This post is part of WRI's "Extreme Weather Watch" series, which explores the link between climate change and extreme events. Read our other posts in this series.
This post originally appeared on the National Journal's Energy Expert Blog. It was a response to the question "Is global warming causing wild weather?"
It’s the question on everyone’s minds these days: What’s up with the weather?
The answer is increasingly clear: It’s our changing climate.
The trends we are currently experiencing– a warmer world with more intense, extreme weather events– could not be clearer. It’s exactly what climate scientists and their models have, for many years now, forecast global warming will bring.
Evidence of a Changing Climate
July 2011 to June 2012 was the warmest 12-month period on record for the contiguous U.S. Globally, June 2011 was the 316th month in a row that posted a higher temperature than the 20th-century average. Spring 2012, not to be outdone, was the hottest on record in the U.S. And record drought in the Southwest has helped fuel the wildfires that have already consumed about two million acres this year. (See our recent post on forest fires and climate change.)