attribute the influence of climate change to a particular cold spell

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kyoungmin

Member
korean
I came across the term of "attribute the influence of climate change to a particular cold spell" when reading an article. Here is context :

Much of the Northern Hemisphere is cold this time of year (it’s winter, after all). Cold snaps have occurred throughout history — certainly long before industrialization resulted in large emissions of greenhouse gases. And as with any single weather event, it’s difficult to directly attribute the influence of climate change to a particular cold spell.

How can I understand "attribute the influence of climate change to a particular cold spell" in the last sentence?
What confuses me is that scientists assume that climate change has influenced cold spell.
Can anybody there kindly give me some explanation?

Thank you a lot in advance!
 
  • Here's the link:
    Why So Cold? Climate Change May Be Part of the Answer

    The author is discussing whether climate change can be said to be the (partial?) cause of particular unusual events (can 'climate change' influence them, help make them happen)*. The phrasing is odd, and the choice of the word 'influence'.

    *His answer seems to be that the picture is complex, but there is some role of, for example, arctic warming in the occurrence of colder temperatures in Europe in winter.
     
    Last edited:

    kyoungmin

    Member
    korean
    Thank you but I still can't get it.
    I think that the author wants to say that the climate change is the reason why cold spell occurs.
    However, the phrase of "attribute the influence of climate change to a particular cold spell"
    means that a particular cold spell results in the influence of climate change.
    I think that those two concepts are totally opposite.

    Would you explain more?
    Thanks.
     
    The author quotes an expert:

    “I think everyone would agree that potentially the warming Arctic could have impacts on the lower latitudes,” said Rick Thoman, climate services manager with the National Weather Service in Fairbanks, Alaska. “But the exact connection on the climate scale is an area of active research.”

    So they are discussing a causal chain of events: climate change (including arctic warming) ==> the harsher winters at lower latitudes.
     
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