From extreme heat waves to unusually heavy rainfall, extreme weather events have caused widespread unrest around the world this year, killing thousands and displacing millions.
Over the past three months, the monsoon in Bangladesh has caused devastating floods. Several parts of South Asia and Europe also faced severe heat waves. Meanwhile, a prolonged drought has pushed millions of people to the brink of starvation in East Africa.
Scientists and experts believe that this is due to climate change.
A team of climate scientists published a study in the journal Environmental Research: Climate. The researchers looked at the role of climate change in individual weather events over the past two decades.
The results confirm warnings about how global warming will change our world and also clarify missing data.
Luke Harrington, a climate scientist at Victoria University of Wellington and co-author of the study, said that for extreme heat waves and precipitation events, “we find we have a much better understanding of how the intensity of these events is changing due to climate change,”
For their review paper, the scientists used hundreds of “attribution” studies, or studies that use computer simulations and weather observations, to calculate how climate change affects an extreme event.
There are also large data gaps in many low- and middle-income countries, making it harder to understand what’s happening in those regions, said co-author Friederike Otto, one of the climatologists leading the international research collaboration World Weather Attribution (WWA).