Once again, research suggests some strong links between human industrial and agricultural activity and extreme weather events.

In a report published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, instances of extreme weather from around the world are linked to human produced effects such as greenhouse gases and land development.

The bulletin, titled “Explaining Extreme Events of 2014 from a Climate Perspective”, is the fourth in an annual series of reports that seek to compile research on regional and global weather events.

In this edition, the number of research projects used has grown, and more data on land use as a driver for regional climate phenomena has been added, such as a look at flooding in the Canadian prairies.

But the main drivers for extreme weather still seem to be linked to global temperatures rising.

The 180-page report does make it clear that not all events are directly traceable to specific regional human activities. For example, the droughts that cause the wildfires in California cannot be directly linked to any regional human phenomena, but their increased instances can be linked to overall warming.

The bulletins are attempting to provide readers with several perspectives and include as many kinds of research projects as possible. Global climate and extreme weather are exceedingly complex phenomena, with each region’s specific weather being a mixture of local and global factors. Even the best meta-analysis can only provide so much specific information.

However, providing a clearing house for these perspectives will continue to be the main goal. It is a growing body of work and “a frontier science challenge.”

As the report’s summary states, “The annual growth in the report speaks to both the increasing interest and broadening scope of attribution science.”

Graphic by, Maddy VanOrman
Graphic by, Maddy VanOrman
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