[Evening Standard] A polar scientist has warned of more weather events like the Beast From the East as climate change worsens, saying with the world's current carbon emissions, humans will struggle to produce food and enough clean water within the next fifty years.
Professor Martin Siegert, a glaciologist Imperial College London, said unusual weather patterns like the extreme cold the UK has been experiencing in recent weeks, are “in line with” the predicted effects of global warming.
And he warned that these will be more common as parts of the earth heat up at different speeds – which could lead to further catastrophic weather such as flooding and snow storms.
Speaking to the Standard, Prof Siegert said that it is crucial for the world to heed to such warnings and head towards zero carbon emissions or risk being unable to produce food and use water in the way we have been.
Prof Siegert is a director of Imperial’s Grantham Institute, which collaborates with scientists, business schools, economists, engineers, health professionals and others to tackle the problem of climate change and prepare for its affects.
He explained that weather events such as the Beast From the East are in line with scientists’ predictions of how weather fronts would behave when the earth heats up.
“When we have extreme hot or flooding or cold – like we are getting at the moment – we hear a lot of contrasting views like ‘this is climate change’ or they say ‘this is proof that climate change is not happening’,” he said.
How does that relate to climate change? It is fair to say that we had snow before we started talking about climate change. Humans began changing out climate at industrial scale in 1850 yet it was certainly snowing before then.
“What we can say is that the extreme weather events we are witnessing are completely in line with climate change - extreme heat, flooding, cold….
“The atmosphere is one degree warmer now than it was in 1850 and when you energise the atmosphere you are going to have more extreme events in the UK and in many places.”
He explained that snow and flooding is caused when cold and warm weather fronts meet.
As the earth heats at different speeds, the difference in temperatures between weather fronts can become greater which enhances rain showers into flash flooding and snow. Read More