F1 logo in rain

The first Formula 1 race cancelled by climate change is unlikely to be the last

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The huge volumes of water which forced the cancellation of this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix are now receding.

But Formula 1 undoubtedly made the correct decision to call the race off two days ago as floodwater encroached on the Imola circuit and forced its personnel to evacuate the paddock.

In an average May, the Emilia-Romagna region sees around 60mm of rainfall in total. But this week one town in the area saw 110mm in a single day. In the surrounding hills daily figures of over 200mm were seen as the vast storm Minerva deposited its contents and spread misery across the region.

Over 20 rivers burst their banks, including the Santerno which flows alongside Imola’s Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, where this weekend’s race was supposed to take place. Around 20,000 people have been forced to flee their homes and at least 13 are reported to have died. The regional president of Emilia-Romagna, Stefano Bonaccini, described the rainfall as a “catastrophic event that has never been registered before.”


Santa Sofia (FC) 17 maggio 2023 ore 7.40 #santasofia #meteo #allertameteo #romagna #emiliaromagna #fiumebidente #pioggia

♬ suono originale – Linea Gotica – Nicola Andrucci

A storm of this size is rare to begin with. But this was the second of its kind the region has experienced in the past month. Members of the AlphaTauri team, which is based in the Emilia-Romagna town of Faenza, were affected by the storms on both occasions.

Vettel highlighted climate threat to F1 races
Whether climate change was responsible for the flooding which forced the cancellation of this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix is a question experts in the field will have the final say on. But the scale of the rainfall which has hit the region in recent weeks has all the hallmarks of the increasingly extreme weather events climate scientists have long warned will be the consequence of rising global heating.

F1 faced a comparable situation two years ago when record-breaking downpours occured across Germany and Belgium which coincided with that year’s grand prix at Spa-Francorchamps. The race was not called off, but it might as well have been, as constant heavy rain meant the F1 drivers could only trundle around behind the Safety Car for a handful of laps before proceedings were halted.

Subsequent analysis concluded rainfall of such intensity only happens in that part of the world once every 400 years. More significantly, it also determined that the rising heat of the planet made such downpours potentially nine times more likely that they had been a century ago.

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Already similar descriptions are being applied to the Emilia-Romagna flood. Pierluigi Randi, president of the Associazione Meteo Professionisti told La Repubblica such a downpour had “never [occurred] like this in a century and, above all, never three extreme events so close. The situation is really worrying for the future.”

F1’s new net zero carbon branding
Feature: Symonds explains how F1 is solving the problems posed by its sustainable fuel goal
Formula 1 is, of course, neither wholly responsible for nor solely at risk from climate change. But the series increasingly has to confront the reality of it, along with the rest of us.

In 2019 F1 announced its first sustainability strategy and set a target of becoming a ‘net zero’ emitter of carbon by 2030. Its efforts to reach this goal go beyond its loudly-trumpeted plans to introduce what it calls ‘fully sustainable’ synthetic fuel when its new power unit formula arrives in three years’ time, or slow progress in streamlining its globe-crossing calendar.

Two of the smaller changes the sport is making in pursuit of its goal were due for introduction this weekend. These were its ‘Alternative Tyre Allocation’, intended to reduce the amount of rubber used per race weekend, and the debut of a new wet weather tyre which can be used without a heating blanket, reducing the amount of equipment and energy needed.

These changes are welcome and arguably more impactful than they may seem at first. For example if the ATA proved successful and was used across every race weekend then Pirelli could produce 3,680 fewer F1 tyres per year. But this is still small compared to F1’s entire environmental impact – never mind the rest of the world.

While the improvements F1 is making – however minor – should not be dismissed, the urgent need to do more and sooner cannot be overlooked either. Some in the sport are already speaking up for this.

Report: McLaren urges F1 to remove rules “barriers” to improve sustainability
F1 and the wider motorsport world is especially vulnerable to the questions raced by climate change not merely because of the contribution it makes to global emissions but because its very nature means it will always be seen as one of the most egregious consumers of resources.

As climate events such as this become more frequent and more severe, public opposition to the use of resources for ‘cars going around in circles’ will become stronger unless F1 can demonstrate it is part of the solution rather than a cause of the problem.

But in a week which saw the first cancellation of a grand prix due to climate change on the same day the UK Met Office warned the world is likely to exceed the milestone 1.5C increase in temperatures within the next five years, it’s not just F1’s efforts to address the problem which feel like too little, too late.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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123 comments on “The first Formula 1 race cancelled by climate change is unlikely to be the last”

  1. Moana Pasifika
    19th May 2023, 12:52

    Oh dear.

    1. David Knowling
      19th May 2023, 13:12


    2. The Skeptic (@)
      20th May 2023, 7:53


    3. Yes, A dear! It’s like a horse with horns…

  2. Oh yes, it has never rained this much before… Ever… Anywhere… To claim this Grand Prix as a victim of your boogeyman of choice is simply infantile. There’s no difference between this, and the rock Homer Simpson bought from his daughter Lisa, the one that “kept tigers away”.

    1. Are you claiming that the very concept of climate change itself is this boogeyman?

      Because that would make you…a terrible and dumb human being lol.

      There are two separate things here.

      Is climate change obviously kind of real and not up for debate? Yes. Shut up.

