Climate change and extreme weather

A Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found that

  • It is likely that the frequency of heavy precipitation will increase in the 21st century over many regions.
  • It is virtually certain that increases in the frequency of warm daily temperature extremes and decreases in cold extremes will occur throughout the 21st century on a global scale. It is very likely – 90 per cent to 100 per cent probability – that heat waves will increase in length, frequency, and/or intensity over most land areas.
  • It is likely that the average maximum wind speed of tropical cyclones (also known as typhoons or hurricanes) will increase throughout the coming century, although possibly not in every ocean basin. However it is also likely – in other words there is a 66 per cent to 100 per cent probability – that overall there will be either a decrease or essentially no change in the number of tropical cyclones.
  • There is evidence, providing a basis for medium confidence, that droughts will intensify over the coming century in southern Europe and the Mediterranean region, central Europe, central North America, Central America and Mexico, northeast Brazil, and southern Africa. Confidence is limited because of definitional issues regarding how to classify and measure a drought, a lack of observational data, and the inability of models to include all the factors that influence droughts.
  • It is very likely that average sea level rise will contribute to upward trends in extreme sea levels in extreme coastal high water levels.
  • Projected precipitation and temperature changes imply changes in floods, although overall there is low confidence at the global scale regarding climate-driven changes in magnitude or frequency of river-related flooding, due to limited evidence and because the causes of regional changes are complex.

Note their following definition of terms:

  • Virtually certain we mean 99-100% probability
  • Very likely we mean 90-100% probability
  • Likely we mean 66-100% probability
  • About as likely as not we mean 33 to 66% probability
  • Unlikely we mean 0-33% probability
  • Extremely unlikely we mean 0-10% probability
  • Exceptionally unlikely we mean 0-1% probability

The evidence just keeps mounting, deniers keep twisting the facts and ignoring evidence, and the world leaders keep dragging their feet.

You can read a summary from the ABC here.

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), environmentalist, Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace & sustainability.
This entry was posted in Environmental sustainability and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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