Measuring man's impact on climate change in terms of heavy rain and heatwaves

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One in five extreme rain events and three-quarters of all hot temperature extremes can be blamed on global warming, likely caused by human activity, say the authors of a Swiss study.

Their research using modelling also shows that such events will increase with further warming.

Present day global warming, most likely caused by human activity, is responsible for about 18% of heavy rain and 75% of hot temperature extremes worldwide.

Modelling indicates that if temperatures increase 2 °C higher than pre-industrial levels, about 40% of rain extremes will be a result of human influence.

Erich Fischer and Reto Knutti of the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science in Zurich published their findings in the journal Nature Climate Change.

They suggest that the rarest and most extreme events are likely to be more heavily influenced by greenhouse gas emissions.

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