Scientists pin extreme weather on climate change

By Fiona Harvey, Guardian Weekly, 12 July 2012

Climate change researchers have been able to attribute recent examples of extreme weather to the effects of human activity on the planet’s climate systems for the first time, marking a major step forward in climate research… Last year’s record warm November in the UK – the second hottest since records began in 1659 – was at least 60 times more likely to happen because of climate change than owing to natural variations in the earth’s weather systems, according to the peer-reviewed studies by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US, and the Met Office in the UK… To attribute recent extreme weather events – rather than events 10 years ago or more – to human-caused climate change is a big advance, and will help researchers to provide better warnings of the likely effects of climate change in the near future. This is likely to have major repercussions on climate change policy and the ongoing efforts to adapt to the probable effects of global warming.

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