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Heat waves, wildfires, floods - what's with all the extreme weather?

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Reading the news over the past month ― or maybe just stepping outside ― you could get the sense that something has gone wrong with the weather. One heat wave after another has struck the West Coast, which, as a result, is now on fire. Western Europe has been deluged by rain, killing hundreds. Across Asia, from Japan to Turkey, temperature records have been falling like dominoes, and, most recently, several cities in China have been flooded by heavy rainfall.

The question on everyone's mind is whether this confluence of catastrophes is being caused by climate change. On one level the answer is a clear yes: Climate change puts more heat into the atmosphere, which directly causes high temperatures and indirectly increases the intensity of rainstorms by allowing air to hold more water vapor.

But the approximately two-degree Fahrenheit increase in global average surface temperature caused by climate change so far represents only a relatively minor part of any single event. If Portland had reached 114 degrees at the end of........

© The Korea Times

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