This is HUGE
I just saw this reported on the CBS Evening News:
NOAA links extreme weather to climate changeFrom the Guardian.
By Wyatt Andrews
(CBS News) On Tuesday, for the first time, government scientists are saying recent extreme weather events are likely connected to man-made climate change. It's the conclusion of a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The report says last year's record drought in Texas was made "roughly 20 times more likely" because of man made climate change, specifically meaning warming that comes from greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide. The study, requested by NOAA, looked at 50 years of weather data in Texas and concluded that man-made warming had to be a factor in the drought.
The head of NOAA's climate office, Tom Karl, said: "What we're seeing, not only in Texas but in other phenomena in other parts of the world, where we can't explain these events by natural variability alone. They're just too rare, too uncommon."
Aside from the Texas drought, NOAA called the entire year of 2011 the year of extreme weather events, starting in Joplin, Missouri.
Scientists attribute extreme weather to man-made climate changeNOAA scientist: 80 percent chance recent heat records due to climate change
Researchers have for the first time attributed recent floods, droughts and heatwaves, to human-induced climate change
By Fiona Harvey
Last year's record warm November in the UK – the second hottest since records began in 1659 – was at least 60 times more likely to happen because of climate change than owing to natural variations in the earth's weather systems, according to the peer-reviewed studies by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US, and the Met Office in the UK. The devastating heatwave that blighted farmers in Texas in the US last year, destroying crop yields in another record "extreme weather event", was about 20 times more likely to have happened owing to climate change than to natural variation.
Attributing individual weather events, such as floods, droughts and heatwaves, to human-induced climate change – rather than natural variation in the planet's complex weather systems – has long been a goal of climate change scientists. But the difficulty of separating the causation of events from the background "noise" of the variability in the earth's climate systems has until now made such attribution an elusive goal.
To attribute recent extreme weather events – rather than events 10 years ago or more – to human-caused climate change is a big advance, and will help researchers to provide better warnings of the likely effects of climate change in the near future. This is likely to have major repercussions on climate change policy and the ongoing efforts to adapt to the probable effects of global warming.
Peter Stott, of the UK's Met Office, said: "We are much more confident about attributing [weather effects] to climate change. This is all adding up to a stronger and stronger picture of human influence on the climate."
This could be the game changer we've all been waiting for.
We can expect the denialists to push back against this furiously with charges of political influence.