      Can it be clearly proven and pointed to that this or any particular weather event has clear causation from climate change? No. Obviously not. That’s not how burden of proof works. The amount of idiots in this comments section being the equivalent of ‘prove god doesn’t exist’ is just astounding. Peak Russell’s Teapot.

      Yes, claims are kind of unfalsifiable from both sides on a matter like this. But one side is ‘climate change is obviously real and a threat and data and trends show this particular weather event being one of many around the world that is happening at unprecedented increasing regularity in the modern climate’, aka proven common sense science. The other is being a crackpot.

      Climate change is real. That’s the end of the discussion. It’s relevance to this or any one particular weather event is of no consequence (which yes MAYBE makes framing an article this way a stretch…but the fact is in 70 years we had no real weather related cancellations, kind of 1 in Adelaide 1991, and now we’ve had 2 in 2 years, the basic point that more races are going to come under threat from extreme weather as we have a longer, busier calendar and more extreme climate is just…OBVIOUSLY UNEQUOVICALLY TRUE??). But you cannot put the burden of proof on someone to somehow prove how X event is related. That’s in bad faith.

      When the subject is climate change, you’re either with the consensus, or you’re obviously a crackpot to everyone with a brain and any common sense, and it’s worth remembering that and if its worth contributing anytime you want to open your mouth and give a ‘dissenting climate view’. Because its the same as a ‘dissenting vaccine view’ or a ‘dissenting did we land on the moon view’ or a ‘dissenting shape of earth view’.

      Some. Things. Aren’t. Up. For. Debate. Bad people insisting on being argumentative doesn’t suddenly change the nature of empirical fact.

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        21st May 2023, 0:56

        Ive heard people argue that the fervour around climate change is a sort of subconscious replacement to fill the void left by Christianity in an increasingly secular society. I hadn’t paid much attention to that theory but it sprung to mind reading your comment. You really do consider any questioning of the climate change narrative to be blasphemous don’t you, its uncanny.

        1. I just want to say Jack is not The Stig.

  3. It’s called The Weather. Unexpected weather events have been around for as long as the earth has. Even the BBC website calls this flooding.

    I don’t know why I visit this site, the bombardment of ads – the left wing articles. It shouldn’t be plain to see that the author/owner is a staunch labour voter. Every week pushing some agenda.
    Still its your site – do with as you like.

    1. Agree with you re the amount of ads, but I’m guessing that’s mainly because ad revenue is harder to generate these days.

      But personally I love the fact that Keith is not afraid to focus on the issues around the sport. Please keep it up Keith!

      No sport exists in a vacuum. Nor do any of us. It’s up to you, but climate change will continue affect us all. You can deny it all you wish, but it’s increasingly hard in the light of scientific evidence.

      1. There’d be no bloody DRS in a vacuum.

        1. I like this comment because it points out the hypocrisy of the OP’s comment.

          People love following F1, and one of the reasons they often cite is that the engineers and teams are building their own cars and chasing tenths of seconds by working the airflow in this tiny little portion of the wing or floor or brake duct. I.e. science. But other widely accepted areas of scientific study, is somehow political schlock. :)

      2. Ye, I don’t think anyone is actual denying Climate change, just pointing out that this flooding can not really be called climate change, we have no idea of this single even is related to climate change, so the article becomes politically charged as it is pushing the climate change agenda, be it true or not.
        In the end this sort of agenda mongering eventually causes a loss of interest and that is the last thing we need when trying to address climate change.

    2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      19th May 2023, 13:36

      On top of that, it’s click bait to start arguments in the comments. Knowing the partisan left vs right war nowadays. It would be nice to have a place to escape all that nonsense on social media and just have a little area to enjoy a hobby and sport we are all collectively passionate about.

      1. I don’t think climate change is a left/right issue though @rdotquestionmark. It’s only really a minority of reality-denying halfwits who dispute its existence or the need for action.

        I can understand the desire to restrict the discussion to sporting matters only, but it’s the same instinct that causes people to ignore human rights abuses in F1 host nations. Such an approach will not help F1 survive in the long run, as Keith points out in the article.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          19th May 2023, 16:21

          I just mean look at all the comments @red-andy . People foaming at the mouth. If the forecasts around climate change are true then some cars going round a track are the least of mankind’s concern. Just let us enjoy some sport.

          Yes the planet is heating up after its coldest spell in 8,000 years and yes we should absolutely be looking after our home. But it’s not wonder suicide rates are so high (highest on record) when we can’t even check our motorsport hobby website without feeling guilty for being being born.

        2. @red-andy below is a link to one of hundreds of sea level gauges that show not a twitch in response to ever increasing CO2 levels, just a steady rise as the planet recovers from the Little Ice Age


          Interested to hear how you or other believers reconcile this actual evidence of zero connection with CO2

          1. If you look on flat-earth, young-earth or creationism does, there will be plenty of legitimate-sounding evidence supporting their views.

            I know it’s a cartoon, but this makes things fairly clear:

          2. @drmouse the trouble with the temperature record is that it is subject to urban heat island effects and guesstimated corrections, not to mention an unhealthy dose of politics.

            The nice thing about the 400 odd global tide gauges is that they suffer from none of that, they simply register melted ice and expanding [warming] water. Having a trend that doesn’t in any way correlate to CO2 rise, they disprove the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming [political] nonsense.

