Extra-tropical Storms, Extreme Weather Should We Worry or Not?

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In recent news, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has released the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of Working Group I. The AR5 increased the certainty of human caused climate change from 90% to 95%. The AR5 was published in September of 2013 and is set for finalization in 2014. It is expected to present a clearer view on the current climate conditions. It consists of three Working Groups (WGs) and a Synthesis Report (SYR). In section 6 of chapter 2, the IPCC-AR5 discusses the current storm trends of extra-tropical storms and extreme climate events overall. The studies of the AR5 suggests a robust global climate change in certain climate extremes such as daily temperatures and heat waves. The AR5 offers a less conclusive …show more content…
This article concentrates on the topic of extra-tropical storms. The previous report of the WG I, the AR4, focused on changes in extreme events because the IPCC felt that extreme climate events had a “disproportionate impact on society and ecosystems compared to changes in mean climate”. This discussion of extreme climate events raises the question of what exactly constitutes as a “climate extreme”? The answer is, there is no one set definition of an extreme climate event. So how did the AR5 scientists conduct studies on climate extremes when they themselves agree that a set definition for climate extremes does not exist? In order to face this problem, the AR5 uses “extremes indices”. Extreme indices are based “on the probability of the occurrence of given quantities” or “on absolute or percentage threshold exceedances”. Particular indices are chosen for robust statistical properties and their applicability across various climates. Before continuing, it is important to define an extra-tropical storm. Extra-tropical storms, or extra-tropical cyclones, are cyclones that occur in the middle latitudes of the Earth (away from the tropics). They are known for having synoptic scale low pressure weather systems. Extra-tropical storms produce a wide range of weather from mild showers to thunderstorms. The AR4 established a likely increase in frequency and intensity of extra-tropical

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