With every extreme recent weather event, scientists are often asked if it can be directly linked to global warming. A Northwestern University scientist, Daniel Horton, is one of those guys. Now, he is now trying to develop a reliable way of answering the question. Together with a team of climate experts from Stanford University, he is working on answering the question: “Was this caused by climate change?”
Can We Link the Recent Extreme Weather to Global Warming?
However, Horton and his team have now published a study that intends to do just that. Titled “Quantifying the Influence of Global Warming on Unprecedented Extreme Climate Events”, the paper attempts to outline a definitive framework. This will be used for measuring the impact of global climate change on local floods, droughts, and other weather events.
According to them, this collection of research points to “robust evidence”. It links human activity to floods in India in 2013 and the recent drought in California.
“The fact that historical events have been made worse by humans indicates that the continued burning of fossil fuels is likely to exacerbate the problem.”
Horton stated this in the study which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal this week.
To make their point, the scientists began with the assumption that global warming played no role in the recent extreme weather. Then, they performed a rigorous statistical analysis to determine if that assumption held true. It was a very careful approach, called by one researcher “a presumption of innocence”.
After their analysis, they determined that the changing climate has likely increased the occurrence of the hottest and wettest events happening over half the surface area studied. The links continue to be forged. This new study will possibly lead to even more research on the matter.