Should Recent Extreme Weather Be Tied to Climate Change?: Scientific American
BOSTON -- If droughts, floods and wildfires are the criminal, climate change is the accomplice.
This is how the population must begin regarding global warming, experts said at a session at the annual American Academy for the Advancement of Science meeting here. Although extreme weather events, from the creeping drought that scorched last year's corn crop to Superstorm Sandy, are worrisome, automatically and simplistically tying them to the scientific phenomenon of climate change could be misleading.
Last year's drought in Texas, for example, could not be specifically tied to climate change, said John Nielsen-Gammon, the Lone Star State's climatologist. Over the past century there has been an increase in rainfall -- not a tendency toward dryness -- over most of Texas by about 10 percent.
"Until we see a long-term decrease in rainfall in Texas, it will be hard to say that climate change has caused a decrease," Nielsen-Gammon said.
"All weather seems suspicious now," said Andrew Freedman, a senior science writer with Climate Central.