IPCC Forecasts More Wacky Weather

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In a forthcoming report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finds that extreme weather events—like the floods, droughts, and major storms so far in 2011—are increasingly linked to climate change. Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press got an early copy of the report’s summary, and writes:

The final draft of the report from a panel of the world’s top climate scientists paints a wild future for a world already weary of weather catastrophes costing billions of dollars. The report says costs will rise and perhaps some locations will become “increasingly marginal as places to live.”

The report from the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be issued in a few weeks, after a meeting in Uganda. It says there is at least a 2-in-3 probability that climate extremes have already worsened because of man-made greenhouse gases.

Scientists, of course, are cautious about saying that any specific weather event happened because of climate change. But they generally acknowledge, as this report does, that these kinds of extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and severity, and will continue to do so in the future as the world warms. (The report notes that scientists are “virtually certain” that there will be more periods of extreme heat, for example.)

The US has already seen quite a few expensive weather disasters this year, as has the rest of the world. Guess it’s time to batten down the hatches.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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