Extreme Weather and Climate Change: Understanding the Link and Managing the Risk

This white paper was provided by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), - previously the Pew Center on Global Climate Change - describing the current and future severity of extreme weather events resulting from global warming, and approaches for managing this risk.  The report prioritizes the understanding of the meaning of risk of extreme weather and how it relates to changes in the climate system as being crucial to assessing vulnerability and planning for the future. 

Recent extreme weather is reviewed for the last decade, and incorporated into a description of overall climate trends.  Climate change and the relationship with the rising risk of extreme weather is detailed and quantified.  The paper explains that this connection relies on three supporting avenues of evidence including theory, modeling and observation. There is supporting evidence in all three areas which points to a global-warming induced increase in risk for four categories of weather-related extreme events including extreme heat, heavy downpours, drought and drought-associated wildfires. The report suggests that risk management strategies are imperative to reducing our vulnerability to these extreme weather events.

Publication Date: December 2011

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Daniel G. Huber
  • Jay Gulledge

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