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Climate change definitively linked to increases in extreme rain and snow, UCLA research finds

The effects of human-caused climate change are growing so steadily and predictably that a machine learning system was able to correctly “guess” the years that severe rain and snowfall had occurred. A UCLA study published in Nature Communications shows definitively that abnormally heavy rain and snowfall events around the world are becoming more severe due to human-driven climate change.

While climate change is widely understood to cause higher temperatures and more devastating droughts, it is also linked to heavier precipitation. That’s mainly because the warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, which can lead to more dramatic wet seasons, said Gavin Madakumbura, the study’s lead author, a UCLA doctoral candidate studying climate modeling.

The study clearly shows that human activity is causing the intensification of heavy rain and snow events, which can lead to problems like floods, soil erosion, crop damage and problems with water resource management.

“These findings further elevate the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to prevent even larger impacts down the road,” said senior author Alex Hall, director of the UCLA Center for Climate Science, which is a part of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. “We can now say that extreme precipitation is increasing globally […]

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