Scientists find link between climate change and extreme weather events

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A new report says this year could be the warmest on record across the globe. The UK Met Office looked at the global average temperature from January – September 2015 and says we’re on track to be 1 degree Celsius warmer than we were in the 1700’s before the Industrial Revolution.

1 degree might not seem like a big deal but it is significant, especially when you consider many countries, including the U.S., have set a limit of 2 degrees Celsius as a dangerous level of warming. This marks the first time we’ve seen this level of warming. It’s no surprise then that 2015 is also well on pace to be the warmest year ever on record.

climate_change_2015_1

The UK Met Office says El Niño has had a strong impact on this year’s warming but in their words: “It’s clear that it is human influence driving our modern climate into uncharted territory.” They also mention this doesn’t necessarily mean that every year will be this warm. Natural variations in climate are still expected.

This report comes on the heels of another one released late last week. Scientists from around the world are studying how climate change affects weather. After studying nearly 30 extreme weather events in 2014, they released their findings late last week. This report has been released for the last four years with the aim of seeing what, if any, impact climate change has on global weather.

Extreme Weather Events 2014 Map

Scientists carefully analyzed each individual event to figure out the cause which could include natural changes in climate and human-induced climate change. They found that several disasters in 2014, including tropical cyclones in the central Pacific, heavy rainfall in Europe, drought in east Africa, and dangerous heat waves in Australia, Asia, and South America were a result of human activity.

Courtesy: Union of Concerned Scientists
Courtesy: Union of Concerned Scientists

 

The group also looked into one event here in the East: the extreme cold in early 2014. Even though the region saw a record number of days with below average temperatures, they found climate change was not to blame. However, the information in the report is expected to help in better preparing for future weather disasters.

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