Adam Sobel Testifies Before Congress on Links Between Extreme Weather and Climate Change

Sep 27 2019

Prof. Adam Sobel testified before congress yesterday, telling the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee that much of the evidence is in when it comes to linking global warming with increasingly extreme weather.

Sobel, a professor of applied physics and applied mathematics at Columbia Engineering, also heads up the University’s Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate. Our colleagues over at State of the Planet have a great recap of the testimony, in which Sobel gives a clear picture of current understanding of the connection between climate change and extreme weather events like hurricanes and heat waves. From their piece:

He described heat waves as the best understood type of extreme weather event, and said research linking heatwaves to global warming is substantive. “When any heat wave occurs today, it is likely that global warming made it more likely, more intense or both.”

He also conveyed science’s understanding about the way climate change is impacting the intensity and frequency of hurricanes.

“Hurricane risk is increasing due to climate change,” he said. “Storm surge-driven coastal flooding is certainly becoming worse due to sea-level rise. We know little, though, about how hurricane frequency — the total number of storms per year — changes with warming.”

Sobel also touched on impacts to tornadoes, storm surge flooding, and coral reefs. Check out his full testimony in the video above.

A written transcript is available here.