Just recently, renown climatologist James Hansen published an article arguing that our society's using and abusing fossil fuels will only lead to an increase in the frequency and intensity of heat waves throughout the following years.
Moreover, James Hansen maintains that the extreme weather manifestations reported nowadays can only be explained by means of global warming.
This means that recent heat waves are not just a warning sign of what may soon follow in terms of weather patterns, but part and parcel of changes already occurring at an international scale.
His assessment of present days climate anomalies, published in The Washington Post
, reads as follows: “The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change. And once the data are gathered in a few weeks’ time, it’s likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summer the United States is suffering through right now.”
As the climatologist explains, “This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened.”
James Hansen's article, entitled “Climate change is here – and worse than we thought,” also informs us that climate change is already altering something known as “natural variability” (i.e. the fact that summer and winter temperatures are sometimes extreme and sometimes mild, according to patterns corresponding to what it is considered to be normal climate).
Thus, as a result of man-driven global warming, the frequency of extremely hot weather events has increased to a considerable extent, even if an occasional return to normal temperatures might trick people into believing that threats are not all that great.
The good news is that, as he points out, there is still time to act and control the occurrence of extreme weather manifestations by cutting down on our society's carbon footprint and by investing in renewable energy sources.