      2. If you think this is a left-right issue, are you implying that the right deny these events are related to climate change? And by implication, people on the right are ignorant morons?

    3. @pj-williams Your correct ofcourse Unexpected weather events are as old of Rome BUT the article says twice in 1 month these year which is NOT normal and you can expect this more often in the Future that is what we call climate change. Even here in the Netherlands when i was young i had lots of ice days summers were max 31 celsius with rain sometimes but lately it’s sunny and dry with 30-40 Celsius as temperature. So i notice a BIG difference with 50 years ago.

      Ads i don’t have any ads maybe you should get a year subscription was only 12 euro and you don’t have to see those banners.

      1. The Skeptic (@)
        20th May 2023, 7:56

        Two major rainfall events in a month is not unprecedented or extreme.

      2. So that begs the question, Climate change vs Global warming, which is it as both have happened through earths existence. Climate change could be simply a natural and normal shift in weather patterns, maybe not. Global Warming? maybe also perfectly normal, maybe not.

    4. @pj-williams I just checked on my phone and I didn’t see a single “left wing” advert. There was Kia, Esso and a coffee machine. Maybe you should look at your own browsing habits as they’re likely driving the adverts you’re receiving rather than the site owner. I pay the yearly subscription though so I don’t have to view adverts at all when using the site.

    5. Well said, Paul.

    6. Weather and climate are two different things and can’t be seen in isolation. It might be tempting to see weather, and in this case a storm, isolation, but it’s of course all part of the global weather pattern. And that one has trends over time. And we have seen trends emerging that weren’t there before. It’s a bit to simple to say that it’s just a shower when you look at global weather patterns the last decade.

      While it’s hard to prove a direct link between climate change and this rain, simple math of increased energy output by the earth systems, combined with Earth being a closed system (a simplification obviously) predicts these outcomes, so it’s definitely in the realm of possibilities and it’s weird that people claim otherwise without proof.

      It would actually be easier to proof climate change influence then to proof this is something that happens every x times in this place.

    7. Lol ‘left wing adverts’

      Cheers buddy. There goes your right to say anything about anything ever again and be even vaguely respected.

  4. Here in Australia, we know which country is entirely to blame for climate change – yes, it is Australia! We have had that rammed into us by our national broadcaster, the ABC. That corporation even fine-tunes the cause directly at our Coalition Governments of the past.

    I sincerely hope that the people of the Imola region get the support they deserve from their government.

    1. Because the Australian coalition governments of the past are still literally waving coal around in parliament (as recently as last week) as though it’s going to save us all.

      The last decade of coalition ignorance, infighting and inaction has left Australia in a pretty bad place.

      1. I’m particularly impressed with the solar farms running high tension wires to towns/cities over forests of trees laden with highly combustible oils.
        What could possibly go wrong.
        Especially as suburbia expands to bush areas.
        No tree cutting!
        Leaf litter etc on forest floors is invioable to preserve the microcosm.
        All fuel. Not to be removed.
        Yes those bushfires all attributable to “climate change”

    2. The good news is Aunty seems to be imploding. Not quickly enough though.

  5. Joe McLaughlin
    19th May 2023, 13:54

    WOW. Just lost a tonne of respect for this site. Sad virtue signalling on a site dedicated to racing. Pure garbage. Cuz the worlds weather never changed before cars. Mother of God.

    1. climate != weather

    2. I’m amazed how willingly people here pick and choose science. We love F1 because it’s the pinacle of science technology and engineering – technology and engineering enabled by science and yet any science that can’t be stomached easily is converted into a political or moral issue.

      Just because you don’t want something to be true doesn’t mean it’s not supported by science. Self deception seems to be hallmark of humanity these days.

      1. I’m not disagreeing with you.
        What does concern me most is the;
        The science is in, it’s settled.
        If that is the case generally I contend that science is dead.

        1. Science changes it’s view based on evidence. However, it takes new evidence, or at least a better interpretation of the available evidence, to change the mind of the scientific community. This is not because science is fixed or immovable, but because there are extremely high standards required for things to be considered scientific fact. Anything which attempts to disprove something considered scientific fact must both meet those high standards and show a significant flaw in the way the evidence has been interpreted.

          Science must adapt to new evidence and work to move forwards, but it must also be able to accept proven facts and move forwards. If it doesn’t, it stays at the level of “philosophy”, with countless theories forever debated with little to no progress ever made.

          Saying “The science is in, it’s settled” just means it has met the high standards required. It doesn’t mean that it cant be “unsettled” later, but until new evidence or a new theory comes along meeting that high bar, it will be considered fact and we will move forwards based on it being true.

        2. @davedai that’s fair, science isn’t implemented perfectly and scientists are human and thus, fallible. Science can always be done better.

          There are some topics that are well known about however and this is one of them. Events like this have been predicted for decades and we’re seeing it with regularity now. I’m in New Zealand and we’ve had 2 unprecedented events this year alone. Few here still doubt the science.

          1. @antznz Yep what I was getting at was the need to continually question and forge ahead.

            Scientists have an do continue to try to disprove Einstein. Not to denigrate him but to understand is there a point in physics that the theory “falls over”. I’m not explaining my position well. It’s about advancing. Science should always be questioning.
            As to climate change I accept the known science, but wish studies to continue to possibly add to the knowledge bases, not tear them down or debunk them.

