Bjorn Lombrog writes in the WaPo:
One of the most persistent claims in the climate debate is that global warming leads to more extreme weather. Green groups and even such respectable outlets as Scientific American declare that “extreme weather is a product of climate change.”
And the meme seems irresistible as a political shortcut to action. President Obama has explicitly linked a warming climate to “more extreme droughts, floods, wildfires and hurricanes.” The White House warned this summer of “increasingly frequent and severe extreme weather events that come with climate change.”
Yet this is not supported by science. “General statements about extremes are almost nowhere to be found in the literature but seem to abound in the popular media,” climate scientist Gavin Smith of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies said last month. “It’s this popular perception that global warming means all extremes have to increase all the time, even though if anyone thinks about that for 10 seconds they realize that’s nonsense.”
Global warming is real. It is partly man-made. It will make some things worse and some things better. Overall, the long-run impact will be negative. But some of the most prominent examples of extreme weather are misleading, and some weather events are becoming less extreme.