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Rising CO2 Concentrations: No Measureable Impact on Floods, Droughts, and Storms

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  • Rising CO2 Concentrations: No Measureable Impact on Floods, Droughts, and Storms

    Assertions that floods, droughts, storms, and other severe weather events are caused by rising concentrations of CO2 levels are based in a political agenda that is ultimately rooted in social anthropology rather than science; therefore, this thread is being started in Civics rather than NatSci.

    In a Yale Environment 360 forum, a panel of experts weighs in, with views expressed by alarmists as well as skeptics. See especially the comment by Judith Curry:
    The substantial interest in attributing extreme weather events to global warming seems rooted in the perceived need for some sort of a disaster to drive public opinion and the political process in the direction of taking action on climate change. However, attempts to attribute individual extreme weather events, or collections of extreme weather events, may be fundamentally ill-posed in the context of the complex climate system, which is characterized by spatiotemporal chaos. There are substantial difficulties and problems associated with attributing changes in the average climate to natural variability versus anthropogenic forcing, which I have argued are oversimplified by the IPCC assessments. Attribution of extreme weather events is further complicated by their dependence on weather regimes and internal multi-decadal oscillations that are simulated poorly by climate models.

    I have been completely unconvinced by any of the arguments that I have seen that attributes a single extreme weather event, a cluster of extreme weather events, or statistics of extreme weather events to anthropogenic forcing. Improved analysis of the attribution of extreme weather events requires a substantially improved and longer database of the events. Interpretation of these events in connection with natural climate regimes such as El Nino is needed to increase our understanding of the role of natural climate variability in determining their frequency and intensity. Improved methods of evaluating climate model simulations of distributions of extreme event intensity and frequency in the context of natural variability is needed before any confidence can be placed in inferences about the impact of anthropogenic influences on extreme weather events.

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