What a summer!
Yet another summer and wherever you look around the globe, reports flow on extreme weather events of unparalleled scope and severity: the hottest temperatures, the wettest months, the heaviest rainfalls, the most severe droughts, the worst wildfires, the longest heat waves, etc. Scientists have been saying for years that as the planet heats up, we will have to deal with more severe weather. While we can’t attribute any particular heat wave or tornado to global warming, the trends are clear: global warming loads the atmospheric deck to deal out heat waves and intense storms more often.
|SUMMER EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS|
|August||Hottest August ever in San Antonio, Texas, US||US National Weather Service|
|August||Wettest August ever in the Philadelphia region, US||US National Weather Service|
|August||Record-high temperatures in South Eastern Europe, 48C in Sarajevo||National authorities, media reports|
|August||Wettest summer in Denmark since 1980 and second wettest on record since 1874||Danish Meteorological Institute|
|August||Extreme rains in Belgium||National authorities, media reports|
|August||Heaviest-ever rainfall for the month of August in Tokyo, Japan||Japan Weather Agency|
|August||Heat wave in Southern Europe with record braking temperatures, extreme dryness||National authorities, media reports|
|August||Record-breaking heat wave in South Western Asia – Kuwait 53.5C; Iraq 51C; Rajasthan, India 49.6C||National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, US Department of Commerce|
|July/August||Worst drought in more that 50 years in central regions of China||China daily, national authorities|
|July/August||Throughout the summer of 2011, the worst drought in six decades (and resulting famine) in the Horn of Africa affecting more than 12 million people in the region||BBC, WMO|
|July/August||Wettest summer in the Netherlands since 1906||Radio Nederland|
|July||Oklahoma and Texas set all-time heat records in July and drought amid the worst dry spell in the states for several decades||National Climatic Data Centre|
"We have to get accustomed to such extreme weather conditions, as climate change intensifies. Heavy storms and inundations will happen in northern Germany twice or three times as frequently as in the past." - Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe, Assistant Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact ReContact in Germany.
"There is a strong reason to believe the drought in East Africa is at least partly influence by climate change because from [climate change predictive] modelling that's been done one would expect to see drier conditions in that particular region." - Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director for the Grantham ReContact Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.
"In the southwestern US we already had problems with lack of water and wildfires, but these problems are now intensified by climate change," - Professor Phillip Duffy, Chief Scientist at Climate Central.
"I think that global 'weirding' is the best way to describe what we're seeing. We are used to certain conditions and there's a lot going on these days that is not what we're used to, that is outside our current frame of reference," - Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist at the Texas Tech University.
"Emerging trends are consistent with the findings of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which projects increased variability in temperature, precipitation, severe weather, widespread melting of ice and snow and rising sea levels." - Michel Jarraud, World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General.
"What we can say is that these kinds of events that we are seeing are consistent with climate change" - William Chameides, atmospheric scientist at Duke University.