Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Extreme Weather in 2013 Attributed to Climate Change

Many of the extreme weather events we witnessed in 2013 have been attributed to climate change. This is the finding in an attribution study published on Monday September 22, 2014. The study was published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). A total of 9 of the 16 extreme weather events we witnessed in 2013 were considered to have a clear link to climate change.

According to the research, climate change was behind the Heat waves in Australia, Europe, China, Japan and Korea, intense rain in parts of the United States and India, and severe droughts in California and New Zealand.

Organized by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, scientist published 22 studies that made the connection between extreme weather events in 2013 and climate change.

For the longest time scientists could not link an individual weather event to climate change. Now this is changing. The new attribution studies are the consequence of better computer models and new research.

The California drought is being connected to persistent high pressure ridges in the area that cause low precipitation. This was the conclusion of a Stanford University study which found that climate change has made the likelihood of strong persistent high pressure ridges that cause drought three times more likely than in pre-industrial climates.

Persistent heat waves are the strongest link between extreme weather and climate change. According to one study on extreme heat in Australia, the link is "100 percent".

The new wave of attribution studies are making it much harder to ignore the connection between extreme weather and climate change.

To see the full report click here.

No comments: