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Warming indicted for extreme weather

Climate change can explain some 2011 departures from the norm

Texans sweltered through the hottest, driest spring and summer on record last year. Much of the blame can be attributed to a recurring climate pattern known as La Ni±a, which emerges every few years as surface waters chill in the eastern equatorial Pacific. But Earth’s steadily warming climate contributed as well, a new analysis concludes.

Since the 1960s, the likelihood of Texas seeing extremely hot, dry weather in a La Ni±a year has mushroomed 20-fold due to human-induced global warming, David Rupp of Oregon State University in Corvallis and his colleagues calculate.

They were among six international teams probing climate’s link to extreme events in late 2010 through 2011. The collected findings appear in the July Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, or BAMS.

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