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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 216  Al Jazeera  August 5, 2018 3:32am-4:01am +03

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health organization says the outbreak poses new problems because it's in north kivu province where several groups are fighting just a week ago d r c declared an end to a separate outbreak in the northwest that killed thirty three people police in the us state of oregon have broken up a right wing rally in the city of portland. flashbang devices were used to describe hundreds of demonstrators and counter protesters police say the crowds were ordered to leave after throwing rocks and bottles at officers it's the third rally to be organized in the city this summer but the right wing patriot prayer group those are the headlines next on al-jazeera it's inside story by africa.
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why is it so hot a worldwide heat wave is setting new records and causing deaths and wildfires scorching temperatures show no sign of falling so apart from climate change what is the cause this is inside story. hello welcome to the program i'm richelle carey temperatures in europe are soaring close to their highest ever forty eight degrees celsius is the current record set in the greek capital athens back in one nine hundred seventy seven this weekend's continental heat wave is expected to smash that all time high hot air from africa is baking spain and portugal in the iberian peninsula record breaking temperatures have been recorded in eight or chickies towns and there's
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a widespread red alert for wildfires in spain heat stroke killed at least three men heat wave warnings have been issued in forty one of the fifty spanish provinces where temperatures are expected to soar to forty four degrees many other european countries are also suffering unusually extended periods of very hot weather dutch people are sweltering and the longest ever recorded heat wave water shortages are beginning in the netherlands temperatures in france have surpassed forty degrees for the first time this summer large parts of the country are on heat wave alert and the media is raising awareness of the dangers sweden had its hottest july in more than two hundred fifty years accompanied by wildfires and swimmers in both sweden and poland are being warned of toxic algae spread by hot weather talk about belgium the heat wave there is blamed for causing road accidents. and northern latitude countries worldwide are facing their hottest summer since history dozens of japanese died of heat related conditions in the past three months as
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temperatures topped forty degrees south korea had record breaking highest this week fifty two degrees was a quarter to california's death valley last month and the temperature in korea in oman has never sent below forty three degrees in june the heat waves blamed for causing wildfires across northern europe high temperatures and weeks of drought contributed to major wildfires forest fires that is in sweden and in neighboring norway as well following its hottest recorded temperature in may forests and lots here were torched and the border between finland and russia was closed because of fires there. let's bring in our panel now joining me here in the studio. familiar face for of yours is a meteorologist and weather forecaster here at al-jazeera and reading in the u.k. rohan sutton director of climate research at the u.k. national center for atmospheric science at university of writing and am all know in
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sweden they are l'ombre president of the copenhagen consensus a danish based think sake welcome to all of you are going to start with you i know people may say we're playing favorites but you're in the studio and the question i want to put to you is why is this happening well set against the background of climate change anywhere where we expect everything to get slowly warm as a general i mean the the atmosphere is holding more warm is the ocean but in the past probably when you and i were children we expect the weather to move around in situ we got a day of rain a couple days of sunshine and then it would rain again so that is a moving pattern the weather patterns tend to move around the no one has the and sometimes fear we talk about the norms for some of that but what seems to frightened well obviously has happened this year is the movement has stopped so in any one place you get the systems of a type of weather if you haven't you may have heard this expression a blocking high a blocking which is a dome event it won't move everything else goes right into it so if you're
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underneath the dome and we have been in parts of europe then you get clear skies and in the height of summer days and days of insulation on the ground warms up when the temperatures rise as they do by night we've had some record breaking once as well if this persists of course you get what we've currently got and if it persists all around the north and i was for you get heat waves but what we haven't mentioned is the consequent rather poor weather for example of buggery a pool some plenty of rain and persistent rains given flooding in the u.s. so this persists of type because the weather pattern has been blocked from moving around but i think the reason for the current breaks rohan was this predicted. all the details of what's happened this summer certainly would not predicted it may actually be that they were predictable some months ahead does that thus of research area. what was predictable though was and indeed predicted was the increased frequency of heat waves that's been predicted for decades by the ins government
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level climate change for example and i think your summary highlighted nicely what what's really outstanding about this summer is not that we just have it warm in europe but that we've seen records for going from california all the way to a pan so what climate change does is increase the likelihood of events like this it doesn't tell us when we're going to get warm one particular year or the next but it increases the likelihood very significantly there are so you nodding to do you want to get any comment on that as well no i totally agree i mean this is what the science tell us it's not very surprising as temperatures rise you're going to see more heat waves and that's exactly what we're seeing now so if that's the case if situations like this or at least somewhat apprehensive all how exactly do you prepare for them and look at to trying to prevent it later first and foremost how would you even begin to prepare for something like this. what there's a number of things we need to recognize one is that the major reason why more
