Extreme weather events that occurred in 2014 were studied, and it was determined that 14 out of 28 had human caused changes at their root. The finger prints of human induced climate change are seen around the world.
The detective work was not up to the task of making these connections until the science caught up. The debate will continue over accuracy and details , but improved modeling tools have made it easier to determine cause and effect. Confidence has grown in the ability to link specific events to climate change…specifically heat waves. Extreme rainfall is less likely to show cause as climate change.
Here is the global rundown of what the report find about human induced climate change and the 2014 weather.
North America: Climate change plus local land use worsened prairie flooding in Canada. Hawaii’s hurricanes were substantially more likely because of climate change, and so were Northern California’s wildfires. Very cold winters such as the one in the upper mid west have become 20 to 100 times more likely than in the 1880’s.
Africa and the Middle East: Climate change worsened the drought in east Africa. No drought link was found in the rest of the Middle East.
Antarctica: Sea ice reached a record of nearly 7.8 million sq. miles in 2014 because of the wind carrying cold air offshore and boosting ice production. Climate change will make this less likely.
Asia: Climate change played a role in extreme heat in Korea, China, and made several disasters more likely…flooding in Jakarta, a Nepal snowstorm that killed 43, and extremely high sea surface temperatures in some sections of the Pacific Ocean.
Australia: Climate change made the heat waves of 2014 more likely.
Europe: Compared with 1950. climate change tripled the chance of extreme rainfall in southern France. Record heat..more likely.
South America: Human induced climate change made Argentina’s heat wave five times more likely. southern Brasil’s water shortage was due to increased population and water demand.
reference Randy Loftis, National Geographic.