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Extreme Weather Events: Are they Influenced by Rising Atmospheric CO2?

Abstract


Multiple climate models project that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations will increase the frequency and/or severity of a number of extreme weather events. This projection has been accepted as fact by numerous scientific organizations and government agencies, including the U.S. EPA. Such claims, however, often fail to stand up against appropriate scientific scrutiny. When key principles of scientific inquiry are adequately addressed and followed, the model projections are consistently seen to conflict with real-world observations, indicating it is highly unlikely that increasing temperatures-whether or not they are driven by rising atmospheric CO2-will increase the frequency and/or magnitude of severe weather events. In fact, most evidence to date suggests an opposite effect, where rising temperatures would produce less frequent and less severe extreme weather.

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