# New Scientist: ‘For the first time, we have proof that climate change has led to a humanitarian disaster’

Playstation climate model = proof?

“The East African drought of 2011, which resulted in a famine that killed at least 50,000 people, was partly caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases. The drought was brought about by the failure of two consecutive rainy seasons: the “short rains” in late 2010 and the “long rains” at the start of 2011. Climatologist Peter Stott of the Met Office Hadley Centre in Exeter, UK, and his colleagues ran climate models, with and without a human influence on climate, and compared the likelihood of the rains failing.”

Read more at the New Scientist.

## 5 thoughts on “New Scientist: ‘For the first time, we have proof that climate change has led to a humanitarian disaster’”

1. Westchester Bill says:

Just a clarification.
Mathus said in his essay of 1803 that the potato was an efficient source of food, but was subject to disease.

As I understand the matter, the Irish produced a surplus after changing to potatoes and contracted to sell some to others including the English. Blaming the famine on those contracts led to emotional discord between the Irish and the English. But it is absolutely established that it was a pathogen, as warned by Malthus, that caused the famine.

2. Here’s a computer model at work, you can try it at home. Get out your electronic calculator, which is, actually, a small computer.

Press 2+2 and the = key. If you get 4, your model is correct.

Do it again. If you get 4, your model is reliable.

The thing is, computers are obedient, and they do what they are told. When you give the computer your assumptions, all you will ever get is the result of your assumptions. If you are genuinely surprised, such as adding two 2’s and getting 5, that’s not a discovery. That means you have a glitch somewhere.

Scale up this process up and make the calculations fancier, it’s the same thing. Assumptions in, assumptions out.

3. MT Geoff says:

Eh, insufficient comment.
Droughts are weather events. Famines in this day and age are political events. No free-market economy has suffered a famine in the last couple of hundred years — the Irish potato famine was not in a free market.
During droughts, shifts in prices bring food from areas with more into areas with less, especially if free markets have caused the drought-prone area to specialize in appropriate resource development. But people with oppressive governments and limited economic development do not get the chance to develop those resources and have a hard time trading for things they need, especially during droughts or other shortages.

4. MT Geoff says:

As our host says, Playstation climatology…