Climate change is increasingly causing extreme weather like heavy rains, heat waves and severe storms, according to a new study.
Three-quarters of all hot spells occurring over land can be traced back to human activity, according to a study published Monday in Nature Climate Change. Global warming also causes 18% of heavy precipitation, the report finds, a figure that will increase to 40% if temperatures continue to rise.
"With every degree of warming it is the rarest and the most extreme events—and thereby the ones with typically the highest socio-economic impacts—for which the largest fraction is due to human-induced greenhouse gas emissions," Swiss researchers Erich Fischer and Reto Knutti wrote.
The study looked at heat waves and heavy rains from 25 climate models over the period from 1901-2005 as well as projections for 2006-2100.