"It's almost a point of pride with climatologists. Whenever someplace is hit with a heat wave, drought, killer storm or other extreme weather, scientists trip over themselves to absolve global warming. No particular weather event, goes the mantra, can be blamed on something so general. Extreme weather occurred before humans began loading up the atmosphere with heat-trapping greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. It's been easier to connect global warming to rising temperatures than to extreme weather events--and even the former hasn't been easy. Only in this decade have "attribution" studies managed to finger greenhouse gases as the chief cause of the rising mercury, rather than a hotter sun or cyclical changes. Now the same "whatdunit?" techniques are being applied to droughts, downpours, heat waves and powerful hurricanes."
(author: Sharon Begley)