            Bit like woodworking class. Sir, how do I know when I have finished sanding?
            You never have son.

            Now I’ll turn my mind to reaching absolute zero without using energy that causes heat too get there.

            Great country NZ . I’m just west of there,your third island. No not Stewart. North Island, South Island, and (ours) Mouth Island.
            I’m allowed to laugh at ourselves.

  6. The article is good, eeven slightly scary, & generally, yes, the sooner, the better.
    Further weather-related cancellations over the next few years are indeed possible, regardless of whether this one is truly about climate change, so I’m also prepared.

  7. Will all of the Alternative Tyre Allocation now be destroyed?

  8. What garbage. Climate change, give me a break. Stick to racing, not collectivist theories.

    1. Blueberry Muffin
      19th May 2023, 14:31

      In 2021, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientific panel said it was an “established fact” that humans’ greenhouse gas emissions had made for more frequent and intense weather extremes.

      The panel called heat waves the most obvious but said heavy precipitation events had also likely increased over most of the world.

      The UN report said “there is robust evidence” that record rainfall and one-in-five, one-in-ten and one-in-twenty year type rainfall “became more common since the 1950s.”

      You don’t have to like it or enjoy being told about it but we might as well be honest about these things.

    2. LOL, you believe the UN? Like they don’t have a vested interest in the income redistribution? Give me a break! Don’t be a sheep, BM.

    3. @jblank. A “garbage” theory that happens to be backed up by the notably right-wing, Trump-appointed, U.S. Department of Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin.

      To keep the nation secure, we must tackle the existential threat of climate change. The unprecedented scale of wildfires, floods, droughts, typhoons, and other extreme weather events of recent months and years have damaged our installations and bases, constrained force readiness and operations, and contributed to instability around the world


      1. @g-funk Trump didn’t appoint Lloyd Austin, Biden did. Nice try.

        1. @jblank A) That doesn’t discount that the U.S. Military, one of the most conservative parts of the entire U.S. Government, considers Climate Change to not only be real, but an existential threat.

          B) If you want to see a law that Trump himself signed into law that says Climate Change is real and impacting the world you can find it in Section 335 of the 2018 NDAA.


    4. Do you make a habit of openly outing yourself as a monumentally brain-dead human being unsolicited in all walks of your life or are we just lucky in the F1 community?

    5. Climate change is happening whether you believe it or not, Blankie. How did you enjoy the last couple of winters in Texas? How about those increasing number of serious hurricanes? Just keep your head in the sand, that’s the best way to own the libs.

    6. “Collectivist theories” is a pretty tired dog whistle.

  9. Paulo Jesus
    19th May 2023, 14:44

    is this a joke? what a pathetic title and article. Just trying to virtue signal and get in with the “crowd”. i’ve had enough, goodbye.

  10. Not all weather is due to climate change. We used to have weather before climate change was invented for heavens sake.

    1. No weather is ever due to climate change. The concept of climate change means alterations in medium to long-term weather patterns, not one-off weather events. And science is about recording and determining the causes of those alterations and anticipating future patterns. Those predictions suggest increased climate instability. Anyone familiar with dynamic systems knows that is entirely plausible: if you alter some parameters, like temperature, then all kinds of effects can multiply, including wilder oscillations in previously more regular patterns. Obviously there are always outliers in any dynamic system. So just one event is never ‘evidence.’ But over time, systemic changes and eventually new ‘metastable’ patterns become discernible.

  11. And how do you know this is due to climate change? Maybe yes, maybe not, but you shouldn’t speculate, but leave that to the viewers. Even if it is climate change (rain in May is kinda normal though), there would be no F1 without climate change, if we were still in the ice age, or much warmer climate before that… That’s all very interesting stuff, but if I want political propaganda, I’ll watch CNN, BBC, Fox or Russia today. I’m here to relax from all that brainwashing and enjoy the sport. No, you don’t need to make a statement, that’s how life in USSR was.

    1. He doesn’t know or claim it, it literally says in the article. Calm down.

      Climate change is real. Deal with it.

      1. He’s not saying climate change isn’t real, he’s saying that extremities in weather happens regardless.

        It’s climate alarmism that he’s more referring to.

  12. As far as I could tell from news reports, the floods in the Emilia-Romagna region came after droughts that baked the earth, meaning that when the exceptionally heavy rain fell, the water just flowed away rather than some being absorbed, compounding the problem. In the UK, modern ‘productivity-boosting’ farming methods that canalize rivers also cause increased flooding by channeling water away too quickly, causing floods downriver – I don’t know if the same applies to more lowland areas of the Emilia-Romagna farming region.
    Formula 1 obviously would have been impossible without the 20th century fossil fuel economy that has vastly accelerated human-induced climate change. Despite its attempts (some real) to mitigate its effects through ‘green’ measures and technologies, the sport remains a symbol of the kind of global tourism and car dependency that still causes huge damage. With the restrictions of technological innovation now, combined with its desire to spread venues everywhere, I’m not sure how justifiable the sport is. Minimally it needs to organize the venue schedule into a more resource-effective itinerary, continent by continent.

    1. @david-br in the case of Emilia-Romagna the region has been in severe drought due to a shortage of meltwater last summer – canalisation definitely plays a role but there’s been industry shutdowns and cutoffs because of the very low levels of the river Po since August 2022

  13. Climate change? Cancelled by flooding.

    1. …yes?

