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CLIMATE CHANGE: “HUMAN FINGERPRINT” FOUND ON GLOBAL EXTREME WEATHER

According to some scientists, the fingerprint of human-caused climate change has been found on heat waves, droughts, and floods across the world, and this discovery indicates that the impacts of global warming add further urgency to the need to cut carbon emissions.

Rising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have been expected to lead to increasing extreme weather events, as they trap extra energy in the atmosphere; however, linking global warming to particular events is not easy because the climate is variable. The new work analyzed a type of extreme weather event known to be caused by changes in planetary waves; these ones are winds that encircle the northern hemisphere in lines which undulate from the topics to the poles.

Normally, the wave moves eastwards but, with certain temperatures, it can halt its movement. This event has increased in recent decades and the new research has showed that the chances of the conditions needed to halt the planetary waves occurring are more likely as a result of global warming. In this sense, there is a clear fingerprint of human activity in increasing the planetary waves through the distribution of temperature.

Wind patternsare driven by the temperature difference between the poles and the tropics, but global warming is altering it since the Arctic is heating up faster than lower latitudes, and land areas faster than the oceans. It is not just a matter of nature conservation; it is about a threat to human society that comes from rapid changes.

 

The gLAWcal Team

POREEN project

Monday, 27 March 2017

(source: the Guardian)