Climate change already worsening weird, deadly, and expensive weather

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
November 02, 2011



Unprecedented flooding in Thailand, torrential rains pummeling El Salvador, long-term and beyond-extreme drought in Texas, killer snowstorm in the eastern US—and that's just the last month or so. Extreme weather worldwide appears to be both increasing in frequency and intensity, and a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) connects the dots between wilder weather patterns and global climate change. Leaked to the Associated Press and the AFP, the draft report warns that the world should expect more floods, heatwaves, and droughts to such as extent that some region may become "increasingly marginal as places to live."

Although the report still has to be vetted by scientists before its release later this month in Uganda, researchers are already calling this the largest effort to date to tease out the links between extreme weather and a warming world. Preliminary findings include the expectation of increasing precipitation (including snowfall) in high latitudes and the tropics; increasing and intensifying heatwaves; worsening droughts in some regions; and a continuing trend of breaking record high temperatures worldwide coupled with more frequent heatwaves.

Notably, the draft report finds that it is likely (above 66 percent) that global climate change has already worsened extreme weather worldwide.

This year the US has been rocked by several billion dollar extreme weather disasters, from tornadoes to flooding to hurricanes to heatwaves. Meanwhile, Texas is suffering its worst drought since the Dust Bowl; a drought in East Africa has propelled parts of the region into famine; and parts of China, too, are suffering from too-little rain. Thailand is currently experiencing its worst natural disaster in its history: unprecedented flooding has left hundreds dead and will cost an expected $6 billion. Across the globe, El Salvador has also suffered from flooding and landslides, killing over a hundred people.

Last year saw an historic killer heatwave in Russia, which a recent study found would very likely not have happened if not for climate change. India and Pakistan also suffered under vast deluges in 2010.













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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (November 02, 2011).

Climate change already worsening weird, deadly, and expensive weather.

http://news.mongabay.com/2011/1102-hance_extremeweather.html