Disappointed Rapture hopefuls may get a consolation prize: Scientists say recent torrential rains, deep snowfalls, catastrophic floods, and prolonged droughts are signs of a “new normal” of extreme weather. In a conference call organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists, climate scientists, government planners, and insurance analysts said the recent spate of extreme weather is a sign of the “global weirding” wrought by a changing climate. In the U.S., heavy rainstorms have coincided with extreme droughts, sometimes in the same area, as in Texas, which saw a record dry period and two 100-year rain events in the last five years. A manager at reinsurer Swiss Re said the average economic loss from natural disasters has risen to $130 billion from $25 billion in the last decade. While none of the panel members blamed human-caused climate change for specific weather events, they agreed that it is pushing the climate toward more extreme weather.