Interview of the Week: Dr. Joellen Russell

This summer has been dry and extremely hot. Temperature records have been shattered and it’s left many of us wondering how much of this we can attribute to climate change. It’s why we asked the distinguished Dr. Joellen Russell, a climate scientist and oceanographer at the University of Arizona to walk us through how climate change is driving extreme heat and what the world might expect if we don’t take climate action seriously (and soon!).

One important point that Dr. Russell made was that we’ve known the consequences of climate change were coming for decades, and we’re now feeling the effects of our unabated emissions:

These are predicted changes from our climate model since the 1970s, really. If we were at equilibrium, half of the records we would be breaking are cold records and half would be warm records. But, today 2/3 of the records we’re breaking are warm records which is the tilt toward the global warming that we knew would happen….These records were predicted from the basic math and physics and now we’re living with the consequences of our greenhouse gas increase.”

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