December 20, 2016

Dr. G’s #AGU16 Spotlight – Extreme climate events from 2015

Posted by Laura Guertin

In its fifth year of publication from the American Meteorological Society, this peer-reviewed, community effort documents examples from the year 2015 of extreme climate events from five continents and two oceans. Although the report does not cover every single extreme event (notably missing is ocean heat waves), readers will be able to explore topics such as heat, precipitation, and drought.

The press conference for the release of this report really emphasized attribution science and the need to conduct attribution research. The National Academies Press has an entire book dedicated to Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change (free PDF download). The panel of presenters provided two reasons for doing attribution research: (a) to improve understanding of the drivers of extreme weather and how they are changing; and (b) to inform decision makers by linking our knowledge of the changing climate to societal impacts. The panelists also emphasized the need to work towards attributing impacts of anthropogenic climate change.

Below is a recording of the press event announcing the 2015 report.

To download the full report, individual chapters of the report, or reports from previous years, visit the BAMS Special Report website for Explaining Extreme Events from a Climate Perspective.

Articles disseminating report contents include:

Think about including a discussion of extreme events with your students!

Additional online sources related to this report helpful to share with students include:

Map of major climate events and anomalies from State of the Climate in 2015.

Map of major climate events and anomalies from State of the Climate in 2015.