Scientists link extreme weather with climate change
After more than 20 years of denial, experts are now convinced that greenhouse emissions are to be blamed for the heavy storms, floods and droughts which have made global headlines.
Peter Stott, a leading climate scientist at the Met Office Hadley Centre in Exeter, said: "It's very clear we're in a changed climate now which means there's more moisture in the atmosphere and the potential for stronger storms and heavier rainfall is clearly there."
The U-turn is a radical departure from the previous standpoint and was made by a new international alliance of climate researchers from around the world.
The coalition will be drafting a report which will be published during a meeting at Denver's World Climate Research Programme later this year, according to the Daily Mail.
The move is likely to spark a controversy as scientists have avoided linking single exceptional weather events with climate change. However, they now believe it is no longer plausible to say extreme weather is merely 'consistent' with climate change.
Instead, the coalition wants to analyse each event to see whether it is probable that the increase in global temperature in the last century has contributed to or caused it.
According to Stott, studies are already underway to assess the European heatwave in 2003 - when up to 35,000 people died of heat-related causes - and the British floods in 2000 following the wettest autumn in England and Wales since records began in 1766.
Here's how the weather has been so far this year...