The corrolation between climate change and some extreme weather events is growing stronger, according to a new study from the National Academy of Sciences out Friday.
The study found that warmer weather from climate change exacerbates drought and increases the atmospheric moisture that feeds into heavy rain or extreme snowfall.
The new report looks at “extreme event attribution studies,” a relatively new area of climate research that looks to compare recent weather events to similar events in the past and assess the influence of climate change on them.
“Event attribution can answer questions about how much climate change influenced the probability or intensity of a specific type of weather event,” the study says. “As event attribution capabilities improve, they could help inform choices about assessing and managing risk, and in guiding climate adaptation strategies.”
While the research is possible for weather events like drought and precipitation, the study’s authors said more work needs to be done before it can draw a link between climate change and other weather events or before the probability of those events can be determined.
“An increasingly common question after an extreme weather event is whether climate change ‘caused’ that event to occur,” said David Titley, the founding director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Pennsylvania State University, in a statement.
"While that question remains difficult to answer given all the factors that affect an individual weather event, we can now say more about how climate change has affected the intensity or likelihood of some events.”