Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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Study: More Weather Extremes to Come, Thanks to Climate Change


(Photo : Drought caused by the European heatwave in 2003

The planet will likely experience more extreme heat waves and heavy rains because of climate change, according to a study published in the Climate Change section of Nature.

Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology acknowledged that indeed, the warming planet does not cause a single natural disaster, like Typhoon Haiyan or the European Heat Wave in 2003.

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Also, the earth has experienced weather extremes in the pre-industrial times, before the climate was influenced by human activity.

"But the odds have changed, and we get more of them," lead researcher Erich Fischer argued in the paper she wrote with Reto Knutti.

Climate change can increase the magnitude and likelihood of these occurrences, statistically speaking, the paper said.

For instance, researchers calculated that climate change has magnified great heat waves by four times. Its occurrences will also increase by 62 times if not addressed soon.

Moreover, for a 0.85-degree Celsius warming caused by man's carbon emissions, the resulting precipitation extremes increases by 18 percent, according to the paper.

If temperature rises to two degrees Celsius, rainfall extremes will increase by 40 percent.

The authors wrote that the global temperature increase may appear insignificant at present, but this increase can affect the occurrence of weather extremes.

This means that the planet is likely to experience strong heat waves and heavy rains more frequently than before if greenhouse gas emission is not curbed globally.

Thus, the results present high importance in implementing specific actions that would curb climate change caused by human activity, the authors said.

The researchers used 25 climate models of heavy precipitation and heat waves between 1901 and 2005 to calculate the figures. They also created a simple framework to determine weather extremes that can be attributed to human activity.

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