Climate Change Likely Already Causing More Extreme Weather, IPCC Says

John DL/CC BY-ND 2.0

A draft report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, obtained by the AP, says there's a 66% chance that climate change is already causing an increase in extreme weather.

Though the report still says, rightly, that any specific weather event cannot be solely tied to climate change -- be it the totally unseasonable snowfall that hit the Northeast this past weekend, the devastating flooding in Thailand, etc. -- but that scientists now are 99% certain that climate change will cause more extreme heat waves, fewer extreme spells of cold weather, and more intense downpours.

By mid-century, the scientists say, that heat waves could by 5°C hotter. By the end of this century that could be 9°C hotter than they are today.

As for heavy downpours, by the end of the century intense rainfall events that now statistically occur once every 20 years will happen once every 5 years. By 2050, hurricanes are likely to increase in wind speed, the report notes, but won't increase in frequency -- and may actually decline in frequency.

Tags: Global Climate Change | Global Warming Effects | Global Warming Science

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