News FocusClimate Change

In the Hot Seat

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Science  08 Nov 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6159, pp. 688-689
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6159.688

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For climate scientists, extreme weather is risky territory. There is no question that global warming is real, but the science linking any one hurricane, drought, or flood to climate change is shaky. And yet laypeople, politicians, and activists inevitably seize on vivid, easy-to-grasp weather events to make points about abstract, long-term climate. But climate researchers aren't giving up. With more research and new methods for gauging the links between climate change and weather, they may be able to answer the "Is this climate change?" question on the spot—and turn extreme weather events into moments of teachable science.