No specific incidence of freak weather can be definitively attributed to climate change. But most scientists agree that the phenomenon will increase the likelihood of freak weather over time. The average global temperature has risen by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 100 years, and is projected to rise another 2 to 11.5 degrees over the next 100. The apocalyptic weather of the past year may soon be the new normal.
Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.