A Climate of Extreme Weather Events: U.S. Impacts and Vulnerability

This white paper, from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change (now the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions "C2ES"), provides an easy-to-understand overview of flooding, heat waves, wildfires, and drought. Past and projected frequency, details of impacts, some location specific vulnerability and potential risks are provided for each of the four types of extreme events.

The report explains that the changing climate is increasing the probability of extreme weather events. Moreover, scientists agree that severe heat and heavy downpours are already more frequent and intense than they used to be. Since the rising risk of extreme weather is well established, C2ES asserts that we must learn what we can from actual events, while planning for a future of increased extreme weather conditions.

An interactive extreme events map is included as part of the white paper, showing where historically some of the most significant heat waves, floods, droughts, and wildfires have occurred across the U.S. since 1995. A separate entry in this database, 'Extreme Weather Events Map (1995 - 2011)' provides further information. 

Publication Date: June 2011

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  • Assessment
  • Climate science


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