It’s long been said that human-driven emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere make the earth warmer. As temperature increases, so does the amount of moisture in the atmosphere. In times of rain, that results in more water coming down. Meanwhile, some scientists believe that human-caused warming of the oceans adds to El Niño cycles, something that also affects the atmosphere. A new paper published in Geophysical Research Letters ties these things together as a cause of May 2015 floods in Texas and Oklahoma.
Chip Knappenberger is a former research coordinator at the Virginia State Climatology Office and is now serving as assistant director of the center for the study of science at the Cato Institute. He says it’s possible the authors of the paper are misidentifying things.