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U.K. Probes whether Strange, Wet Winter Is Part of a Changing Climate - Scientific American

"In terms of the storms and floods of winter 2013/2014, it is not possible, yet, to give a definitive answer on whether climate change has been a contributor or not," concluded the United Kingdom's Met Office in a lengthy report published this week.

But the experts admit, however, that when taken as a whole, the persistence and clustering of the storms inundating the United Kingdom this winter with flooding and heavy rains are unprecedented in modern times and are sending a strong signal that the climate change links need to be better understood.

...Barry Gromett, a spokesman for the Met Office, wrote in an email, "We can't definitively link the recent storminess, rainfall and flooding to climate change partly because of the highly variable nature of UK weather and climate and the lack (for the moment) of formal attribution studies."

"However, some studies are now suggesting a shift in the Atlantic storm track, steering depressions on a similar track to those we've seen recently. Observations show global mean rainfall is increasing and there is also some evidence that extreme daily and hourly rainfall totals are showing similar trends. This is consistent with basic physical premise that a warmer atmosphere can hold more water," Gromett wrote.

...The problem is in putting those tools into action. "The attribution of these changes to anthropogenic global warming requires climate models of sufficient resolution to capture storms and their associated rainfall. Such models are now becoming available and should be deployed as soon as possible to provide a solid evidence base for future investments in flood and coastal defences," the report concluded.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 14th, 2014 at 02:45:23 PM EST
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