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Extreme Weather ‘Not Linked To Climate Change’

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Jared Owens, The Australian

EXTREME weather events are not becoming more frequent as the planet warms, despite media “hype” to the contrary, according to a new report.

Madhav Khandekar, a retired Canadian government meteorologist and former Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expert reviewer, finds alleged links between recent extreme weather to climate change are “not substantiated” and the evidence suggests their true cause is “natural climate variability”.

Dr Khandekar insists that hurricanes and tropical storms have not gained frequency or intensity in recent decades and concludes that “global warming and extreme weather pose no threat to humanity, either at present or in the next 10 to 25 years”.

“The best way to cope with present and future extreme weather events is to develop improved seasonal long-range climate forecasting capability, so as to minimise any adverse impacts of such events,” says the report, published by Britain’s contrarian Global Warming Policy Foundation.

But Seth Westra, a climate researcher at University of Adelaide, insisted warmer temperatures were making extreme weather events “more probable”.

“We do expect to have extreme storms more often. In historical records you do have extreme temperatures, but the baseline is becoming more warm, and it does make events more probable,” Dr Westra said.

“(Dr Khandekar) is right to the point that we do need to get better at managing existing extremes, but at the same time we don’t want to move to a warmer climate where these events become a lot more common. It’s not an either/or.”

Dr Khandekar’s report attacked media “hype” over alleged links between natural disasters and climate change, such as during last year’s Hurricane Sandy and this month’s Typhoon Haiyan.

Full story

Madhav Khandekar: The Global Warming-Extreme Weather Link: A Review Of The State Of Science