Climate change researchers have been able to attribute recent examples of extreme weather to the effects of human activity on the planet's climate systems for the first time, marking a major step forward in climate research.
The findings make it much more likely that we will soon – within the next few years – be able to discern whether the extremely wet and cold summer and spring so far experienced in the UK this year are attributable to human causes rather than luck, according to the researchers....But the researchers also said that not every extreme weather event could be attributed to climate change. For instance, the extremely cold British winter of 2010-11 – starkly exemplified by the satellite picture of the UK and Ireland covered in white on Christmas Eve, as snow gripped the nations – was owing to variations in the systems of ocean and air circulation...
But the key question – of whether man-made global warming is putting a dampener on British summers – will take several years to solve, according to Stott. "This is an open question in terms of research – it is too early days to be able to say," he said.
HadCRUT, Numbers 4 And 5
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