"Analysis: Pakistan Floods, Russia Heat Fit Climate Trend"

"Devastating floods in Pakistan and Russia's heatwave match predictions of extremes caused by global warming even though it is impossible to blame mankind for single severe weather events, scientists say.

This year is on track to be the warmest since reliable temperature records began in the mid-19th century, beating 1998, mainly due to a build-up of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, according to the U.N. World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

'We will always have climate extremes. But it looks like climate change is exacerbating the intensity of the extremes,' said Omar Baddour, chief of climate data management applications at WMO headquarters in Geneva.

'It is too early to point to a human fingerprint' behind individual weather events, he said.

Recent extremes include mudslides in China and heat records from Finland to Kuwait -- adding to evidence of a changing climate even as U.N. negotiations on a new global treaty for costly cuts in greenhouse gas emissions have stalled.

Reinsurer Munich Re said a natural catastrophe database it runs 'shows that the number of extreme weather events like windstorm and floods has tripled since 1980, and the trend is expected to persist."

Alister Doyle reports for Reuters August 10, 2010.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010