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people are suffering from heat is actually not global warming as much as it's the fact that many more people live in death cities which have lots of asphalt lots of buildings that soak up the heat of the action you mentioned tokyo. so sorry you mention tokyo and what we've seen is that global warming is probably increased temperatures in tokyo about one degree but urban heat. the urban heat signature has actually increased at about two degrees and so it's important to recognize that global warming is part of the problem but another part of the problem and one where we can do a lot more a lot faster is really about the fact that we all live in cities now and that we can do something about making them cooler rowland you agree with that assessment yes i do agree with that of course is the two things coming together that is particularly dangerous and of course you know looking to the future the planet is
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going to carry on warming at least for some decades quite likely for more than that . and so we have to work out how to adapt to these conditions and adapting our cities is absolutely a priority. there are many things that can be done there saving buildings is one simple example but in fact there are many many aspects about it station that we really haven't started to look at seriously rob these these can't waves things and such are the happening more often now. i'm not sure of that happening more often i mean there they are as has been said already they're consistent with what the climate models have suggested that when they happen they become more extreme and that's true of heat waves floods and indeed the intensity of storms but if we're going to get more blocking in the in the general move which appears to be the case then the chances are that they will become more frequent in that one year you get this in the next year might get about fifty degrees for the round so you get a person which is in any one place an event or other of flooding or to be
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a thing more likely because we don't get the movement i want to ask you about two thousand and three that was the year that thousands of people die from the heat across europe are there things and play that could create something like that again of course here i mean the difference between two thousand through two isn't two thousand and eighteen is probably less than degree and persistence. probably was about the same i don't have the details in my mind but one of the things we haven't mentioned only briefly is it's not so much the daytime heat you see increased humidity in places in europe usually it's a more human to heat than it might be for example and after all here in the middle east we get forty eight degrees every year and he's like a blast furnace but it's dry heat if you have high humidity and the night time cooling keeps the temp should middle twenty's or early thirty's and if he would swell tends to kill people at evreux and that's actually that's a great point that you bring upon i want to bring that in we were having this discussion actually this morning obviously we are at
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a very warm climate here and ohio and people here don't have the same interaction or reaction to the warm temperatures that clearly other people in other countries have to talk more about why it affects different people in different parts of the world differently. well that's right of course that you know in every part of the world people have developed ways of living that are adapted to the climate that they're used to you know in the mediterranean people want to have a siesta and in the u.k. that's not so common. and that's why climate change is a challenge to us because we have to change quite a lot of our habits and it also is one of the reasons why actually you know a heat wave which is not familiar can be quite dangerous because people don't have the kind of habits that they have in woman countries in terms of how they respond to hold weather and so it is big it is a big challenge in the u.k. we've seen big problems on the tube on the on the underground transport system for example when it gets very hot people don't bring enough water with them really
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basic things but these can be really rather dangerous and when it or we're talking about people changing habits is it more difficult to get individual people to change habits or a government or a country like where do you start to get people to understand and to process that they have to be proactive about this. well very clearly it's something that everyone has an advantage in actually adapting to so sauron is absolutely right this is a question of you know people in helsinki are well adapted to their climate and people in rome and greece are well adapted to their much hotter climates and you're in doha even warmer but what we all need to recognize is that we're moving a little what but south in that sense it's getting a little hotter and we need those structures but we also need to recognize two things we have the technology and if you look for instance at the u.s. compared to most of the places around the world the u.s. has dramatically increased its population is especially in the south in the
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southwest some people have moved in droves to florida to arizona those kinds of places where it's incredibly hot but actually heat deaths have declined why because they have air conditioning so really the simple solution is to get much more availability of air conditioning it's also all these other things as room mention you know shading it's about getting smarter building structures so you don't heat up as much get more ventilation get more water movement there's a lot of smart simple things that you can do but in reality this is about making sure that we invest in these technologies and you see this every summer you know people run out and buy a fan but increasingly they need to buy it go out and actually buy air conditioning oh we are going to pivot to prevention and really dealing with climate change head on his number before we do that though want to ask you something. when when you say one degree that doesn't necessarily mean
