Fires and floods: Can science link extreme weather to climate change?
Is climate change to blame? To the casual observer, the flurry of extreme weather events over the past two months can feel like the obvious consequence of rising average temperatures — and something that many scientists have been warning about for years.
A forest fire burns near Marmaris, Turkey on July 30, 2021 (Image: Reuters/Kenan Gurbuz)
By Camilla Hodgson and Alexandra Heal in London
When floods swept through parts of China’s Henan province last month, killing at least 302 people, a group of scientists who specialise in analysing the drivers of extreme weather events found themselves unable to help.
Like everyone else, they were horrified by the images of people trapped in water-filled subway stations, as whole blocks of the city of Zhengzhou were flooded by record rainfall.
Their work involves two core questions: did climate change make...