Last weekend, John Cook of SkepticalScience gave a talk at the Climate Action Summit during which he bluntly stated the planet’s temperatures are rising at a rate of 4 Hiroshima bomb detonations worth of heat each second. Dramatic? Yes. True? Yes.
Cook obtained his data from John Church an Australian climate scientist who has been able to prove that global heat data shows no significant slowing in global heat accumulation, debunking the latest myth of the global warming pause. Another ongoing myth Cook, Church, and other climatologists constantly try to debunk is that global warming paused in 1998.
The yield of the Hiroshima atomic bomb was 6.3 x 1013 Joules and over the past ten years the Earth’s climate has built up heat at a rate of 8 x 1021 Joules per year (2.5 x 1014Joules per second).
Therefore, Cook and his research team conclude that the rate of global heat accumulation is equal to four Hiroshima bomb detonations per second, which, scarily enough equates to 2 billion atomic bomb detonations worth of heat since 1998.
Cook uses the metaphor of the atom bomb for shock value to draw attention to the seriousness of the situation. He believes that by unexpectedly bringing up such a grave historical event with such dire consequences, he is forcing people to focus on the seriousness of climate change.
Furthermore, despite the drama, all of Cook’s research is accurate and has been peer reviewed. It has also been confirmed by recent research as well.