Manola Brunet, a professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Rovira i Virgili (URV), does not hesitate to link the heat wave that has hit western Canada these days (where temperatures have been recorded above 49.5°C) to the intense role of climate. they change. This woman has presided over the Climatology Committee World Meteorological Organization. And he has it in his hands Thermometer from the planet.
The Catalan climatologist, recognized international expert in climate reconstruction and analysis, highlights the growing importance of climate attribution studies, those investigations capable of determining the contribution of climate change to extreme weather events and their severity.
In this sense, he is referring to recently published research on the heat wave that occurred in western Canada by the Panel of Climate Attribution Experts. “It would have been nearly impossible to record the extreme heat observed in the American West without man-made climate change,” he says.
This same network of researchers concluded last year that “climate change has made a heat wave like the one recorded in Siberia in June 2020 600 times more likely to occur.”
“An event with a low degree of frequency that becomes exceptional in climate change conditions, having intensified significantly”
Brunet relates the state of the atmosphere in Canada to the bike spot, where the air that exits at the highest pressure is the hottest.
An air mass sandwiched between two stationary systems was heated under conditions of stability and atmospheric dryness. This created a thermal dome raised in height due to the high pressure condition, which further heated the air in its rotating descent.
“Records of between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius have been observed higher than those of recent extremes of heat, and between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius higher than those normally observed at this time of year,” he says.
It highlights “an event with a low degree of frequency, for a period of 30 years, which has become exceptional in climate change conditions, having intensified significantly”.
Check the validity of records
The World Meteorological Organization has, among its responsibilities, the task of validating global temperature records, a task carried out by a rapporteur at the head of an assessment committee.
This commission, for example, rejected the false Antarctic record of 20.7 ° C (from February 2, 2020) measured at the Brazilian permafrost monitoring station on Seymour Island, which was announced with great fanfare by the world press. What happened?
The scientists wanted to protect the tube inside the sensor from solar radiation. “But they did not ensure good ventilation,” which artificially increased the temperature, “explains Brunette.
On a global scale, the highest temperature recorded and validated is 56.7 °C at Furnace Creek Ranch, California, recorded in July 1913.
As chair of the WMO Committee on Climatology, Brunet organizes and coordinates climate monitoring, monitoring and forecasting systems worldwide, and is responsible for ensuring the quality of information provided, made available for climate studies and the transfer of that knowledge to LDCs. .
Meteorological monitoring has so far focused on meteorological forecasts; While the weather took center stage. “We need monitoring systems that help us support climate analysis and forecasting, and services to ensure proven quality,” he asserts.
This means organizing these services to better understand the evolution of the climate and the distribution of these observation points across the planet.
And no less exciting for her is salvaging the historical data needed to reconstruct a very long climatic chain. In this trace, the meteorological observations documented in the style of Alexander von Hundbolt’s travels at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and the data provided by the economic societies that expanded trade with America, Africa, or Asia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, could serve. Or the flow of information provided by advanced Jesuits, much of which already became available after it was digitized.
“The impact of feedback from the Arctic is massive and acts as an amplifier for global warming
Climatic studies group gives a very contradictory fact. The Arctic is warming much faster than the challenge facing the planet; It is three times higher than global warming.
“This is all due to the mechanisms of positive feedback,” he says.
“By reducing the area covered with ice, all of these areas gain heat, the waters are warm, sea ice and ice are reduced, and each winter the ice recovery is less,” he explains. “The impact of these feedbacks is massive and acts as an amplifier for global warming.”
The results of the latest reports indicate that “the planet’s temperatures continue to rise faster than before: at a rate of 0.2°C per decade” and in the case of Spain “strong evaporation processes behind the shortage” of water in the basins.
The most accurate information will be collected and synthesized in the sixth report on climate change to be released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Group of Experts on the topic on August 9. “Not only is the western part of Antarctica melting, but the eastern part of it,” he warns, referring to some recent discoveries.
The scientific community now enjoys more scientific credibility than it did 10 years ago
Manola Brunet believes that scholars have been able to disseminate their knowledge and gain credibility and a share of relevant social and political influence. “The scientific community now has more scientific credibility than it did 10 years ago,” he says. However, it is not far from the attempts made to discredit the reports, made by “opinion makers who today have seen their credibility decline.” “Citizens are already seeing what is happening. Scientists have won the battle,” he says against the denial, which VOX represents in Congress.
Meanwhile, the climate scientist estimates that all prescriptions for mitigating warming must revolve around plans to cut emissions.
“The solution depends a little on us, but above all on plans to reduce them in economic activities and productive sectors,” he says.
“I still see that politicians, as we’ve seen in the Spanish and Catalan climate change laws, are not doing enough,” he says.