2015 was one of the craziest years yet for weather -- here's why that's so dangerous

This year has been an incredibly strange one for weather.

elninoThroughout what has been the warmest year in recorded history, the world witnessed apocalyptic-like conditions, from snowstorms that buried major cities in record levels of snow to thunderstorms that led to massive flooding and hurricanes that hit unexpected places in unforeseen numbers.

But we can’t pin it all on El Niño.

Yes, a lot of it can be chalked up to this year’s El Niño, which has been one of the strongest on record. (El Niño is a regularly occurring event characterised by warmer-than-normal temperatures in the Pacific Ocean that make it easy for water to gather in the air into powerful storm systems). Still, many of this year’s events have likely been made worse by human-made climate change. As decades of research suggest, a gradually warming climate is also amping up the likelihood and frequency of extreme events, from flooding to heat waves. read more