CLIMATE CHANGE AND EXTREME WEATHERISAAC GINISGraduate School of OceanographyUniversity of Rhode Island
Impact of Global WarmingGlobal warming is associated with a broad spectrum of changes,such as decreases in snow cover and Arctic sea ice, warmerhot days and nights, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification.One of the most dangerous implications is worsening ofextreme weather events around the world in respect to: Intensities Frequencies Fatalities and Damages
Temperature is Rising in Every Continent Quelle: IPCC FoAR, 2007Black lines: decadal averages of observationsBlue band: 5-95% range 19 simulations from 5 climate models using only natural forcingsRed band: 5-95% range for 58 simulations from 14 climate models using natural and anthropogenic forcings 3
August 2003 - Heat wave in Europe more than 70,000 fatalities Temperature on 8 August 2003 and excess mortality Heat stress 300 extreme high 2.300 moderate 9.400 light comfortable light moderate 19.500 high 1.000 extreme 800 20.100 Cold stress2.700 15.000 Sources: Robine et al., 2007; German Weather Service, 2004
July 26, 2005 – Mumbai Flood•Meteorological station in Mumbai, India recorded 37 inches of rainfall within 24 hours•Highest ever in history of precipitation recordings in India. More than 1150 fatalities
August 2005 - Hurricane Katrina $110 billion direct damage More than 1,800 fatalities
June/July 2007 – Flood in the UK Largest flood economic losses ever Overall losses: > US$ 8 billion 7Source: www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/seasonal/summer2007/index.html
February 2009 - Wildfires, Australia Largest on record More than 175 fatalities Source: Reuters, Berlin
2010Pakistan Russia China The hottest recorded summer in Russian history. 56,000 died.
February 2010Snowmageddon in the U.S Moisture from storm 2000 miles away: subtropical Atlantic where ocean temperatures at record high levels! Courtesy of K. Trenberth
Blizzard February 2011 affected at least 30 U.S. states, more than 100 million peopleNew Hampshire Wisconsin Chicago Milwaukee
2011 Southern US Drought Texas experienced driest July-August period on record Suffered an estimated $5.2 billion losses.
August 2011 - Hurricane Irene • Landfall in NC, NJ, NY, CT • Affected 11 states • Fatalities: 56 • Damage: $10.1 billion PhiladelphiaVermont Rhode Island
October 2011 - most extraordinary October snowstorm in over two centuries in the Northeast U.S. Newark, New Jersey reported 5.2” greatest October snowfall on record
Weather Disasters in U.S.Frequency & Economic Losses Increasing Dramaticallywww.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/reports/billionz.html
2011 IPCC Report: Extreme Weather Worsening• New IPCC report confirms extreme weather worsening due to climate change.• Scientists are virtually certain – 99% –world will have more periods of weather extremes through 21st century.• 95% certain human actions contributed to trend and it will continue in future.
Other “High Impact” Weather Events• Not all “high impact events” are changing.• There is insufficient evidence to determine whether trends have occurred in “small spatial scale” events such as tornadoes, hail, lightning and dust storms.
United States Landfalling Hurricanes Do not Show any Long-term TrendImage credit: NOAA/NHC
North Atlantic Hurricane Season Getting Longer• In 140-year period from 1851 - 1990, only 30 hurricanes existed in Atlantic on or after November 1 -- average of 1 every 5 years• In past 20 years, late-season hurricanes 3.5 times more frequent -- 15 late-season hurricanes.
Future Atlantic Hurricane Projections Cat 4+5 frequency: 81% increase, or 10% per decade Rainfall rates: 20% increase Estimated net impact of these changes on damage potential: +28%• Colored bars show changes for the18 model CMIP3 ensemble (27 seasons); dots show rangeof changes across 4 individual CMIP models (13 seasons).Source: Bender et al., Science, 2010.
Late 21st Century Atlantic Hurricane Projections Source: Bender et al., Science, 2010
Projections of Extreme Weather Events in Rhode Island• Currently ~12 to 15 nor’easters (extra-tropical storms) hit U.S. Northeast November to March.• Projection -- 1 additional nor’easter could affect the Northeast coast each winter by late century.
Projections of Extreme Weather Events in Rhode Island• Higher sea levels and more intense storms.• Probability of increase in major coastal and inland flood events.• Even minor storms will increase -- possibly dramatically -- storm surge impacts such as coastal erosion.