DOHA, Qatar — Though it’s tricky to link a single weather event to climate change, Hurricane Sandy was “probably not a coincidence” but an example of the extreme weather events that are likely to strike the U.S. more often as the world gets warmer, the U.N. climate panel’s No. 2 scientist said Tuesday.
Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the vice chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, predicted that as stronger and more frequent heat waves and storms become part of life, people will stop asking whether global warming played a role.
“The new question should probably progressively become: Is it possible that climate warming has not influenced this particular event?” he told The Associated Press in an interview on the sidelines of U.N. climate negotiations in Qatar.
Ypersele’s remarks come as global warming has re-emerged as an issue in Washington following the devastating superstorm – a rarity for the U.S. Northeast – and an election that led to Democratic gains.