Attributing extreme weather to climate change in real-time

Dr Friederike Otto examines the question of how extreme weather events might be linked to climate change in this blog entry for the Carbon Brief.

The question of how extreme weather events might be linked to climate change is a key one.

It’s particularly important because in many regions, extreme weather like heatwaves, floods and droughts cause more damage than other, more predictable consequences of climate change, such as sea-level rise.

Scientists know that an increase in average temperature as the climate changes will lead to an increase in the number or magnitude of some extreme events, while others will get less likely.

But the chaotic nature of weather means it’s generally impossible to say, for any particular event, that it only happened because of climate change.

Read more on the Carbon Brief website

Dr Friederike Otto is a research fellow in the ECI Global Climate Science Programme at the Uiversity of Oxford and scientific coordinator of climateprediction.net.

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