2015-04-27. Study: Global warming has dramatically upped the odds of extreme heat events.

posted May 1, 2015, 4:06 PM by Alan Gould   [ updated May 1, 2015, 4:36 PM ]
By Chris Mooney, The Washington Post. For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: ...scientists have...explained that while global warming doesn’t “cause” any single event, it can make them more likely to occur.... Indeed, published papers have shown that a warming climate had indeed increased the odds of a number of individual extreme events, including the 2003 European heat wave, the 2010 Russian heat wave and the 2013 Australian summer heat. ...in a new study in Nature Climate Change, Erich Fischer and Reto Knutti, of the science-focused Swiss university ETH Zurich, perform an analysis not for any individual event but rather for all daily heat and precipitation extremes of a “moderate” magnitude occurring over land in our current climate. And they find, strikingly, that 18 percent of today’s moderate precipitation extremes, and 75 percent of moderate heat extremes, were made more likely to occur by global warming. ...a “moderate” extreme was defined as an event that would only occur 1 out of 1,000 days in a climate that has not been tweaked by global warming. ...This does not mean that these extreme events are “caused” by climate change; rather, it means they were made more likely to occur in a statistical sense.... http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/04/27/study-global-warming-has-already-dramatically-upped-the-odds-of-extreme-heat-events/  See also New York Times "New Study Links Weather Extremes to Global Warming" by Justin Gillis.