With many parts of the UK under inches of water and Northern America suffering extreme cold — colder in some parts of Canada than the Arctic Circle — scientists have once again warned that the unusual weather patterns are the result of global warming.
As reported in the Daily Telegraph, scientists from the University of New South Wales, Australia, have found that levels of carbon dioxide are rising at a faster rate than originally predicted.
In a study published in the journal Nature, the scientists claimed that the CO2 levels will lead to thinner ocean clouds, which will reduce their cooling impact, causing temperature rises of at least 5.6 degF (3 degC) over the course of the century.
This means that more lands will be exposed to the kinds of extreme weather conditions seen in the northern hemisphere over recent months, ranging from severe cold and flooding in the winter to heatwave conditions in the summer.
In the southern hemisphere, this has been marked by Australia in 2013 having its hottest year since reliable recordings began in 1910. The world’s driest continent also recorded its hottest day, hottest month, hottest winter’s day and hottest summer.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the weather in 2012 was so hot that Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology last year changed its official weather forecasting map to include new colours — deep purple and pink — for areas with temperatures above 50 degC (122 degF).