Highlights - Kevin Trenberth - Nobel Prize Winner - Author of “The Changing Flow of Energy Through the Climate System”


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"The whole social fabric that we have is based upon the past climate, and so once we cross that threshold, it's what I call the Straw that Breaks the Camel's Back Syndrome. And so you have a relatively modest change, which I estimate to be in the neighborhood of 5 to 20 percent, typically. And that is enough to nudge us. Instead of 1 billion dollars in damage from a hurricane, we end up with 100 billion dollars. Now, that's just one example. There are many other cases, but the sort of things that happen are indeed that something floods, the amount of water can no longer be tolerated, something completely dries out, there's a drought, and subsequent wildfires when buildings burn down, and so on. Suddenly you've gone from something to nothing. That's an extreme non-linearity. And another extreme non-linearity is, of course, when people die, you don't recover from that."

Kevin Trenberth is a Distinguished Scholar at the National Center of Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder and an Honorary Academic in the Department of Physics, Auckland University in Auckland, New Zealand. From New Zealand, he obtained his Sc. D. in meteorology in 1972 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a lead author of the 1995, 2001 and 2007 Scientific Assessment of Climate Change reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize which went to the IPCC. He served from 1999 to 2006 on the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), and chaired a number of committees for more than 20 years. He is the author of "The Changing Flow of Energy Through the Climate System".

The Changing Flow of Energy Through the Climate System





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