2013 disasters ‘consistent’ with human-made climate change –UN

Typhoon Haiyan and the drought in Australia support the theory of human-induced climate change

GENEVA, Switzerland (UPDATED) – The Philippines’ devastating Typhoon Haiyan and drought in Australia were among recent weather extremes consistent with man-made climate change, the UN’s weather agency said Monday, March 24. (INFOGRAPHIC: What UN reports say about climate change)

“Many of the extreme events of 2013 were consistent with what we would expect as a result of human-induced climate change,” Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the World Meterological Organization (WMO), said as he released his agency’s annual climate report.

“We saw heavier precipitation, more intense heat, and more damage from storm surges and coastal flooding as a result of sea level rise – as Typhoon Haiyan so tragically demonstrated in the Philippines,” he added. (READ: 6 ways climate change affects PH cities)

The WMO also pointed to data from Australia showing that the country’s record heat last year would have been “virtually impossible” without human emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

Other weather events flagged by the agency included extreme cold in Europe and the United States, floods in India, Nepal, northern China, Russia, central Europe, Sudan and Somalia, snow in the Middle East, and a major drought in southern China and Brazil.

Natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions or the El Niño and La Niña weather patterns in the Pacific have always influenced temperatures and caused occasional weather disasters, but the human role is an accelerator, Jarraud explained.

“There is no standstill in global warming. The warming of our oceans has accelerated, and at lower depths. More than 90%of the excess energy trapped by greenhouse gases is stored in the oceans,” he said.

“Levels of these greenhouse gases are at record levels, meaning that our atmosphere and oceans will continue to warm for centuries to come. The laws of physics are non-negotiable,” he added. – Rappler.com

Climate change image from Shutterstock