The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be…. The air is on average warmer and moister than it was prior to about 1970 and in turn has likely led to a 5–10 % effect on precipitation and storms that is greatly amplified in extremes. The warm moist air is readily adverted onto land and caught up in weather systems as part of the hydrological cycle, where it contributes to more intense precipitation events that are widely observed to be occurring.
|Seasonal Jun-Jul-Aug 2010 sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies relative to 1951–70. Record high SSTs were recorded in the locations and at the times indicated with record flooding nearby.|