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a lot of we're talking about here in the studio but tell us why one degree really is a lot of what if you talk about one degree from the point of view of a changing climate that don't represents an extra amount of energy is going into the entire system the air on the ground it comes back to who and i remember when i first really noticed a kick the changing climate was in the middle ninety's it's. when the temperature is in india. the records being broken by two three or four degrees up until that point if you broke your temperature record by point one zero point two so it's a rare event to break a record by three or four degrees on president unheard of so what this isn't just on the new the something else going on here and this is what we're seeing we've seen most years since the records in any one place are broken by more than degree you know a significant amount now that's a reflection of a local concentration of a general increase in the amount of energy available and we've seen again there was this persistence of type you could increase in temperature is slowly day by day
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what you end up breaking a record by quite a large amount and rohan in the arctic is warming at a much greater rate then the rest of the world what does that mean yeah so the arctic is a very important region and of course the melting of the ice there is a lot of publicity. that's important of course for people that live live close to the arctic but it's also an important indicator of how the planets and the climate system as a whole is changing and in fact it would be fair to say we don't know what the full consequences would be so as the ocean becomes increasingly exposed to the atmosphere that has the potential to change ocean circulation in ways that could affect large parts of the planet. that's an area of active research. there are other things in the answer to very important the melting of the permafrost is another issue that there is concern about because that could be a positive feedback on climate change potentially leading to increases in
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greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from this feedback that would then accelerate global warming so the arctic is a key region and we have to watch it very closely and indeed from a science point of view we have to continue to study the consequences of those arctic changes we are and what we we talked minute ago a lot about you know how to deal with heat and air conditioning in the way we built things like cetera et cetera but what about reversing these things what about stopping these things is there people have sounded the alarm about this for quite some time is it actually sinking it well first of all it's very clearly sinking in the sense that we've seen dramatically reducing death rates in the u.s. so this is very much a question of you know ability of cheap technology to avoid it so it's both about having access to air conditioning and having access to cheap in one tricity there is some sort of thing that i think so i'm not talking about dealing with something when we're already hot i'm talking about preventing the things that are causing
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this. so can we do something about global warming we can but we also need to be honest and say this is going to be half to a full century of. pretty dramatic effort and it's only going to reduce the rate of increase so we're still going to see an increase in temperature but what we can do is see a slightly lower increase of temperature and a maybe each what's the end of the century reduction of temperature so the reality is we're going to see global warming with us for quite a while and that's why i'm marking we need to recognize that a very large part of what we're going to do with heat deaths is going to be with adaptation yes we should also of focus on cutting carbon emissions and that we can really only do and we've seen that for instance with paris agreement where everybody stepped up and promised to do a lot of stuff but it's actually not happening very much because it's very expensive for most nations the only way to get most nations to switch away from
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fossil fuels is by making green energy sources so cheap that you don't have to subsidize them but that everybody will want to get to it and that's through in a pinch ok rob i want to be more optimistic and think that we can do something about this that this is reversible is it to my being naive where we couldn't do anything eventually theoretically you could sequester the c o two back into the rocks for example with the energy cost in doing that might well mean that the amount of energy you have to use to create the pumps to do it emit more c o two anyway so i wouldn't there's no easy fix and we've already built into what we've already put into the atmosphere at least two degrees warming and probably more than that and there's no sign that we're reducing in line with what we need from the parse the code for example to get us to a sensible place so we've got to make the assumption that these things will keep getting worse and worse year porn yet whatever we do about is being set up and there are options will be the route we can go down and we are going to have his
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bill as the. production of energy from renewable sources big solar array in morocco for example the u.k. can produce one hundred percent of its necessary n.-g. energy or is demand on days in the summer because our solar wind currents so we're going down that route even though it's too slow but we've already built in heat that we haven't yet experienced this is not going to be the hottest heat wave thanks rob. so for her and let me ask you and is born brought up but brought up the paris climate accord of which the u.s. is no longer actively a part of how much of a difference how much do we need to make countries like the us to to push this and to get other countries to do this error or was it just mostly on paper what is actually being done. ok so the paris agreement was a very significant landmark now it's
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a difficult issue because as said some of the whatever we do we're going to get quite a bit more warming but it would be wrong for people to be fatalistic about that we've had a one degree of warming roughly since the nineteenth century. and it really is up to us whether we get two degrees more or three degrees more photographs more over the next couple of hundred years is you know that's quite a long time. the decisions that we take though in the next few decades will determine whether we get another one or two or four degrees of extra warming and that really matters you know we need to limit future warming of course not just for our own generation but for our children's and grandchildren's generations but it really is very important to to invest in that part of the problem and paris agreement was a very important step but only one step it doesn't it doesn't put in place anything like enough so that so that agreement needs to be strengthened so what i'm about the only answer that lamarck the right direction so about that agreement should it be the governments driving in this or should it be businesses driving it because