      Are you one of those conservatives with the logic of a 6 year old who sees any snow or ice or cold or rain and goes ‘Ha! So much with your pesky global warming conspiracy libtards!’

      This is literally exactly how it works lol.

      1. For heaven’s sake, don’t put the ageist bee in his bonnet!

  14. depressingly inevitable that there’s people complaining about climate change being some leftist conspiracy; it’s not. there isn’t a government in the world that doesn’t acknowledge it, from whatever you consider left wing through to Saudi Arabia. although there’s some room for debate about what needs to be done still (and not a lot of that because we stalled for so long on taking action) the fact it’s happening is long past questioning.

    F1 has a very difficult future in dealing with it, as Keith says – one bit of it, an inflexible and ultra-complex calendar, is entirely its own making. logistics demands are already at breaking point and disruption like this will happen, whether it takes the form of extreme and tragic events like in Emilia Romagna or port closures for the sea freight, continued disruption to supply chains and transport routes. logisticians are already playing 5D chess to make the calendar make sense, shuffling it round won’t be possible – and does a huge disservice to fans.

    the other side is that all motorsport is under scrutiny. protestors trying to draw attention to anything by invading Formula E may have primarily made themselves look silly by not checking the audience numbers first but even if F1 flipped to a magical (and non-existent) carbon neutral combustion engine tomorrow it would still be taking sponsorship money from the world’s biggest polluters.

    both the reality and the PR sides have no easy fix. some of it is F1’s nature, some of it is nature’s revenge. but there’s going to have to be another strategic option going forwards, both in terms of what F1 does when it finds itself in the middle of an obvious natural disaster and how it reconciles itself to the world seeing it there.

    1. @hazelsouthwell +1
      Good points about the logistics of venue scheduling. Covid-19 led to huge speculative buy-up of sea transportation by venture capitalists, which has also skewed costs and routes. But surely F1 needs to prioritize a more coherent schedule not just to reduce emissions, though that’s primary, but also for the sport’s own sustainability (given so many people involved from drivers to journalists seem to be finding it near impossible). Also agree about Formula 1’s moves to becoming carbon neutral but still taking sponsorship money from big polluters.

    2. I think a lot of people just refuse to acknowledge climate change because it would inconvenience them or make them feel bad for contributing to the problem. Humans didn’t evolve to have to understand a problem of this magnitude. It’s really easy to be afraid of a left wing bogeyman but a lot harder to comprehend a more complicated and nuanced problem like climate change. Dismissal is more convenient. You get to keep caring only about yourself.

      1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
        19th May 2023, 19:34

        Earths climate has always been dynamic and is always changing with or without human presence. I doubt anyone denies that fact. I think most are just tired of using natural disasters as a way to push the politics of “climate change”. Natural disasters has been around long before humans and that isn’t going to change. There is zero proof to show the weather is increasingly worse now than in the past. Do we have an impact, I think most will say yes. I think the issue is no one really knows how much of an impact that truly is. I think our societies speed up the climate change to some degree but there is no way in knowing by how much. Technically we are still coming out of the last ice age! Most of us are just getting worn down by the exaggeration of politics pushing the so called “climate change” agenda. It’s always dooms day talk which is non-sense. Using tragic natural disaster events like this one, to push an agenda is rather dis-tasteful.

        Cancellation of the race was the right move. The area has enough to worry about and F1 is just not that important compared to what’s going on in those communities. Prayers to everyone in that area!

        1. It’s quite clear that anthropogenic climate change is increasing the rate of warming beyond the slight warming that was occurring prior to the Industrial Revolution. “We don’t really know” hasn’t been a viable excuse for inactivity since at least the 2000s. The writing is on the wall. Now is the time to act to prevent irreversible damage to our climate.

          1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
            19th May 2023, 21:29

            Please re-read my comment. I never said change wasn’t increasing… I acknowledged that human activity maybe speeding it up. I’m just saying that there isn’t any evidence/calculations to show by how much (there are so many variables that scientists can’t accurately predict this stuff). We are hearing from various government reps that we only have 10 years before dooms day essentially. That is just fear mongering the public. What folks need to do, is not worry about the global involvement but focus on taking care of the eco-systems that we personally interact with and live in on a daily basis. The global change is going the direction is always going to go in. We can’t prevent that, we can maybe at best not allow it to increase the rate.

          2. @flyingferrarim there very much are calculations about this. the most recent publicly available and digestible are in the final IPCC report: here it is.

            you can choose not to read it or the reporting from it but you cannot say that it doesn’t exist.

          3. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
            20th May 2023, 6:38

            Never said there wasn’t calculations to show climate change exists (rather the direct human impact to it is not really calculated) nor did I say climate change didn’t exist… these are “models” and are only as good as the variables and inputs used to create it. We’ve seen many scientific models to be proven wrong in the past so we have to view them as they are, models/theories. Largely because there are so many factors/variables that go into it that make up the global system (earths systems are very complicated and not fully understood). I don’t disagree with the findings from the IPCC saying there is change and them trying to find a trend to predict future levels. We as humans do not fully understand how our world systems fully function and how they interact with each other (speaking of ocean systems, volcanic systems, human, solar, plants, etc). I’m not denying the fact that our climate changes. Our world is dynamic and always has been. My only argument/point is that it is very difficult to say how much us humans actually impact/drive how fast that change takes place beyond the normal cycle. My issue today is more about the use of these events with an under-tone that this was a human induced event. That is my only sticking point here.

