Climate change & Green living


How climate change is driving extreme weather in 2022

STORY: How is climate change driving extreme weather in 2022?From scorching downpours to heavy flooding - extreme weather events have caused widespread upheaval,with thousands of people killed and millions more displaced.Scientists say much of this is what's expected from climate change.A team of researchers recently published a study in the journal Environmental Research: Climate. It looks at the role climate change has played in individual weather events over the past two decades.Here are its main findings.(GFX: Heatwaves)It's highly probable that climate change is making heatwaves worse.An April heatwave saw temperatures climb above 122 Fahrenheit in India and Pakistan.Ben Clarke is a doctoral candidate from the University of Oxford."We know that pretty much all heatwaves across the world are being made more intense and more likely by climate change. And we know from looking at the impacts of these, particularly in places like Europe, where we've got good data, this has a serious impact on people's health and it also causes kind of economic disruption because people struggle to focus, people working outdoors can't work as effectively during heat. So we have very high confidence there."(GFX: Drought)Scientists have a harder time figuring out how climate change affects drought.Some areas suffer from ongoing dryness. For example, the study says warmer temperatures in the U.S. West are melting the snowpack faster and driving evaporation.Meanwhile East African droughts have yet to be linked to climate change.But scientists say the decline in the spring rainy season is tied to warmer waters in the Indian Ocean.(GFX: Wildfires)Heatwaves and drought conditions are also worsening wildfires.The April fires in the U.S. state of New Mexico burned 341,000 acres of land.(GFX: Rainfall and flooding)Episodes of extreme flooding and heavy rainfall are becoming more common and more intense.That’s because warmer air holds more moisture - storm clouds are then “heavier” when they eventually break.But the impact varies by region, with some areas not getting enough rain at all."We know generally things like rainfall are getting more extreme. That's kind of generally true, but it's a little more nuanced. But we have seen across the world, a lot of serious and very damaging floods become more likely due to climate change."(GFX: Tropical cyclones)On a global scale, the frequency of storms hasn’t increased.Cyclones are now more common in the central Pacific and North Atlantic but less so in western North Pacific and southern Indian Ocean, the study says.There is also evidence that tropical storms are becoming more intense.
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