Texas Tech University

A month of extreme weather worldwide

The China Post

June 1, 2015

The China Post - Even for a world getting used to wild weather, May seems stuck on strange. Torrential downpours in Texas that have whiplashed the region from drought to flooding. A heat wave that has killed more than 1,800 people in India. Record 91-degree (32 Celsius) readings in Alaska, of all places. A pair of top-of-the-scale typhoons in the Northwest Pacific. And a drought taking hold in the East.

Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University, likens what's happening to a stewpot: Natural climate fluctuations such as El Nino go into it. So do jet stream meanderings, random chance, May being a transition month, and local variability. Then throw in the direct and indirect effects of climate change.

"We know that the stew has an extra ingredient," Hayhoe says, referring to climate change. "That ingredient is very strong. Sometimes you add one teaspoon of the wrong ingredient and boy, it can take your head off."

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This story also appeared in The Asian Age, South China Morning Post, Georgia Newsday, Mohave Daily News, First Coast News, Bend Bulletin, Trivalleycentral.com, Hindustan Times, Manila Bulletin, Daily Commercial, The Pueblo Chieftain, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Hartford Courant, Eagle Tribune, AOL News, Fox News and the Times Free Press.