These weather events were affected by climate change last year

Tropical cyclones to snowstorms had direct links to a warming planet last year, say scientists

Nepal June 2011

Mount Everest. Snowstorms in Nepal that killed hikers were linked to climate change (Flickr/ Michael Foley)

By Alex Pashley

Climate change is framed in the long term. But impacts today are being felt, and scientists have proof.

A report by the Bulletin of American Meteorological Society has tracked 28 extreme weather events from last year.

Around half are linked to human-induced climate change, it revealed on Thursday.

“As the science of event attribution continues to advance, so too will our ability to detect and distinguish the effects of long-term climate change and natural variability on individual extreme events,” said Thomas Karl at US government agency, NOAA.

These are linked

Tropical cyclones that hit Hawaii were substantially more likely because of human-induced climate change.

Hurricane Iselle Damage. Nanawale Forest Reserve, Pahoa, Big Island, Hawaii, United States

Damage from Hurricane Iselle which hit Hawaii last October (Flickr/ Robert Linsdell)

The sweltering Argentinian heat wave of late December 2013 was made five times more likely because of human-induced climate change.

The extreme Himalayan snowstorm of 2014 that killed 43 people including 21 trekkers was connected to a cyclone that developed in the Bay of Bengal. The likelihood of such weather conditions has increased in likelihood due to climate change.

Torrential rainfall in the Cévennes Mountains in southern France was three times more likely than in 1950 due to climate change.

(Flickr/ Stephen Colebourne)

Five died in floods as heavy rains hit France’s Rhone Valley (Flickr/ Stephen Colebourne)

Extreme heat events in Korea and China were linked to human-caused climate change.

No link here

Chronic droughts in Southeast Brazil were not found to be largely influenced by climate change, despite some calls, but growing population and water consumption raised vulnerability.

Sao Paolo's Guarapiranga reservor in 2014. (Flickr/ Scrolleditorial)

Sao Paolo’s Guarapiranga reservor in 2014. (Flickr/ Scrolleditorial)

Wildfires that hit California had no specific link in 2014, but the overall probability of them had increased.

Freezing temperatures along the eastern US known as the Polar Vortex were not influenced by climate change. Eastern U.S. winter temperatures are becoming less variable.


Ice remains in Pittsburgh in January 2014 (Flickr/ Matt Niemi)

Record summer sea ice in Antarctic was due principally to irregular winds that carried cold air away from the continent, leading to a build of ice far offshore. This type of event is becoming less likely because of climate change.

And finally 

The contentious role of climate change in the Middle East drought of 2014, which has been linked to stoking the Syria conflict remains unclear.

One study showed a role in the southern Levant region including Syria, while another study, which looked more broadly at the Middle East, did not find a climate change influence.

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