Are We Causing Extreme Weather?

Human Activity and Extreme Weather

A lot of uncertainties still remain around the emerging field of extreme weather. Nevertheless, one international scientific assessment now finds that human activity has influenced, not only global warming, but also may be partially responsible for the increase of extreme weather events within the past few decades.

While remaining cautious, the report states that extreme weather and climate events are too rare to blame on global warming. However, there is evidence that human influences are likely to have raised the daily lowest and highest temperatures around the world. Scientists also attribute the climb in weather related disasters to the growing exposure of humans to dangerous areas, which are typically poverty stricken areas and the attractive coastal regions.

Even without a specific cause, the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) does advocate for immediate preventive action, such as “planning land use, managing ecosystems, and improving water supplies and irrigation systems,” in order to “make the world more livable while decreasing risk from future climate changes.”

These changes would deal with current climate issues, as well as decrease the chances of weather related damage in the future. The IPCC plans to present their report at the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference, starting on November 28, in Durban, South Africa.