article today claiming that scientists are going to end the 20-year reluctance with a study into global warming and exceptional weather events. The Independent's science writer says that this means a "radical departure from a previous equivocal position that many [scientists] now see as increasingly untenable."
So what is the new evidence and who are the scientists who make these claims? The article mentions Peter Stott from the UK Hadley centre and Kevin Trenberth from NCAR. Stott says "We’ve certainly moved beyond the point of saying that we can’t say anything about attributing extreme weather events to climate change... It’s very clear we’re in a changed climate now which means there’s more moisture in the atmosphere and the potential for stronger storms and heavier rainfall is clearly there."
And Trenberth is quoted as saying “We have this extra water vapour lurking around waiting for storms to develop and then there is more moisture as well as heat that is available for these storms [to form]. The models suggest it is going to get drier in the subtropics, wetter in the monsoon trough and wetter at higher latitudes. This is the pattern we're already seeing.”
But the research is still work in progress, it seems. The article points out that a group of researchers has formed a coalition called the Attribution of Climate-Related Events (see their website here) "which is preparing a report on the subject to be published later this year at a meeting of the World Climate Research Programme in Denver. They hope in future to assess each extreme weather phenomenon in terms of its probability of being linked with global warming and then to post the result on the internet."
So the evidence is not in, is it? Well, the Independent, like many in the public, believe it is, as we discussed on a previous post here. Is the link between more extreme weather and AGW becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy?