As a blast of cold Siberian air has frozen the UK over, Tim Hinson explains how increasing temperatures in the Arctic is to blame
And now, the weather:
The reason it is so cold in the UK right now is because temperatures in the arctic are completely off the chart hot, and that is drawing in cold air from Siberia.
The chart below shows just how anomalous this weather event is. Thick white line is 50 years average temperatures. Thin white lines are all observed measurements in that period. Red line is temperature readings from this year.
To be ultra clear, it is currently 20 degrees hotter in the arctic than you'd expect in February, and about 10 degrees hotter than any other February observation in the last 50 years.
It is unbelievably urgent that we turn our economies around to make huge reductions in our carbon emissions, right now. That imperative needs to be at the forefront of every single political platform with specific actions at an appropriate scale. Think of the transformation of the British economy to war footing in 1939. If that doesn't happen then the planet's ability to support human civilisation is going to degrade catastrophically over the lifetimes of people who are alive now.
Capitalism has been very effective in expanding amount of gross product, to an estimated $100tn worldwide. To some extent this has delivered material improvements to many peoples lives. But as we bump up against global ecological limits, we can see clearly that this growth never just came from doing more with what we've got. To keep growing capitalism constantly has to expand into new markets, and bring more resources under its logic. It was never just more efficient firms and higher technology, the story of growth also always needed more land, more coal, more time, new people, and ever more waste thrown into the air or the oceans.
In this moment the fight against climate breakdown demands the same tactics as the struggles for housing, schools, the NHS and our buses and trains. It means going up against vested interests, mobilising democratic power to redistribute scarce resources and most of all recognising that from the love powered work of the family, to the creation of the most efficient and comprehensive healthcare system in the world, non capitalist production is crucial to human flourishing and it needs to be nurtured.
Now back to Jim with the sport.
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