Extreme weather tied to climate change -- report

April 3, 2012

A new report released on March 28 said climate change has already led to changes in the frequency and severity of extreme weather, such as heat waves and heavy precipitation events, in many parts of the world, ClimateCentral.org said that day.

The report was released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC).

ClimateCentral.org said the report, "Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Adaptation" (“SREX”) details the links between climate change and extreme weather events, and discusses how climate extremes can combine with existing societal problems to worsen natural disasters.

ClimateCentral.org said the report summarises many of the conclusions from peer reviewed scientific studies, including information unavailable at the time of the IPCC's last major assessment of climate science in 2007.

The site said: “Key conclusions include 'medium confidence' that there has been an observed increase in the duration or number of heat waves in many parts of the world ― a finding that is particularly relevant in light of the recent unprecedented March heat wave that affected much of the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains.”

The IPCC concluded that it is "very likely" (90 to 100%) that there has been an overall decrease in the number of cold days and nights, and a rise in the number of warm days and nights, globally, ClimateCentral.org said.
The report also found a "likely increase" (a greater than 66% probability) in the frequency of heavy precipitation events. In addition, the IPCC panel found there is "medium confidence" in a projected rise in the length and intensity of droughts in parts of the world, including central North America.

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