Chinese snow storms ‘not caused by climate change’

Snow storms that have killed over 60 people are not directly linked to climate change, Reuters reported scientists as saying, but are an extreme event caused by cold winter temperatures and a La Nina weather pattern.

The ocean-atmosphere phenomenon known as La Nina brought moist air over south China during a very cold winter, Dong Wenjie of the National Climate Centre was quoted as saying, resulting in heavy snow falls.

Australian climate scientist Penny Whetton, an author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fourth assessment report, said the Chinese explanation for the storms was valid.

"My guess is this is a natural event without any particular reason to link it to climate change," Reuters reported Whetton as saying.

China can expect a less stable climate because of global warming, Whetton added, with some regions experiencing drier, wetter and hotter conditions, as well as more intense tropical storms.

See full story