Bitter cold and snow have shut down Beijing after it received 4-8 inches (10-20 centimeters) of snow on Sunday, the largest snowfall since 1951, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Guo Hu, the head of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau linked the storm to global climate change.
“In the context of global warming, extreme atmospheric flows are causing extreme climate incidents to appear more frequently, such as the summer’s rain storms and last year’s icestorm disaster in southern China,” Hu told the Beijing News.
The city is also facing the its lowest temperatures in 40 years.
While some have pointed to the recent cold spell and heavy snow falls across the northern hemisphere as undercutting the theory of climate change, climatologists have been saying for years that climate change is expected to increase extreme weather. Climatologists state that while it is not possible to link a single weather event to climate change, a pattern of extreme weather—such as unusual increases in precipitation, droughts, floods, and more intense hurricanes—is just one consequence of a warming world.
(12/26/2009) Over the past few weeks the United States has been pounded by a number of big snow storms. A week ago Washington DC received 18 inches of snow, setting a number of records. Over Christmas, the middle of the country, from Texas to Minnesota was also hit by record amounts of snow. While snow fall over the East Coast and middle of the country in the United States in December is hardly unusual, a number of record amounts of precipitation may point to a larger shift in the climate. Scientists say that higher temperatures causes more water evaporation, which increases the chances of heavy precipitation events, such as floods and snowstorms.
(09/03/2008) Warming climate is causing the strongest hurricanes to strengthen and more moderate storms to stay the same, claims a new study published in Nature. However the data on which research is based is already facing fierce criticism.
(08/07/2008) Global warming is increasing the incidence of heavy rainfall at a rate greater than predicted by current climate models have predicted, reports a new study published in the journal Science. The findings suggest that storm damage from precipitation could worsen as greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise.