And the main consequence of this report, where 28 extreme phenomena from all over the world are analyzed, is that greenhouse gas emissions and land use - that is, human activities - have increased the intensity of cyclones, torrential rains, droughts and heat waves. "Climate change is real and it is here," concluded Stephanie Herring, coordinator of the NOAA report, in a telephone press conference.
In addition to the average increase in the planet's temperatures, a phenomenon that this agency has been warning about every month, climate change is also behind some extreme events. The report identifies 14 cases in which global change has made them more likely or stronger.
This is the fourth edition of this report, which is itself a compilation of the studies of 32 scientific groups. The conclusions emphasize that there is a direct relationship between climate change and extreme heat events recorded in 2014 in Argentina, Europe, China, Korea, Australia, the North Atlantic and the Pacific. Herring has detailed that in 95% of the cases studied there is "a human influence".
Where the relationship is not so direct and frequent is with rainfall. In 40% of cases of extreme rainfall, NOAA has found a link to climate change, Herring explained. But the report also identifies some specific cases. For example, "devastating" floods such as those in Jakarta (Indonesia) in January 2014 are said to "become increasingly likely due to climate change and other human influences. 26 people died and damage amounted to more than 350 million .
The study also points to climate change as responsible for the increase in tropical cyclones in Hawaii. Something similar is also happening with the increase in snow storms in 2014 in the Himalayas.
However, the report fails to establish a direct relationship between climate change and last year's fires in California. Of course, NOAA maintains that the "probability of forest fires" in this state "has increased due to climate change." In the analysis of this agency, there is no relationship between the low temperatures that were registered in the US in 2014 and global change.