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Climate change goes to extremes

Some recent weird weather tied to warming

By
6:01pm, December 13, 2012

2012 SCIENCE NEWS TOP 25: 5

Welcome to the new climate; it’s keeping those Weather Channel reporters pretty busy with field reports on everything from a crop-slaying U.S. drought to windy deluges and coastal floods. Without question, 2012 ushered in wild and worrisome weather across the planet. The year was among the 10 hottest on record and included a surprising number of record-hot days. Climatologists refer to such events as extremes, and new analyses show that global warming is behind an uptick in some, albeit not all, kinds of extreme events.

The strongest evidence has emerged in Earth’s surface temperatures. Two analyses published this summer documented a shift toward hotter temperatures that seemed to kick off around 1981 (

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