A couple weeks ago, Nature published a study confirming what computer models have long predicted, that global warming is causing changes in precipitation patterns. I wrote it up under the headline, "More heavy rain, predicted" with the UK floods as a backdrop. After the floods subsided, one of my colleagues here at Greenpeace suggested changing the title.
But I left it since I knew, in the big picture it was true. Scientists predict climate change will cause more floods and, though it may seem paradoxical, more droughts.
Then came the South Asia floods. Homes destroyed, thousands dead, millions affected. (You can donate here to help with relief work.) Yesterday, the Washington Post published an article titled, "Across Globe, Extremes of Heat and Rain", which starts:
A monsoon dropped 14 inches of rain in one day across many parts of South Asia this month. Germany had its wettest May on record, and April was the driest there in a century. Temperatures in Bulgaria reached 113 degrees last month and 90 degrees in Moscow in late May, shattering longtime records.
The year still has almost five months to go, but it has already experienced a range of weather extremes that the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization said yesterday is well outside the historical norm and is a precursor of much greater weather variability as global warming transforms the planet.
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