banksters i London. It is because of global consumption. A human-wide conspiracy.

and can we all entertain the idea that SOLAR ACTIVITY also most probably has an influence as well? why does everything have to be black and white, or either/or, of right vs. left? That is not the course that wider nature takes.

i am exasperated by the stubbornness by which we confront these realities. no, there is no Santa Claus to save us. No there is no Ron Paul coming down the chimney. No the TSA is not trying to attack Alex Jones with killer tornadoes. MAN CAUSES GLOBAL WARMING.
muse_misery 5th-Apr-2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
madman101 6th-Apr-2012 12:12 am (UTC)
thank you very much
madman101 6th-Apr-2012 12:10 am (UTC)
you know, i didn't even mention oil companies in my comment, but of course they are paramount!

thank goodness there remains some degree of independent thinking in Europe.
madman101 6th-Apr-2012 01:55 am (UTC)
you have no disagreement from me
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