We Can't Blame Climate Change for Specific Disasters (But We Should Still Worry)
How hurricanes will respond to climate change, the future of agriculture in a warming world, and the link between tornadoes and global warming have long been cause for concern here on TreeHugger. But attributing any one event or phenomenon to climate change is both impossible, and probably counterproductive. Peter Freed over at Terrapass has a short but important piece on new research that links our changing climate both to extreme weather and falling crop yields, and sets out why the lack of absolute proof often causes a problem when convincing the public. He also explains why this should not stop us from taking decisive action:
What is far more typical of scientific research is exploring probabilities -- being able to say that an outcome is likely or very likely to be the case given other trends and information. I've often thought that much of the public skepticism about climate change in the US is because we're so used to thinking in absolutes that we have a hard time accepting as "truth" a hypothesis that isn't presented as indisputable fact but rather as a very statistically significant probability.