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A NASA scientist explains why the weather is becoming more extreme

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Across China and Western Europe in July, the amount of rain that might typically fall over several months to a year came down within a matter of days, triggering floods that swept entire homes off their foundations. In June, the usually mild regions of Southwest Canada and the US’s Pacific Northwest saw temperatures that rivaled highs in California’s Death Valley desert. The severe heat was enough to buckle roads and melt power cables.

Yesterday, a landmark United Nations report helped put those kinds of extreme events into context. By burning fossil fuels and releasing planet-heating greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, humans are fueling more dangerous weather. Researchers have been able to connect the dots between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change for decades. But the new report showcases a big leap forward in climate science: being able to tie the climate crisis directly to extreme weather events like the June heatwave, which would have been “virtually impossible” without climate change according to recent studies.

The Verge spoke with Alex Ruane, one of the authors of the new report and a research physical scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He walks us through the phenomena that’s supercharging extreme weather events. And he explains why scientists have gotten so much better at seeing the “human footprint” in each weather disaster.

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US-WEATHER-STORMA view of the Houston skyline after heavy rains broke during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey August 29, 2017. Harvey, swirling for days off Texas and Louisiana, dumped more than 49 inches (124.5 centimeters) of rain on the region.Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.theverge.com/22617371/extreme-weather-science-attribution-un-report-climate-change

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