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New study links extreme weather to climate change

Published on Feb 26, 2013 7:17 AM
 
A view shows the dry lakebed of the Cocorobo Dam, down to 20 percent capacity, in the town of Canudos, in the part of Bahia State declared to be in a drought emergency, Jan 15, 2013. Scientists said Monday they have identified a physical mechanism behind the extreme weather that has plagued many parts of the world in recent years - and that it is tied to climate change. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Scientists said on Monday they have identified a physical mechanism behind the extreme weather that has plagued many parts of the world in recent years - and that it is tied to climate change.

Since 2010, for example, the United States and Russia have each suffered scorching heat waves, while Pakistan saw unprecedented flooding.

Scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have traced the events to a disturbance in the air currents in the northern hemisphere, in a new study out Monday in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"An important part of the global air motion in the mid-latitudes of the Earth normally takes the form of waves wandering around the planet, oscillating between the tropical and the Arctic regions," lead author Vladimir Petoukhov said in a statement.

 
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