The scorching temperatures and forest fires of this summer’s heatwave have finally stirred the world to face the onrushing threat of global warming, claims the climate scientist behind the recent “hothouse Earth” report. Following an unprecedented 270,000 downloads of his study, Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, said he had not seen such a surge of interest since 2007, the year the Nobel prize was awarded to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “I think that in future people will look back on 2018 as the year when climate reality hit,” said the veteran scientist. “This is the moment when people start to realise that global warming is not a problem for future generations, but for us now.” The heatwave has dominated headlines across the northern hemisphere this summer. New temperature records have been set in Africa and cities in Australia, Taiwan, Georgia and the west coast of US. Heat stroke or forest fires have killed at least 119 in Japan, 29 in South Korea, 91 in Greece and nine in California. There have even been freak blazes in Lapland and elsewhere in the Arctic circle, while holidaymakers and locals alike have sweltered in unusually hot weather in southern Europe.
Guardian 17th Aug 2018 read more »