The Washington Post reports that 2011 was an “extraordinarily turbulent” year for the Earth’s climate system. In the US there were record breaking extremes, from tornados to droughts.
Two studies revealed how a warmer world is increasing the likelihood of heavy precipitation events. An Environment Canada study, found that the growing amount of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere have likely increased the frequency of heavy precipitation events across this region. According to this study there were over 6000 heavy precipitation events in North America in 2011.
Another study demonstrated a new way of analyzing how manmade global warming may have increased the chances for a particular flood that occurred in the U.K. in 2000.
To help manage climate change, in November, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a “Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation.”
Finally, the Berkeley Earth Study, confirmed that the surface temperature data is showing a clear warming trend, reaffirming the widely held scientific observation of global warming. This study has been 0.911 degrees Celsius of land warming (+/- 0.042 C) since the 1950s, or about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit.