"It shows climate change is acting here and now to load the dice towards more extreme weather," said Myles Allen of Oxford University, who led the work, which he started after his own home was nearly flooded in 2000. It will also have wider consequences, say experts, by making lawsuits for compensation against energy companies more likely to succeed.Robert Watson the chief scientific adviser to the Department of the Environment and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said "This is ground-breaking work"
Until now, he said, scientists could state that global warming was expected to cause more extreme weather, but not that it was to blame for any specific event. "The research shows human-induced climate change is not an issue for the next decades or century: it is an issue facing us today."
Myles Allen and his team compared the results of models simulating the real weather with models of the region's weather "as it might have been in a world without human-produced greenhouse gases."
The models were run thousands of times to enable the probability of the extreme floods to be determined in both scenarios, taking 40,000 years of computing time. Global warming was found to have most likely doubled the risk of the 2000 floods, but there is a one in 10 chance that the increased risk was as high as 700% or as low as 20%.Several elements of the story are familiar to Klimazwiebel readers. There is the attempt to link current weather to long term climate, to use computer models to achieve the evidence, and to alarm the public and policy makers that climate change is real and here. This storyline follows a script used by Hansen who made a reference to "loaded dice" back in 1988:
To illustrate his point, he pulled out the set of coloured dice. As time goes by and the greenhouse effect continues to increase, he explained, more sides of the die are coloured red as the probability of having a host summer increases. By 1995, he expected that the ‘man in the street ’ would recognize that the ‘die is loaded’. (Timothy O'Donnell, 'Of loaded dice and heated arguments: Putting the Hansen–Michaels global warming debate in context', Social Epistemology, 2000, vol. 14, 109–127).Hansen was ridiculed by Pat Michaels and others at the time. What will happen to Myles Allen?