Friday, May 05, 2017 by Vicki Batts
Researchers from Stanford University are doing their best to find a link between extreme weather events and climate change, but is it all for naught? While these researchers are admittedly conservative with their efforts, they are at least somewhat echoing the rhetoric that events like tornadoes are solely being caused by climate change.
This, of course, is absolute nonsense; tornadoes have occurred throughout the course of the Earth’s history, and are in fact a part of the Earth’s normal climate. So-called “extreme weather events” have really only recently been dubbed as such; tornadoes, earthquakes, droughts and torrential rains have all played a role in the development of the Earth as we know it. The “Dust Bowl” years in North America exemplify some of the most extreme weather ever witnessed in North America, for instance. There were recurring droughts and heatwaves across the plains and prairies of the United States and Canada during that time in the early 20th century. The 1910s and 1920s also saw extremely cold winters in the very same regions. Madhav Khandekar, Ph.D. and retired Environment Canada scientist with over 50 years of experience in weather and climate science, states in a 2012 article, “Extreme weather is an integral part of the Earth’s climate.”
So-called extreme weather is not only an integral part of the planet’s climate, but it is also part of the Earth’s history. Extreme weather events, like the Ice Age, have shaped the face of the planet we call home.
Back then, of course, there were no scientists to go around saying everything was being caused by human activity. The latest research by scientists from Stanford University reportedly takes a very conservative approach to linking climate change with extreme weather events, but the question of whether or not that climate change is directly the result of human activity is left unanswered. In fact, the scientists flat-out assume that the sole driver behind changes in climate is human activity.
“Our approach is very conservative. It’s like the presumption of innocence in our legal system: The default is that the weather event was just bad luck, and a really high burden of proof is required to assign blame to global warming,” Noah Diffenbaugh said. Diffenbaugh is a professor of Earth system science at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. He and the rest of his team have reportedly outlined a four-step method for testing whether or not an extreme weather event is related to “climate change.” However, in this context, it appears to be implied that climate change is a direct result of human activity — which may not be entirely true.
As recent research has shown, changes in solar activity play a substantial role in climate shifts on Earth. A Swiss research team has found that the sun’s activity may influence our planet’s climate more strongly than previously thought. The finding has put a tremendous hole in prevailing theories about the changes in Earth’s climate — and weather patterns.
So, is it really climate change that is causing these so-called extreme weather events? Are they part of the Earth’s natural climate? Or are these events being caused by solar activity? More importantly, will we ever actually know the truth, even if scientists manage to figure it out? [RELATED: Read more stories about climate change at ClimateScienceNews.com]