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Weather Extremes WMO

Weather Extremes WMO

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02/20/2012

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WMO-No. 1075
 Weather extremesin a Changing Climate:
hindsight onForesight 
 
Photo creditsCover: Marco Dormino/United Nations (Haiti, 2008)Page 1: Logan bassi/United NationsPages 2-3, left to right:Ivanmarn/Stockexchange; Rodrigovco/Stockexchange; Kovik/Stockexchange; Saiuri/Stockexchange; Ctoocheck/Stockexchange;Bradimarte/Stockexchange; United Nations; United Nations; Timobalk/Stockexchange; StockexchangePage 4: mjad Jamal/United Nations (Pakistan, 2010)Pages 5-6: NSPage 6: Eza1992/StockexchangePage 7: Rodolfo Belloli/StockexchangeMap: Icons, C. Desthomas/WMOPage 10: Smasquelet/StockexchangePage 11: Christian MorelPage 12: Robmania/StockexchangePage 9: John Isaac/United NationsPage 10: Mark Garten/United NationsPage 16: Shar/StockexchangeNOTEThe designations employed in WMO publications and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinionwhatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of WMO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, orconcerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.Opinions expressed in WMO publications are those of the authors and do not necessarily reect those of WMO. The mention of specic companiesor products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by WMO in preference to others of a similar nature which are not mentionedor advertised.© 2011, World Meteorological OrganizationISBN: 978-92-63-11075-6
 
1
WETHER ETREMES IN  CHNGING CLIMTE
Devastating climate and weather-related events recorded in recent years havecaptured the interest of the general public, governments, and media. This brochureprovides a sample of extreme events for the past decade (2001–2010). Some of theseevents compared with — or exceeded in intensity, duration or geographical extent— the most signicant historical events.
The facts in this brochure are drawn from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) annual
Statements on the Status of the Global Climate 
. These summarize global and regional temperature trends and extremeweather events with high socio-economic impact. The statements review temperature, precipitation, severestorms, tropical cyclones and the evolution of snow cover and polar ice.This brochure also includes reections on climate predictions, drawn from assessment reports of theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body established by WMO and the United NationsEnvironment Programme (UNEP).Scientists are still studying the quantitative links between these events and climate change. Meanwhile, thisbrochure illustrates a qualitative t between the facts observed about extreme events over the past decade,and the IPCC projections regarding the consequences of climate variability and change.
CONTENTS
WeatherExtremesinaChangingClimate......................................................................................................1Examplesofrecentweatherextremes,2001–2010.........................................................................................2Map:Someextremeeventsof2001–2010.....................................................................................................7Hindsightonforesight:Aretheobservedfactsconsistentwithscienticassessmentsofclimate?............. 11Canweattributetheextremeeventstoclimatechange?.............................................................................. 15Lossesduetoextremeevents:Whatweshoulddo......................................................................................17

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