Extreme Weather Events


Extreme weather events are unusual, severe, or unseasonal weather that fall outside of a location's historical weather distribution. They are defined as being in the most unusual 10% of a probability density function. Extreme weather events can have devastating effects on communities, ecosystems, and can cause economic costs, loss of life, droughts, floods, and landslides.


Image of Extreme Climate Weather Events

Extreme weather events.

Billion Dollar Climate Disasters of 2023

The Cost of Extreme Weather Events

Extreme weather events

Here is a list of 25 links related to extreme weather events:

1. https://www.noaa.gov/topics/climate-weather/extreme-events
2. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature
3. https://www.ipcc.ch/srocc/
4. https://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats.shtml
5. https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-extreme-weather
6. https://www.who.int/health-topics/climate-change#tab=tab_1
7. https://www.un.org/en/observances/ending-extreme-poverty
8. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/disasterriskmanagement
9. https://www.redcross.org/about-us/our-work/disaster-relief.html
10. https://www.fema.gov/disaster/
11. https://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/effects/default.htm
12. https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/extreme-weather-climate-change
13. https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-insights/perspectives/how-climate-change-affects-extreme-weather/
14. https://www.wri.org/insights/5-things-know-about-climate-change-and-extreme-weather
15. https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/climate-at-a-glance/
16. https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/reports.shtml
17. https://www.worldweatherattribution.org/
18. https://www.climatecentral.org/gallery/graphics/the-top-global-weather-and-climate-events-of-2022
19. https://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats.shtml
20. https://www.ready.gov/be-informed
21. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature
22. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/
23. https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-weather-climate
24. https://www.who.int/health-topics/climate-change#tab=tab_1
25. https://www.un.org/en/observances/ending-extreme-poverty

Extreme weather events represent a significant aspect of climatic phenomena and have been increasingly under the microscope due to their growing frequency and intensity, which many scientists attribute to climate change. This essay explores the nature, causes, impacts, and responses to extreme weather events, intending to provide a comprehensive overview of the subject.

### Definition and Types of Extreme Weather Events

Extreme weather includes unusual, severe, or unseasonal weather conditions. These can lead to significant disruption in human and natural systems, often resulting in considerable economic and environmental damages. Key types of extreme weather events include:
- **Hurricanes/Cyclones/Typhoons:** Powerful storms classified by intense winds, heavy rain, and storm surges.
- **Tornadoes:** Violently rotating columns of air touching the ground, typically very destructive.
- **Extreme Heatwaves:** Periods of abnormally hot weather which can lead to droughts.
- **Extreme Cold Waves:** Unusually cold weather that can cause frostbite, hypothermia, and impact agriculture.
- **Floods:** Overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry, often caused by excessive rain or overflow of rivers.
- **Blizzards:** Severe snowstorms with strong sustained winds.
- **Droughts:** Prolonged periods of deficient rainfall leading to water shortage.

### Causes of Extreme Weather

The causes of extreme weather are varied but are frequently linked to both natural and anthropogenic factors:

- **Natural Causes:**
- **Ocean currents**
- **Solar radiation**
- **Atmospheric conditions** (like El Niño and La Niña)

- **Anthropogenic Causes:**
- **Global warming:** An increase in Earth’s average surface temperature due to rising levels of greenhouse gases like CO2.
- **Urbanization:** Which can modify local climates, often making them more prone to extreme weather.

### Impacts of Extreme Weather

The effects of extreme weather are profound and multidimensional, affecting almost all facets of life:

- **Human Impact:**
- **Health:** Extreme weather can cause direct health issues like heatstroke or hypothermia, as well as indirect health problems caused by waterborne diseases and malnutrition.
- **Displacement:** Severe weather events frequently displace populations, leading to humanitarian crises and population migrations.

- **Economic Impact:**
- **Infrastructure Damage:** Costly damages to infrastructure including roads, bridges, and buildings.
- **Agricultural Losses:** Significant impacts on agriculture through loss of crops and livestock, affecting food supply and prices.

- **Environmental Impact:**
- **Biodiversity Loss:** Severe weather can devastate habitats and lead to loss of plant and animal life.
- **Soil Degradation:** Events like floods and droughts can lead to severe soil erosion and degradation.

### Responses to Extreme Weather Events

Responses to extreme weather events can be categorized into mitigation and adaptation strategies:

- **Mitigation:**
- **Emission Reduction:** Cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change.
- **Renewable Energy:** Investing in renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels.

- **Adaptation:**
- **Infrastructure Resilience:** Enhancing the resilience of infrastructure to withstand extreme weather.
- **Early Warning Systems:** Developing and improving early warning systems to provide timely alerts before extreme weather hits.
- **Community Preparedness Programs:** Educating and preparing communities to handle emergency situations due to extreme weather.

### Conclusion

Extreme weather events pose one of the most potent threats to global stability in terms of environment, health, and economy. Understanding their causes, effects, and devising effective responses is essential for global sustainability. Continued research and investment in weather prediction technologies and infrastructure resilience are critical in managing the impacts of these potentially devastating events.

### References

- National Geographic. (n.d.). Extreme Weather. Retrieved from [National Geographic website]
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (n.d.). [IPCC Reports].
- United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). (n.d.). [OCHA publications].

