A view shows ice flow floating on a lake in front of the Solheimajokull Glacier, where the ice has receded by more than 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) since annual measurements began in 1931, Iceland October 16, 2015. REUTERS/Thibault Camus/Pool
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Climate science has progressed so much that experts can accurately detect global warming's fingerprints on certain extreme weather events, such as a heat wave, according to a high-level scientific advisory panel.Starting in 2004, dozens of complex peer-reviewed studies found the odds of some extreme events were affected by man-made climate change.The private non-profit has advised the government on complex, science-oriented issues since the days of President Abraham Lincoln.When it comes to heat waves, droughts, heavy rain and some other events, scientists who do rigorous research can say whether they were more likely or more severe because of man-made global warming, said academies report chairman David Titley, a Pennsylvania State University meteorology professor. Good attribution studies are based on what Titley calls a "three-legged stool" of observational records of decades of past events, detailed understanding of the physics that cause the weird weather itself, and sophisticated computer models that simulate the chances of the extreme event if there were no man-made, heat-trapping gases warming the atmosphere.These studies don't say an event was 100 percent caused by climate change.
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