A new report called Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change written by the Committee on Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change Attribution links extreme weather to climate change. The report was pre-published recently and the final report will be available through the National Academies Press in spring 2016.
Working under Washington’s National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the researchers of climate from British and American universities laid out the reports findings Friday March 11 at a news conference.
The committee expresses that they have a strong belief that most events of extreme weather such as heat waves, heavy precipitation, and droughts are being affected or caused by climate change.
Prior to this report, scientists and researchers had a general consensus that the happenstance of extreme weather and climate change had no conclusive link.
The researchers gathered long-term data on extreme events which allowed them to outline how they were developing in severity as the impacts of climate change grew over time.
The committee members noted the heatwave in Russia that occurred in 2010, which prompted the nation’s most detrimental drought in about 40 years, and the loss of around 34,749 square miles of crops. They additionally pointed to the extreme rain in the United Kingdom that occurred in 2000, which led to the most damaging and widespread flooding since the 1940s.
According to researchers, they don’t quite have enough information to conclude that every event of extreme weather is due to climate change. However, as the research is expanded, they may be able to link wildfires, hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons, and tornados to climate change.
As these extreme weather events become more dangerous and more frequent, the repercussions will be taken out on the economy and individual’s lives.
In 2014, the World Meteorological Organization approximated that occurrences of extreme weather cost the human race over 2 trillion dollars and have killed over 2 million people, while devastating millions more.
The researchers hope that they can expand upon the reports findings through research in order for researchers and forecasters to eventually design better predictive models not just with respect to the understanding of climate, but with the conclusive understanding of the effect that climate change is having on Earth’s weather systems.