            As far as we know there could be a lot of volcanic activity happening in the ocean(s) and raising the water temps and therefor releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere and melting the ice caps (here). I’m not suggesting this is a root cause, just saying this is a possible variable, among many, that is not included when discussing climate change. This just drives my point in that there is a lot we don’t know still. The amount of energy to warm an ocean has to be excessive so I doubt it’s just one variable driving this.

            Plus, government policies are all pushing electric cars which isn’t as carbon friendly as they like you to believe (I’m including mining and the lack of recycling of electronics and batteries to manufacture these cars) and the lack of an infrastructure to support their grand ideas. That’s all I’m going to talk about governments as I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole. To be completely honestly, when speaking car technology… societies should be pushing for hydrogen powered cars (research Toyota’s and Yamaha’s efforts, very interesting stuff). Would love to F1 go this route and be a front runner in innovation that could change transportation for everyone. Now, there are a couple of major hurdles to make this option viable but if folks really believe in reducing CO2 emissions, this should be pushed far more than electric cars.

        2. Sandwhichands
          20th May 2023, 2:35

          Could you please define “the politics of climate change” being pushed?

        3. “There is zero proof to show the weather is increasingly worse now than in the past.”

          The increasingly more extensive amounts of droughts, more and bigger forest fires.

          Of course there isn’t any proof if one doesn’t wanna understand or read it.

          1. Of course there isn’t any proof if one doesn’t wanna understand or read it.

            Just like global economics or politics, or many other complex topics, the vast majority don’t possess the skills, knowledge, experience or time to examine evidence in detail and come to their own informed decisions. That’s why we have experts to do this research and let us know the conclusions. In science, were also have a robust peet review process to validate this research before it is accepted.

            The problem comes when either the people don’t trust the experts, or where there are conflicting conclusions being pushed by different groups of experts. It’s very difficult for the layperson to differentiate between them. This also gets influenced by a person’s own subjective opinions, and feeds confirmation bias: A person is far more likely to accept things which match their own opinion and dismiss those which conflict with it.

            There are “experts” who espouse flat-earth, young-earth creationism etc. For people who believe these “theories”, those “experts” are believed and the overwhelming majority against are dismissed.

            The same is true for climate deniers. There are a small, but vocal, minority of “experts” who claim that humans are having, at most, a very minor effect on the global climate, and for those already of that opinion these are the ones to believe. Anyone who refutes this is diagnosed as part of an establishment with a vested interest.

            For me, I take a pragmatic view: even if humans were having only a small impact on global climate and the rest of natural, the effects on the planet of only a couple of degrees rise in long term average global temperatures would be catastrophic and threaten human survival. If we reduce the increase by even half a degree this could save millions of lives. We should, also, be doing what we can to prepare for the effects of climate change, just in case we cannot prevent it. This is all going to cost a lot of money, but the potential cost of doing nothing (financially, even ignoring the cost of human lives or the ecological effects) exceeds this by an order of magnitude. Quite frankly, doing nothing is not worth the risk no matter who is right.

    3. Coventry Climax
      20th May 2023, 0:14

      Thank you @hazelsouthwell.

      Keith’s text is quite carefully worded, and the points he makes are indeed all very true and valid. If anything, he words concerns for the future of motorsports.
      It’s appalling to see/read what’s commented on it here, which actually further proves some of Keith’s points.
      F1 are after a new fanbase, but appear to have attracted hooligans.

      1. F1 are after a new fanbase, but appear to have attracted hooligans.

        I am not a hooligan thank you very much.

  15. As expected the denialists out in force in the comments. I guess I don’t really know why. Flooding is extreme weather and ALL the science (you know actual science) points to extreme events being more and more frequent. So yes flooding has always happened but also yes it will happen more frequently and more severely. Anyone contesting that is denying facts about the world we live in. And yes it’s because of us and rampant consumerism.

    1. ALL the science (you know actual science) points to extreme events being more and more frequent.

      citation required.

        1. Coventry Climax
          20th May 2023, 0:19

          Come on in – the water is warm. And it’s getting warmer.

          Nice, but not in Spain and Portugal alas; as there’s hardly any water at all there anymore.

    2. Apparently science is a “collectivist theory” now, lol!

  16. Bob Hoskins
    19th May 2023, 16:11

    This is bad reporting.
    One event can’t be attributed to climate change.
    Prove this race was cancelled due to worlds climate changing.

    1. Prove climate change isn’t real.

      1. Well after about four and a half billion years of ongoing climate change, I’m not going to take up that challenge.

        1. Show one event in the history of the planet where the climate changed so drastically in such a short period of time.

          There has been a rise in global average temperatures of over a degree in the last hundred years, something which hasn’t occurred in at least the last 20,000 years. Even if it wasn’t anything to do with human activity, we should be worried about that. In fact, if it has nothing to do with human activity we should be even more worried, because that would make it even more difficult for us to do anything about it…

  17. Wait, there were never floods in Italy before “climate change?”

    1. No, as far as we know this has never happened before. Read the article, it provides two quotes to that effect.

      1. @uzsjgb
        The two quotes state that these floods has never been registered and that they didn’t happen in a century. That doesn’t mean that they have never happened. Besides as I said earlier in a comment that was cancelled that floods have been part of ancient Rome.