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they have the incentive to make it work to make money it has to be both i mean the falling price of renewables has been a very positive story and we hope that that goes on and of course business has been central to that on the other hand governments can make a big difference in terms of putting incentives towards reducing the cost of renewables and indeed other actions that will reduce greenhouse gases so it needs to be about the yarn you know you've been talking a lot about this from a business angle which which makes sense i mean is these things are only going to happen if people have some sort of financial incentive to be proactive about it but so much of what's happening is also creating what's it economically internally displaced people like there are people who are losing their businesses because of flooding or because there's a lot of water for their crops or can't talk about talk about it from that perspective how it makes a lot of sense to get in ahead of this because it's actually going in that being
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damaging to your country to your bottom line in the end. well and unfortunately i'm not going to give you quite as easy a picture as what you were just framing because clearly there are people who are going to be displaced are people who are going to be hit by more hurricanes or by increasing water levels and so on that is a definite costs on the other hand you also have to look at what is the cost of for instance trying to implement the paris agreement or even stronger agreements as we were just talking about and those also have costs because you're basically making energy more expensive at least little in the short to medium run and so it's really about weighing those two that means you should do something which basically means you should make energy a little more expensive but you should not make it phenomenally more expensive because what happens is if you make it phenomenally more expensive you reduce global warming impacts a little bit but you induce extra costs in the economy that a much much bigger so it really is
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a balancing act and we have not been very good at getting to that in some ways we are under taxing c o two emissions so vast amounts of the world do not taxi into it all in other places for instance and chorus in my native country in denmark but many other places and specific instances we overtax them dramatically and so we have a very uneven structure that does that in some way built more in populism and feel good environmental ism rather than actually focusing on how do we deal with this but the real measure and just let me say this very briefly is to recognize what is it the only real thing that's going to drive this that's innovation if you look at what happened with the u.s. shale gas revolution back in the late two thousand what the u.s. match to do through technology was to make gas much cheaper so they basically switched away from a lot of coal towards gas that matters a lot because it cuts carbon emissions by half what really happened was the u.s.
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has been the hugest reduction in c o two over the last ten years not because they're particularly friendly environmentally. really but simply before because they found a better cheaper energy technology that's the kind of thing that we need to drive because if we can make green energy to tell everyone what ok we are just meant to get in on the i just want to be on if it this is always true because we we tackle this. worldwide by looking at the financial cost of any particular change and if it's too expensive to offset the cost of changing the climate then it's not done it seems to be driven by financial cost but rarely do we use the whole is something that how much energy for example does it cost to extract coal versus extracting frac gas versus the amount of c o two is veggie given off when the inefficient burning of coal is compared with the inefficient money of gas that's a sum that we don't tend to use because that's more of a scientific sum and everything is driven by the financial cost and i'm not sure that eventually that's going to be the real way of doing things. one very very
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briefly or not to very scientific conversation i totally agree with you we should be looking at what's the absolute amount not just when so financially but i was trying to talk about social cost and social benefits so these are the kind of costs that we all carry not just businesses. ok gentlemen i think that was scientific enough i think but i do want to i do want you to have the final word on this rob what don't you know what are the things that smart scientists like you for all the things that we have learned what are like that the small things that you still wish we knew the answers to that could help fill the hole things are in it's a big thing really i don't know i don't know much is rowing there isn't the one thing i don't know i know the arctic ice does not any longer cover the arctic sea so we don't get the code north and winter which is therefore disrupts the pattern and that stops things moving and so our cold winter but i don't know why that has lasted into this summer for example the pattern is still moving the weather
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patterns i think is a consequence of the october i don't know why so i would just like to know. and we will discuss that but gentlemen thank you so much for the discussion we fact today really appreciate it you made it very accessible for scientists non-scientists rather that are watching thank you very much all right rob right here in the studio in sutton and bjorn lomborg and thank you for watching you can watch the program again any time by visiting our website al-jazeera dot com for the discussion got our facebook page facebook dot com forward slash a.j. and side story and also you can join the conversation on twitter our handle is at a.j. inside story from the richelle carey and the entire team i for now. discover
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i'm rob matheson in doha the top stories on al-jazeera venezuela's president nicolas maduro has been rushed away from a military parade after an explosion the government says it was an attempted attack on the dodo the information minister says the president was not hurt but seven national guard soldiers were injured he's currently addressing the nation saying that anti government violence will continue to fail there's been a huge protest in israel led by the druze community against the controversial nation's state's law it defines israel as a jewish state and downgrades the out of big language tens of thousands of people have crammed into television that have been square on saturday waving druze flags and holding signs.

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