(Note: The URLs and precise locations for the cited sources have been omitted and should be included based on specific guidelines provided for citations.)

This approach captures the essence and critical points about extreme weather events, outlining their significance and responses.


Top 40 extreme weather events worldwide

Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe due to climate change. Here is a list of 40 common types of extreme weather events that are influenced by climate change:

1. **Heatwaves** - Prolonged periods of excessively hot weather.
2. **Droughts** - Extended periods of deficient rainfall leading to water shortages.
3. **Hurricanes** - Powerful tropical storms with strong winds and heavy rain.
4. **Typhoons** - Regional term for hurricanes in the Western Pacific.
5. **Cyclones** - Large scale air mass that rotates around a strong center of low atmospheric pressure.
6. **Tornadoes** - Violently rotating columns of air touching the ground, usually spawned by thunderstorms.
7. **Thunderstorms** - Storms characterized by the presence of lightning and thunder.
8. **Floods** - Overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry.
9. **Flash floods** - Rapid flooding of low-lying areas in less than six hours.
10. **River floods** - Overflowing of rivers due to excessive rain or snowmelt.
11. **Coastal flooding** - Flooding in coastal areas caused by sea surge or high tides.
12. **Storm surges** - Rise in sea level that occurs during tropical cyclones and severe storms.
13. **Blizzards** - Severe snowstorms with strong winds and intense snowfall.
14. **Ice storms** - Type of winter storm characterized by freezing rain.
15. **Hailstorms** - Storms that produce hailstones.
16. **Extreme cold waves** - Periods of unusually cold weather.
17. **Wildfires** - Large, destructive fires that spread rapidly over woodland or brush.
18. **Dust storms** - Severe windstorms that lift clouds of dust into the atmosphere.
19. **Sandstorms** - Similar to dust storms but occur in deserts and can carry sand.
20. **Glacial lake outburst floods** - Sudden releases of water from a glacial lake due to glacier retreat.
21. **Landslides** - Movement of rock, earth, or debris down a sloped section of land.
22. **Avalanches** - Rapid flow of snow down a sloping surface.
23. **Mudslides** - Flow of mud caused by a mixture of water and soil.
24. **Tsunamis** - Series of ocean waves caused by underwater earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or landslides.
25. **El Niño and La Niña events** - Climate patterns that describe the unusual warming or cooling of the Pacific Ocean.
26. **Ocean acidification** - Decrease in pH of the Earth's oceans caused by uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
27. **Coral bleaching** - Whitening of corals due to stress induced by warmer temperatures.
28. **Sea level rise** - Increase in the level of the world's oceans due to the melting of ice and expansion of seawater as it warms.
29. **Arctic amplification** - Rapid warming of the Arctic compared to the rest of the world.
30. **Permafrost thaw** - Thawing of frozen soil in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions.
31. **Heat islands** - Urban areas that are significantly warmer than their rural surroundings.
32. **Monsoon variability** - Changes in the pattern, intensity, and timing of monsoon rains.
33. **Atmospheric rivers** - Long, narrow regions in the atmosphere that transport most of the water vapor outside of the tropics.
34. **Polar vortex disruptions** - Events where the usual swirling of the polar vortex is disrupted, leading to cold outbreaks.
35. **Sudden stratospheric warming** - Rapid warming of the stratosphere that can influence winter weather in the Northern Hemisphere.
36. **Lightning increases** - More frequent lightning as a result of higher temperatures.
37. **Increased evaporation** - Higher rates of evaporation due to warmer temperatures.
38. **Decreased snow cover** - Reductions in the amount of snow cover due to warmer temperatures.
39. **Increased cloud cover** - Changes in cloud formation influenced by changes in atmospheric conditions.
40. **Changing wind patterns** - Alterations in wind patterns influenced by changes in the global climate system.

These events not only highlight the diverse impacts of climate change but also underscore the importance of mitigation and adaptation strategies to manage and reduce risks associated with extreme weather.

References and Resources

Here is a list of 25 clickable links related to extreme weather events:

1. https://www.noaa.gov/topics/climate-weather/extreme-events

2. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature

3. https://www.ipcc.ch/srocc/

4. https://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats.shtml

5. https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-extreme-weather

6. https://www.who.int/health-topics/climate-change#tab=tab_1

7. https://www.un.org/en/observances/ending-extreme-poverty

8. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/disasterriskmanagement

9. https://www.redcross.org/about-us/our-work/disaster-relief.html

10. https://www.fema.gov/disaster/

11. https://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/effects/default.htm

12. https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/extreme-weather-climate-change

13. https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-insights/perspectives/how-climate-change-affects-extreme-weather/

14. https://www.wri.org/insights/5-things-know-about-climate-change-and-extreme-weather

15. https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/climate-at-a-glance/

16. https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/reports.shtml

17. https://www.worldweatherattribution.org/

18. https://www.climatecentral.org/gallery/graphics/the-top-global-weather-and-climate-events-of-2022

19. https://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats.shtml1.

20. https://www.ready.gov/be-informed

21. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature

22. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/

23. https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-weather-climate

24. https://www.who.int/health-topics/climate-change#tab=tab_1

25. https://www.un.org/en/observances/ending-extreme-poverty

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Exteme Weather Events