        The ancient Romans had to deal with the challenges posed by these floods and made efforts to manage and control the water through various engineering projects, including the construction of drainage systems and embankments

  18. So having shotty watermanagement is called environmental change now.. Get real build proper dikes and overflow areas. Call the Dutch..

    1. You do realize that dikes are on the ground? Rain comes from above.

    2. It’s all an economic trade off, next we are going to call the floods in New Orleans due to Katrina “global warming”. It’s just a trade off versus how safe you want to build the infrastructure. The Dutch target >1 in 1000 years disaster levels, typically higher. The Americans are happy with 1 in 100 years. The Italians can’t even build bridges that keep standing so yeah… Blaming climate change doesn’t build infrastructure..

    3. @maxv The Dutch recently had massive floods in Limburg after intense rain further upstream in Belgium. Not every area in the Netherlands could handle such rain. In some cases the excess capacity of drainage etc. might be sufficient, but definitely not all.

  19. Oh for pity’s sake.
    “Cancelled by climate change”?
    That would be a pathetic claim by even the most rabid of the climate change maniacs.

    1. The article does say:

      Whether climate change was responsible for the flooding which forced the cancellation of this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix is a question experts in the field will have the final say on.

      ‘Not sure’ why such a bold claim made it into the title, but the caveat is there regardless.

      Still, intense rain after a dry period is always risky. And yes, the earth will likely keep getting warmer (it is relatively early into an interglacial). This will require changes to infrastructure and strengthening of flood protection (amongst others) to account for more frequent heavy rain and storms. A 1 in 400 year event is not that rare; coastal communities usually try to prepare for much rarer events (the Dutch in particular).

  20. SomeOtherDude
    19th May 2023, 18:05

    What’s a normal amount of flooding?

  21. This kind of thing is like the halo thing.
    Now in every heavy crash without consequences someone says “thanks to the halo!” although it is not possible to know if the consequences of the crash would have been the same without the halo.
    It’s the same with this. There has been a flood, and the more the climate changes, the more there will be, but whether or not this particular flood would have occurred in the absence of climate change, there is no telling. My city has suffered several floods, and the most serious were in the 50s and 80s. And I’m from Spain that is not that far of Italy.
    On the other hand, I also find it amazing that more and more people are denying something that is obvious and that scientists have been warning about for at least 40 years.

  22. It is entirely possible that flooding like this could have happened without the influence of climate change. The point is that climate change increases the likelihood and frequency of extreme rainfall.

    Global ocean temperatures have increased by at least 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the turn of the last century. Increased ocean temperatures cause more water to be evaporated into the atmosphere. This moisture-laden air causes increased precipitation than had there been less moisture. In the United States we have observed an increase of 0.2 inches of average precipitation per decade since the turn of the last century.

    This is the most basic cause of increased flooding, but there are a lot of earth systems that have been impacted by climate change that also contribute to increased flooding.

    Can you now understand how climate change has almost certainly contributed to or exacerbated the flooding near Imola? If not that should trigger some serious self reflection.

  23. Well that was predictable – both extremes of the argument being as bad as each-other. Neither of you are right really. Theories are just that, and can only ever be proved wrong – any mug can come up with a ridiculous argument and claim because there’s no ‘proof’ against it it must be true.

    My issue with the article is it states as fact that this weather event is down to climate change – I don’t see how you can say that as a fact. Opinion, yes, but saying it as fact is just asking for issues.

    And before the inevitable – my personal opinion is that climate change does exist and we have affected things. There are however a vast array of opinions/claims spun off of that. My chief objection is from the anarchist/left wing who generally are anti-establishment and claim all sorts of crap off the back of that – fortunately it’s pretty obvious who they are and they can (generally) be ignored.

    Given all the other racing on this weekend maybe there can be some focus on that? Even just some articles on club level racing would be a good start!

    1. Both sides of an argument aren’t as bad as each other when there’s no argument to be had. Stop equivocating. It legitimises the crazies.

      This this a political debate.

      The 2 sides here are ‘decent, reasonable person’ and ‘awful bad person’s. They can’t be as bad as each other.

      1. This isn’t a political debate.*

      2. Thanks for proving my point. I didn’t say ‘both sides’ I said ‘both extremes’. The extremes are as bad as each other because neither states a reasonable argument for their position. You mis-quoted me to validate your statement while giving no reasonable argument yourself other than saying ‘stop doing XYZ because I said so’.

        There is always a conversation to be had – except for those who believe they are above any reasoned argument, who I generally put in the either extreme category.

        The fact that the extremes cling to scraps of valid critical thinking to push their own thoughts doesn’t make the scraps of validity invalid.

        So what you are saying is that only awful bad people would question that this specific flood is entirely down to climate change. I disagree with that. Say it’s highly likely, or something less definite, because that’s a more reasonable statement to make given the body of valid evidence available.

  24. It would be nice if there was an option on this site for me to personally filter out selected people from my view of the comments. Does this option exist? Could it be added?

