“Our research suggests that many more people likely perish from smoke exposure during large fire events than perish directly in the fire, and many more people are made sick,” said Stanford environmental economist Marshall Burke.
“So many different types of extremes we know are increasing in frequency or intensity as a result of global warming, even the ones that don’t include temperature directly,” said climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh.
Rob Jackson discussed how our emergence from the pandemic could lead to a spike in emissions. "The quickest jump will come when everyone hops back in their cars and starts commuting regularly," he said.
“If you were to get to know 100 families in East Palo Alto, maybe 50 out of 100 already are right at that point at which savings are so low that ... a flood event ... could be that tipping point,” said Derek Ouyang, a program manager and lecturer at the Stanford Future Bay Initiative.
“This is really one of the first cases where you can say, shockingly, in some ways, these slow, calm ice sheets care a lot about a single extreme event in a particularly warm year," Dusty Schroeder, said.
The U.S. must seriously consider the idea of tinkering with the atmosphere to cool a warming Earth and research how and whether humanity should hack the planet. “I honestly don’t know whether or not it’s going to make sense,” said Chris Field.
“We expected faster plant growth and more biomass to increase soil organic carbon, as extra leaves and biomass fall to the forest floor,” said Rob Jackson. “It didn’t, and that was the biggest surprise in our work.”
Satellite imagery shows air pollution levels bounced back to pre-pandemic numbers after a decline due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Environmental economist Marshall Burke said, "the better air quality could have saved between 50,000 and 75,000 people from dying prematurely."