from National Geographic News
If you were following headlines when Pakistan was underwater last year, you’ve heard that there may be a connection between climate change and increased flooding. Now new studies of severe storms and catastrophic floods add more evidence to the theory that rising greenhouse gas levels actually do increase the odds of such extreme weather events—and perhaps make them stronger.
The recent research is among the earliest that claim to present observable scientific evidence for a human role in altering these natural phenomena, though climate models and observations have long suggested such a link exists in a warming world.
Francis Zwiers and colleagues studied half a century’s worth of rainfall data (1951 to 1999) from a large swath of the Northern Hemisphere, including the United States, Europe, and Asia. In about two-thirds of the weather stations represented, greenhouse gases—which have risen over the same period—correlate with intensification of heavy precipitation events. ... The study appears this week in the journal Nature.