A study published earlier this week in the scientific journal Nature found that the increase in extreme weather patterns can be linked to global warming, and extreme weather is only likely to become more frequent as temperatures rise, Common Dreams reported.
According to report authors Dr. Erich Markus Fischer and Reto Knutti, both with the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, under present-day warming of 0.85° Celsius, the likelihood of a “moderate hot extreme” occurring is 75 percent greater than in pre-industrial times.
However, because warming increases non-linearly, under the projected warming of 2° Celsius—widely considered the threshold for the worst effects of climate change—the probability of a “hot extreme” is more than five times greater than current levels.
The authors of the study said that their results have “strong implications for the discussion of different mitigation targets in climate negotiations, where differences between targets are small in terms of global temperatures but large in terms of the probability of extremes.”
The study also found that about 18 percent of “the moderate daily precipitation extremes over land” can be attributed to temperature increases caused by human activities. “Likewise, today about 75 [percent] of the moderate daily hot extremes over land are attributable to warming.”
“People can argue that we had these kinds of extremes well before human influence on the climate — we had them centuries ago,” said Fischer. “And that’s correct. But the odd have changed, and we get more of them.”
“The bottom line is that things are not complicated,” said Knutti, the study’s other author. “You make the world a degree or two warmer, and there will be more hot days. There will be more moisture in the atmosphere, so that must come down somewhere.”