Recent Extreme Weather Events Caused By Man-Made Global Warming: Scientists
March 26, 2012

Recent Extreme Weather Events Caused By Man-Made Global Warming: Scientists

According to new study, extreme weather events that the Earth has experienced in the past decade were caused by global warming.

The World Meteorological Organization said on Friday that last year was the eleventh hottest year on record for the earth.

The U.S. suffered 14 weather events in 2011, causing over $1 billion in damages for each event.

On March 13 and 19 this year, historical heat records exceeded in over 1,000 places in North America.

Scientists at Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Research believe these extreme weather events are being caused by man-made global warming.

The scientists wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change that "It is very likely that several of the unprecedented extremes of the past decade would not have occurred without anthropogenic global warming."

They are not the only group of scientists who published warnings about global warming on Sunday.

Researchers at Oxford University in the United Kingdom wrote in the journal Nature Geoscience that if trends continue, global temperatures could rise 5 degrees by 2050.

This study said average global temperatures could climb 2.4 to 5.4 degrees by 2050 if greenhouse gas emissions continue to unabated.

They said the average temperature during the decade of 2000 to 2010 was almost a full degree higher than the average from 1960 to 1990.

"Single weather extremes are often related to regional processes, like a blocking high pressure system or natural phenomena like El Nino," Stefan Rahmstorf, co-author of the study published in Nature Climate Change, told Reuters.

"These are complex processes that we are investigating further. But now these processes unfold against the background of climatic warming. That can turn an extreme event into a record-breaking event."

The German researchers said extremely hot summers are now observed in about 10 percent of the global and area, compared with only about 0.1 to 0.2 percent for the period 1951 to 1980.

It said the link between storms and hurricanes and global warming is less conclusive, but at least some of the rainfall extremes can be attributes to human influences on the climate.