Extreme Weather Linked To Man-Made Climate Change, Claim Scientists

The increasing frequency of extreme weather events has had meteorologists scratching their heads for a long time, unsure whether they could be firmly attributed to man-made climate change or not. Now, a study by a global team of scientists suggests that we can be squarely blamed in many cases.

The study, which is to be published soon in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, attempts to decipher climate data and establish which extreme weather events are a result of man-made climate change. The results are interesting.

For instance, they claim that global warming made the severe heat in Texas last year 20 times as likely as it would have been in the 1960s. Elsewhere, they suggest that the incredibly warm temperatures in Britain last November were 62 times as likely because of global warming. But not every event is deemed a result of man-made climate change: last year's devastating floods in Thailand, for example, weren't. Instead, in that case, they suggest that rapid development in parts of Thailand is to blame.

The findings, of course, are bound to be controversial — especially when you consider the pace at which the research has been carried out. Usually studies which link climate change to weather events take years to publish, as the process of unpicking signal from noise in weather data is extremely difficult. In this case, a global team of scientists has managed to study six events from 2011 and publish the results in six months. Philip W. Mote, director of the Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University, explains to the New York Times:

"This is hot new science. It's controversial. People are trying different methods of figuring out how much the odds may have shifted because of what we have put into the atmosphere."

No doubt it will remain controversial, too. But it's hard to argue with some of their broader conclusions, which sound common-sensical but are now backed by some data: that heat waves are probably being worsened by global warming, and that an intensification of the water cycle results in increase in both droughts and heavy downpours.

What will prompt most speculation as to the validity of these results are the precise numbers which the scientists have allocated to the events — and certainly much more research is required before the evidence is entirely convincing. But in the meantime, the finding serves as a stark reminder that our planet does react to the way we treat it. [Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, New York Times]

Image by davedehetre under Creative Commons license



Comments

    We don’t need more scientific evidence. It’s the same as smoking, anyone who smokes knows that it’s not good for them, you don’t need a scientist to tell you it’s killing you. It’s the same with the environment. We need to act now “Carbon Tax” and much much more, because the longer we leave it the harder it’s going to be to fix, if it can be fixed at all!

      We do need to act. Not just pass the cost on and give the money from the Australian middle class to others. Which is all the carbon tax does.

        Eh? The Carbon Tax takes money from 500 biggest polluting companies and gives it to low and middle income earners??

        No idea where you got the "rob the middle, give to the low" idea?

          ....so you haven't heard of how taxes are passed on to the people? Let me quote you a poem:
          Roses are red,
          Violets are blue,
          Taxing the rich,
          Only hurts me and you.

          You truly believe that all these taxes are not going to be passed on? And they are not giving this money back to the low and middle income earners at all. Wake Up Australia!

    So far, the report uses "man-made climate change" as a matter of conversation, without presenting any data for the "man-made" part; they just say it. The same ilk of scientific philosophers were wringing their collective hands over global cooling a few years ago. They have labled carbon dioxide as a pollutant without noting that where more CO² is present, trees and other greenery abounds, producing more oxygen. Stacked evidence sharing is not the scientific method.

      Sooooo...how you would explain the recent cold summer that we got?

        al nino? fail at spelling...

        We had a summer with the La Nina wether pattern. This weather pattern brings wetter, cooler summers. Turns out we had the wettest summer on record, 11/12! Dams right across NSW were filling to capacity. The previous summer before that we again had a La Nina weather event 10/11. Turns out that was the hottest summer on record for much of NSW. This is quite an alarming occurrence as you would expect a wetter cooler summer. Records for the most consecutive days with temperatures over 30c were broken throughout NSW. Sooooo... Lolwut, that's how i would explain it anyway. :D
        But remember, just because one summer is cool, does not mean climate change and the increase in global average temperature does not exist. It's all about the long term average and climate variability. I use running a business as an analogy. A business can be increasing sales on average, yet still have days where poor figures exist. The days that are below the expected average and direction of the business doesn't mean the business is in trouble, it means variability exists. Just because our local weather may appear below average on occasions, doesn't mean a warmer trend does not exist.

        Well.....it gets colder and then it gets warmer and then it gets colder again, that is what real climate change is. Not the UN sanctioned climate change that by definition is "man-made". See how they had to change from Anthropogenic Global Warming to Climate Change, becuase it wasn't warming enough..
        Let go of your religious belief that anytime it gets cooler or warmer it is our fault!

      @Floyd Gingrich - "The same ilk of scientific philosophers were wringing their collective hands over global cooling a few years ago."

      No they weren't. Global cooling might have gotten in Time magazine and a couple of others but it was a fringe theory that never gained any popular support within the scientific community.

      The idea that scientists were all pushing global cooling before global warming is a lie that is sold to gullible "skeptics", who demonstrate a clear lack of skepticism.

      "hey have labled carbon dioxide as a pollutant without noting that where more CO² is present, trees and other greenery abounds, producing more oxygen"

      Only to a point. Recent studies have shown that too much then retards growth.

      The argument about whether CO2 is a "pollutant" is another red herring. Its like salt. Your body needs salt to live. Desert nomads often carry salt tablets because they can die from the loss of salt (through sweat) before the loss of water. So salt is required to live?

      Yet most people have enough salt in their pantry to cause brain swelling or death. The fatal dose is less than one of those refill packets. So is salt a poison?

      The answer is: depends on the quantity. Same as with CO2.

    Love it, one article says it's all our fault and then the next one comes out saying it was warmer during the roman times... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/10/global_warming_undermined_by_study_of_climate_change/
    No wonder people continue to have these debates...

    Try reading http://wattsupwiththat.com/
    the most widely read climate science blog on the net.
    Climate Science is corrupt at its roots.

      So one man's blog is the definitive "climate science" source to prove that all "Climate Science is corrupt at its roots."
      Yeah, I'd believe that!
      Some people should not be allowed to own a computer.

    *Newsflash* Global warming scientists release another report so the billion $$ funding keeps flowing. Wake up and smell the Carbon crap, money spin.

    So, it must be true! Some scientists being paid to find a link between "climate change" and mans impact have found a smoking gun! Gee, that is a suprise! Just like how the mining company paid scientists have "proven" that CSG doesn't contaminate the acquifers.
    It must have been all those coal fired power stations and SUVs that caused the last ice-age to end, I mean what else could have caused the earth to heat up so much? The sun? Puhlease! We all know that it has no affect.

      Think about it. If you were a corrupt scientist, who was in it for the money, what line would you take? Would you go with the thousands who report back the unpopular reality of AGW? Or would you go with the handful who have made a lucrative career out of denial? Believe it or not, governments and business and all those who fund the science would love nothing more than to be told there was nothing to worry about. Yet you seem to imagine that they would pay people to (dishonestly, on your account) deliver news that is unequivocally bad for everyone. Who is supposed to be funding this global scientific conspiracy? Solar cell manufacturers? Get real.

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