Extreme Weather Events Essay

1543 Words 7 Pages
Over the past decade there has been an increase in extreme weather events across the world including extreme; rainfall, flooding, storms, heatwaves, tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts and unusually hot and cold spells (Met Office, 2015). Some of these severe weather events have broken weather records i.e. in 2012, the UK underwent its wettest winter since records began (ibid). Many scientists are still debating whether the increase in extreme weather events are linked to climate change and global warming or due to natural climate variability, or in some cases, both.

‘There have always been extreme weather events as it is an integral part of the Earth’s climate system’ (Khandekar and Pratt 2013: 6). There have been extreme weather events throughout
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This was also the wettest year in Britain since records began (ibid). America experienced further heatwaves leading to their warmest year on record. Some scientists have suggested that this heatwave was due to natural variability. Other scientists and the media have suggested this extreme weather event links to warming of the climate due to atmospheric carbon dioxide (Khandekar and Pratt, 2008: 10). Furthermore, scientists suggest that these high temperatures are four times more likely to occur as a result of human-induced climate change. The extreme rainfall event in Britain in 2012 was due to natural variations in weather and climate i.e. changes in sea surface temperatures due to natural cycles. It is suggested that the reduced amount of sea-ice could be influencing the increase in rainfall or increasing global temperatures as a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture (ibid). Evidence has been found that the high rainfall totals seen in Australia and New Zealand have increased in likelihood as a result. In addition, as the atmosphere warms up, weather systems such as typhoons and hurricanes can hold more moisture making events more extreme (IPCC, 2007). Experts predict more frequent floods and storms similar to those in the UK in 2012 and 2013 and it is predicted that the globe as a whole is forecast to experience more extreme rainfall events by the end of the century (Met Office,

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