Climate change is having a steroidal effect on extreme weather. A summer featuring the hottest July on record in the continental United States punctuated a series of costly and deadly weather events.
This week, we released a new report, “Going to Extremes: Climate Change and the Increasing Risk of Weather Disasters” [PDF]. The report looks at the impacts of 2012’s record-breaking heat on agriculture, wildfires, storms, and water levels. The report found the links between extreme weather and climate to be abundant, robust, and well-documented in peer-reviewed scientific studies.
Here are a few highlights from our report:Wildfires: This year, wildfires burned more than 8.6 million acres, an area the size of New Jersey and Connecticut combined. Drought: This summer, more than half of the counties in the United States have been designated disaster zones. The 2012 drought is on par with the worst months from the multi-year droughts of the Dust Bowl era. Record temperature: August 2012 was the 330th consecutive month with global temperatures above the 20th century average. There has not been a single month cooler than the 20th century global average... Read more