For a long time it has not been possible to make the - arguably for the day to day life of most people crucial link – from anthropogenic climate change and global warming to individual weather and climate-related events with confidence but this has changed in recent years. Quantifying and establishing the link between individual weather events, that often lead to large damages, has been the focus of the emerging science of extreme event attribution. Even if a comprehensive inventory of the impacts of climate change today is impossible, event attribution allows us to understand better what climate change means.
Arguably even more importantly, disentangling predictable drivers of an extreme event like anthropogenic climate change, from natural variability and changes in vulnerability and exposure will allow a better understanding of where risks are coming from and in turn how they can be addressed. Extreme events open a window to address the problem of exposure and vulnerability. Scientific evidence of the importance of different drivers is essential to avoid playing blame games and allows instead for a well-informed debate about addressing risk.