Thursday, May 10th 2012, 5:29 PM EDT
...Hansen says the heat wave that struck Texas and Oklahoma last summer and the Moscow heat wave of 2010 (which caused 11,000 deaths in the city) are examples of three-sigma anomalies. In a paper published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Stefan Rahmstorf and Dim Coumou of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Germany, wrote that it was 80 percent probable that the Moscow heat wave had been caused by global warming.
“These three-sigma anomalies,” Hansen says, “we can now say are due to global warming.” But what about the extreme cold snaps climate-change deniers keep pointing to? Even with global warming, Hansen told Time.com in an email, there “is still a broad bell curve. In fact, it has become broader, which means there will still be times when a season is colder than average. When that happens [people] should not say, ‘What happened to global warming?’ It will still be there — they are just looking at natural variability.”...
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