Global warming theory says cyclones, flooding and droughts will become more commonplace – and it's already happening
As an Australian, it can be somewhat disconcerting when climate bloggers from overseas hold up Australia as a harbinger of what's to come for their own countries. It's not fun being climate change's cautionary tale.
In Australia, farmlands that were parched from years of drought were recently wiped out by floods. Over the past 50 years as the world has warmed, both drought severity and the number of heavy precipitations events have increased. The results are in from the most comprehensive, sophisticated climate model of all – nature.
It's not appropriate to say global warming causes a particular weather event. But it's equally false to say global warming has no effect on weather. Yes, we've had floods and heavy downpours in the past, well before modern global warming. But now the odds of heavy downpours and floods are increasing.
Wait a minute, scoffs the sceptic. How can global warming cause droughts and floods? Aren't you just trying to blame everything on climate change? But increased drought and heavy downpours aren't just predictions from a climate model. They're happening in the real world.
One hopes this rash of extreme weather events will be a wake-up call for an Australian government dragging its feet on climate action. However, the early signs are not encouraging.
A lot of anecdote but a distinct lack of any figures that show the extreme events have actually increased.....