Extreme weather and climate change, new study looks at the link - Tucson News Now

Extreme weather and climate change, new study looks at the link

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

"Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get."

While the above quote is often attributed to Mark Twain, it is unclear if it was he who originally said the statement. 

Regardless of source, the quote pretty much sums up the difference between the two words. 

Weather data is added up day by day and the average of this data becomes climate.

Because climate is an average of days, months, and years of data, extreme weather events can skew the numbers.  

As the long term trend in global climate continues to indicate a rise in temperatures, there is some question as to how much influence this warming has on weather events. 

This week, The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society published a report titled "Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a Climate Perspective". 

You can read the full report by clicking here.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also published a summary of the report. Read that by clicking here.

Scientists reviewed a dozen extreme weather events from 2012. (See map below for location of the events)


According to ClimateCentral.org the researchers "found that human induced climate change had little impact on the intense drought, but did contribute to the long stretch of record warmth across the East. Also, climate change related sea level rise played a part in Sandy's destructive surge and has nearly doubled our chances of a Sandy-level flood recurrence as compared to 1950."

With global temperatures forecasted to continue warming over the coming decades, studies such as this are important for preparation.  

After all it is not a matter of 'if', but 'when' severe weather will hit again.  

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