Human-induced climate change increased the risk of severe storms like those that hit the south west in the winter of 2013/14, causing devastating flooding and costing several people their lives.
That's according to new research from an international team of climate scientists at Oxford University.
The increase in extreme rainfall that led to the flooding was the result of two factors associated with global warming: an increase in the water-holding capacity of the atmosphere and more January days with westerly air flow.
Among the worst-affected areas were Somerset, Devon, Dorset and Cornwall in the south west.
The increase in extreme rainfall was due to a rise in moisture, researchers say it was one of the overarching causes:
The paper 'Human influence on climate in the 2014 Southern England winter floods and their impacts' was published online today (1 February).