U.K. Met Office: stronger storms linked to global warming

As long as the climate continues to warm, British scientists say, more extreme flooding and tidal surges can be expected.
Posted By Brooks Hays  |  Feb. 10, 2014 at 12:40 PM
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LONDON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- In a new report, the Met Office, the United Kingdom's national weather service, says the connection between bigger and more damaging storms and a warming climate is undeniable.

While the agency's head scientist, Dame Julia Slingo, said there's no way to definitively blame a specific storm on global warming, she said the science connecting rising atmospheric temperatures to more volatile weather patterns is clear.

"There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly rain events," Slingo explained at a press conference prior to the report's release.

"We have records going back to 1766 and we have nothing like this," she said. "We have seen some exceptional weather. We can't say it is unprecedented but it is exceptional."

England has suffered a barrage of winter storms in recent months. More than 8,000 homes were damaged by coastal flooding in December, and the rains have continued into the new year. Currently, there are 14 severe flood warnings being issued by the Environment Agency for areas along the Thames River.

Prime Minister David Cameron has acknowledged the link between climate change and extreme weather, but critics complain his actions don't reflect sincere concern.

"By appointing an environment secretary who doesn't take climate change seriously," Guy Shrubsole, a spokesperson for Friends of the Earth, told the BBC, "this government has turned its back on the science and cut flood defence spending when it should be cutting emissions."

[Met Office] [Bloomberg Businessweek] [BBC]

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