Scientists are increasingly confident that the uptick in heat waves and heavier rainfall is linked to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, posing a heightened risk to the world's population, according to two reports issued in the past week.
On Wednesday, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a 594-page study suggesting that when it comes to weather observations since 1950 there has been a "change in some extremes," which stem in part from global warming.
The report - the product of a collaboration of 220 authors from 62 countries - makes distinctions among different phenomena. It shows there is "limited to medium evidence" that climate change has contributed to changes in flooding, for example, and there is "low confidence" that long-term hurricane trends over the past 40 years have been driven by the world's growing carbon output.
But the IPCC team projects that there is a 90 to 100 percent probability that sea level rise "will contribute to upward trends in extreme coastal high-water levels in the future."