2021 has been a devastating year across the United States with much of the country experiencing drought but also several tropical landfalls with billions in damage. As the severity and frequency of these kinds of events increases the discussion of the role of climate change and what to do about it also grows.
It has been a thorny issue for decades as some debate if climate change is happening while others are frustrated that not enough has been done to combat it.
But new research is showing some promise.
In August the National Weather Association national conference was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma where research was presented illustrating not only is there greater agreement on Climate Change but also a new tone some hope will help shape the future.
This summer has been a rough one in terms of weather impacting the United States. The Western Wildfires of roughly 2-million acres at the same time hurricane Ida Slammed the New Orleans area and the leftovers flooded New York, while tornadoes hit Pennsylvania. In all these cases climate change didn’t cause the events, rather a condition that make them more likely or made conditions worse.
Brad Carl is a climate specialist with The Nature Conservancy he says, “There is still a lot we can do. We saw from the latest IPCC report that yeah there is a lot we have to do in terms of controlling emissions, but we can turn things around, make things better and make it a better and more livable planet while still having innovation and growing our economy, those don’t have to be mutually exclusive things.”
There are a lot of ways to disagree about the issue of climate change but digging into it some scientists have discovered more agreement than they expected. Brad Carl and Sean Sublette presented findings of recent discussions and academic research on the feelings about climate change. Here were some of
Research done by UCSB, Yale and Utah State found quite a bit of common ground with 72% of adults who think climate change is happening, and an acceptance that there is scientific consensus:
71% think climate change will harm future generations.
78% are interested in news stories about the impacts of climate change but only 25% say they hear about climate change at least once a week.
The same research found 86% of adults support funding research into renewable energy.
Sean Sublette is a meteorologist with Climate Central and he says, “Most people mistakenly think that other people don’t want to talk about it when the polling suggests that most people do want to talk about it, but just in a non-partisan way. They want to understand the science and know how understanding the science will impact what is happening in their own back yards.”
It is hard to imagine a year harder for weather and climate than 2021 but that is exactly what scientists are concerned about. What they want to do is take the greater agreement about climate change being a factor and turn it into action.