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Scientists Are Linking Extreme Weather to Man-Made Warming

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Some of last year’s crazy weather -- including extreme heat around the world to unusually warm waters in the Bering Sea -- can be blamed on man-made climate change, according to a report from a group of weather researchers.

Scientists are a careful lot, and while there’s been plenty of others who’ve blamed the changing climate for weather events, this is the first time the American Meteorological Society has definitively linked the two phenomena. The report was published Wednesday as a special supplement to the group’s annual bulletin, and included contributions from researchers at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Climate change, driven by carbon emissions from human activity since the start of the Industrial Revolution, affected, among other things, the severity of El Nino, coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef and the warmth of the North Pacific Ocean. The report “marks a fundamental change,” said Jeff Rosenfeld, editor-in-chief of the bulletin. “We’re experiencing new weather, because we’ve made a new climate.”

In a separate study Wednesday, scientists from World Weather Attribution found that human-caused climate change made the record rainfall that fell over Houston during Hurricane Harvey in August 15 percent more intense.

(Updates with Houston report in fourth paragraph.)
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