[The Independent] by Steve Connor
No single weather event can prove or disprove
climate change, but in its review of 2013 the world’s leading
meteorological authority suggests that many of last year’s weather
extremes are likely to have been heavily influenced by rising global
In some ways 2013 was a typical year for the global weather.
Heatwaves, cold snaps, violent storms, droughts and floods all played
their part in shaping 2013 – as they do every year – but there is
growing evidence that human activities are making weather extremes more
frequent or extreme, the World Meteorological Authority has concluded.
of the strongest tropical cyclones to hit land were seen in 2013,
notably Typhoon Haiyan which devastated parts of the central
Philippines, and Cyclone Phailin, the second strongest tropical cyclone
to strike India since modern records began, resulting in the evacuation
of 1.1 million people from coastal areas.
Australia and Argentina
sweltered under record or near-record temperatures in the southern
hemisphere, while a “blocked” jet stream in the northern hemisphere –
possibly influenced by the dramatic melting of the sea ice in the Arctic
– brought a bitterly cold spring to Britain and heavy rainfall and
floods to central Europe.
“Many of the extreme events of 2013 were
consistent with what we would expect as a result of human-induced
climate change,” said Michel Jarraud the secretary-general of the WMO, a
United Nations body.
“Naturally occurring phenomena such as
volcanic eruptions or El Nino or La Nina events have always contributed
to frame our climate, influenced temperatures or caused disasters like
droughts and flood,” Dr Jarraud said. Read More