    I love the site’s articles, but I’m growing tired of wasting my time seeing the ridiculous opinions of certain people on it, to the extent that after a decade on it, I’m considering leaving for an alternative. This excellent article and the contrastingly toxic comments provides very good examples. If that’s these people’s attitude to the biggest crisis this planet has ever encountered, I have no interest in their opinions on motor racing. I appreciate that in most cases they don’t deserve to be outright banned from the site, but I just have zero respect for these people and don’t want them polluting my enjoyment of this site.

    I appreciate that my suggestion for me to peronally block out naysayers draws parallels with how the internet’s reinforcing algorithms has driven these people’s beliefs to an irrational deluded position. But it’s an option that I would appreciate on this site.

    1. Duped by what exactly?

    2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      20th May 2023, 2:24

      Oh well, bye then.

    3. Just don’t read the comments, I guess?

    4. You would like to cancel people because you are easily hurt..

      1. @maxv Who?Me? No I just am tired of thread after thread of rewritten guff, over and over from one poster finally said I disagree and @jasonj I got cancelled. Think I’ll go VPN with a euro ISP.
        The colonial attitude lives on.

    5. You are going to struggle to mentally develop if you mute differing viewpoints / opinions. That echo chamber will eventually deafen you and stunt you ability to function in society. Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

    6. It would be nice if there was an option on this site for me to personally filter out selected people from my view of the comments. Does this option exist? Could it be added?

      I know next to nothing about running a website like this one, but I suspect adding features like what you want costs money, which would come from us, the viewers. The two most obvious ways of increasing revenue are: 1) more advertising; and 2) increased annual subscription. Neither of those appeals to me.
      There is a cheaper option, which is to use your discernment and choose whose views you wish to read.
      Also, it is important to see the views of others in a case like this because it could be I’m the one with the wrong viewpoint, not them.

  25. Neil (@neilosjames)
    19th May 2023, 21:56

    I did wince a bit at the headline from an academic perspective, but the general message that climate change makes extreme events more likely is entirely correct and it’s a great article.

    The series of weather events that ultimately contributed to the present ground situation that caused the cancellation could have happened in a pre-industrial world… but the probability of any one of the extreme events, let alone this particular chain, in this particular order, at this particular intensity, occurring would have been far, far lower. I hope someone has a crack at working out a ballpark figure for this particular series, one day.

    Some odd comments, though… where does politics come into it? I think even the very few ‘sceptical scientists’ (those followed by the sceptical public) that exist accept that extreme event probability increasing is a broad fact, even if they don’t follow the consensus on the cause of observed climate change. Looking at data and reaching the only possible conclusion isn’t political… you can feasibly interpret something like economics in a huge range of ways, hence a multitude of theories/political positions, but you can’t really do that with the basic, underlying data of climate change and extreme events.

    I actually think the sceptical side relies on convincing people that it IS politics, just to survive and recruit members.

    1. Moana Pasifika
      20th May 2023, 0:45

      It’s not even remotely “the only possible conclusion” and you know it.
      But that is a pointless rabbithole to go down into – the world is full of King Canutes these days, all believing humans can control the climate.
      Just didn’t expect to find that on this site – though I can’t say I’m that surprised, such is the prevalence of this stuff.
      Was good while it lasted though.

      1. Except of course that King Canute was demonstrating the opposite, that not even he could control nature.

      2. Humans don’t believe they can control the climate. Humans believe they can control the part of the climate they affect. It’s a vast difference. But then again, we don’t even believe that, because there are the likes of you and those people behind other comments that are oblivious to science.

        But you didn’t expect people on this site to be educated and/or to follow science? That has to be one of the oddest comments ever.

  26. Cancel the whole season because of climate change. We can’t risk the future on silly motor racing.

    In all seriousness, I’m pleased to see how many commenters are seeing what this really is.

    1. Lol, you’re pleased to see that no matter what space one frequents there are always literal crackpot lunatics?

      1. You aren’t swaying anyones opinion with these kinds of statements. It only makes you and the victim of this kind of language dig in deeper. Constructive comments go a lot further to convince these so called “literal crackpot lunatics” than literal vitriol and hatred.

        Have a nice day!

    2. And Brexit was good, too.

  27. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    20th May 2023, 2:22

    So no time to update the Predictions Championship points since the start of the season but plenty of time to write this utter rubbish. Dear oh dear!

  28. You do realise flooding like this & far worse has existed for many, many thousands of years… according to the scientific evidence, millions of years. The only difference now is that people are around to be affected by it. You should really stick to racing articles.

  29. Next younguys are going to say that electric cars are better for the environment that gasoline power cars!

    I hope none of you really believe that. CO2 is a plant food, battery waste is a human poison that lasts forever in out oceans and land fills.

    1. Poison is poison, Jojo.

  30. So why was it they stopped calling it ‘Global Warming’?

  31. Looks like a nerve has been touched here… Scientific literacy clearly has a long way to go. Weather and climate are quite different things. Sure in isolation this particular flood event may be an anomaly but we have decades of data now showing that the climate is changing and the link to human activity is well established. I’m bewildered that this distinction is not more widely appreciated. Sure it’s hard to pinpoint a single weather event on climate change, but to dismiss the data and the more extreme and frequent extreme weather events is simply ignorance. Was this event cancelled due to climate change? Probably, yes.

    1. It’s about politics, ideology and psychology; they don’t care about scientific literacy. Good for Keith to get good views over this.

      1. @tommy-c Well said.

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