In a supplement to their State of the Climate report released in July, climate scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS) attributed—for the first time—recent extreme weather events to human-induced climate change.
The study found increasing evidence that specific events, and patterns of events—such as floods, heat waves, and drought—can now be linked to human activities such as greenhouse gas emissions.
Of the six extreme weather events in 2011, the report indicates that five were at least partly caused by climate change. Last year’s record heat wave in Texas was about 20 times more likely to have happened due to climate change than natural variations in weather systems, according to the report.
“Every weather event that happens now takes place in the context of a changing global environment,” commented Kathryn D. Sullivan, deputy NOAA administrator. “This annual report provides scientists and citizens alike with an analysis of what has happened so we can all prepare for what is to come.”
Nearly 80 percent of Americans want to see more environmental mainstream news coverage. After the release of a new report on extreme weather and climate change, that may finally happen.
We can still avoid a devastating climate crisis, but we’ll need a World War II-level mobilization — and we’ll need to stand up to Dirty Energy.
Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and droughts: A new coalition to investigate the impact of climate change on weather.