01 Nov 2011:
Extreme Weather Events
Likely Linked to Warming, IPCC Says
A draft report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says there is a 2-in-3 probability that human-caused climate change is already leading to an increase in extreme weather events.
The draft summary, obtained by the Associated Press, said that increasingly wild weather, such
as the downpours that have caused recent extreme flooding in Thailand, will lead to a growing toll in lost lives and property damage, and will render some locations “increasingly marginal as places to live.” The report says that scientists are “virtually certain” that continued warming will cause not only an increase in extreme heat waves and drought in some regions, but also will generate more intense downpours that lead to severe flooding. The report, which wades into the contentious subject of whether climate change is already causing more extreme weather
, will be issued in several weeks in advance of global climate talks to be held in Durban, South Africa in December. “I think people realize that the extremes are where we are going to see a lot of the impacts of climate change,” said Jerry Meehl, senior scientist at the U.S.’s National Center for Atmospheric Research.
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In a Yale Environment 360
video, photographer Pete McBride documents how increasing water demands have transformed the Colorado River, the lifeblood of the arid Southwest. Watch the video.