Written by on February 7, 2023

A twitter post claiming that extreme weather conditions are not influenced by climate change is false.

“Extreme weather is not influenced by climate change. Just read farmer almanacs. Honestly there are sunspots, volcanoes (very hot lava) and earthquakes which are not from climate change and affect the weather. Not myth,” states the claim.

Weather is the state of the atmosphere at any given time and place, whereas climate is the long-term average of the weather in a given place. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, many aspects of society can be affected in potentially unruly ways, either directly or indirectly by long-term changes in climate.

A study dubbed “impact attribution” and published in 2016, during the 2003 European heatwave, estimates that 506 of the 735 fatalities in Paris were down since climate change made the heat more intense. The study also indicates that the same was witnessed for 64 of the 315 fatalities in London.

Another study published by the journal nature climate change on 31st May 2021 states that between 1991-2018, 37% of the ‘warm season heat related deaths’ across 43 countries can be attributed to anthropogenic climate change.

A study published on 16th February 2021 established that climate change was a critical driver of the drought that led to a food crisis in 2007 in Lesotho. According to a guest post by Carbon Brief, which focused on the rising threat of an outburst flood from glacial lakes in the Peruvian Andes found that the retreat of the region’s glaciers was fully attributed to human-caused warming.

According to the Sixth Assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the occurrence of extreme events is unprecedented in the observed record and will increase with increasing global warming. The report states that “human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened” since the Fifth Assessment report in 2014.

A study published in the journal: Advancing Earth and Space Science on 12th February 2013, quantified the attributable increase in risk of extreme low precipitation in the two rainy seasons in East Africa preceding the 2011 drought. The study found that the failure of the “short rains” (in October-December) could be attributed to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and in particular, to the occurrence of a strong La Niña event earlier in the year. Human influence was found to have increased the likelihood of an extremely dry “long rains” season (March-June), however, the magnitude of the increase strongly depended on the exact warming pattern removed from the observations to simulate the “world that might have been”.

We looked into this claim stating that extreme weather conditions are not influenced by climate change is false.

This fact-check was produced by Sky 106.1 FM with support from Code for Africa’s PesaCheck, International Fact-Checking Network, and African Fact Checking Alliance network.

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