Heat waves, fires, and floods fit their predictions
Aug. 13, 2010 -- NEW YORK (AP) -- Floods, fires, melting ice, and feverish heat -- from smoke-choked Moscow to water-soaked Iowa and the High Arctic -- the planet seems to be having a midsummer breakdown. It is not just a portent of things to come, scientists say, but a sign of troubling climate change already under way.
The weather-related cataclysms of July and August fit patterns predicted by climate scientists, the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization says, although those scientists always shy from tying individual disasters directly to global warming.
The specialists see an urgent need for better ways to forecast extreme events like Russia’s heat wave and wildfires and the record deluge devastating Pakistan. They will discuss such tools in meetings this month and next in Europe and America, under UN, US, and British government sponsorship.
“There is no time to waste,’’ because societies must be equipped to deal with global warming, says British government climatologist Peter Stott.