Angry Weather by Friederike Otto [8/10]

Global climate change models are finally, after decades of devoted, amazing work, comprehensive enough to answer local questions about extreme weather events, be they hurricanes, flooding, heat waves, wildfires, and the like. Over the last few years, an underfunded, ragtag bunch of heroic climate science nerds has pioneered a new field: weather attribution. If there is enough historical data, we can at last rigorously unpack the probability of particular climate change era events. For example, when Hurricane Harvey freakishly flooded Houston in 2017, killing a hundred people, Friederike Otto and her compatriots dotted around the globe were able to announce, almost real-time, that climate change had made the flooding three times more likely than normal. The author cleverly hinges her narrative around a day-by-day diary of her analytical and expository Harvey activities. “Angry Weather: Heat Waves, Floods, Storms, and the New Science of Climate Change” is written in crystal clear, fervent prose, and not a word is wasted when outlining the reverberating impacts of attribution science. This outstanding book will be a mandatory textbook for years but it deserves a far wider general readership.

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