We have completed maintenance on DiscoverMagazine.com and action may be required on your account. Learn More

Climate Genie is Out of the Bottle

By Keith Kloor
Feb 18, 2013 9:30 PMNov 20, 2019 3:37 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Photograph by Fer Gregory/Shutterstock A panel at this year's American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting was summarized afterwards in a AAAS press release:

Cable news junkies, take heart: if you love wall-to-wall coverage of hurricanes, wildfires and superstorms, your future viewing schedules will be jam-packed. Researchers at the AAAS Annual Meeting said that wild weather events like Superstorm Sandy and the severe Texas drought are the new normal in North America, as human-driven climate change has made these events more intense and more frequent.

Here's a quote from one of the speakers (my emphasis):

“The scientific analyses are now indicating a strong link between changing trends in severe weather events and the changing climate,” said Donald Wuebbles, an atmospheric scientist from the University of Illinois. “Every weather event that happens nowadays takes place in the context of a changed background climate.

In my recent discussion of this popular new frame, I had noted:

we see that every major storm and severe weather event is discussed in the context of climate change.

By no means is this just a U.S. meme. A typhoon that struck the Philippines in December was linked to global warming by the Philippines government and described in the Guardian yesterday as an "ominous warning of climate change impact." In the piece, Mary Ann Lucille Sering, head of the Philippine government's climate change commission, said:

Extreme weather is becoming more frequent, you could even call it the new normal.

Indeed, that is what virtually everybody is calling it these days. The climate genie is out of the bottle, in more ways than one.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.