extreme weather

Linking UK floods and climate change: A discussion notable by its absence?

UK Flood Warnings: Source: Met OfficeUK Flood Warnings: Source: Met OfficeThe UK is suffering extreme torrential rain, storm surge and extensive flooding. Few people in the media are connecting the dots to climate change. Mat Hope & Roz Pidcock in this original story from Carbon Brief outline the connections.

The UK is in the midst of extremely wet weather. The Met Office has issued flood warning for almost all of the UK. But despite scientific evidence linking climate change to an increased risk of flooding, politicians and the media seem unwilling to make the connection.

Flooding is one of the biggest natural threats in the UK and climate change is predicted to raise that risk. Why? Rising temperatures mean the atmosphere can hold more moisture, which means rain falls in heavier bursts.

Related: Flood-hit UK must prepare for more extreme weather, says climate adviser (Guardian)

Super typhoon Haiyan strongest on record with over 10,000 feared dead in Philippines

Super typhoon HaiyanSuper typhoon HaiyanOn the eve of the annual United Nations Framework Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) meeting in Warsaw Poland, an extreme weather disaster has struck the Philippines with record-breaking Super-typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda), bringing devastating winds and storm surge.

Over 10,000 people are feared dead ,according to several media reports like this one in the Sydney Morning Herald, just in the province of Leyte, where the regional city of Tacloban, population of 221,000, was right in the path of the northern hurricane eye wall experiencing the full ferocity of destructive winds and tsunami like storm surge of over 5 metres.

Related: Philippines negotiator: "time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway" | Time for turning tears into anger says Walden Bello

USA: Colorado extreme rainfall and flood event of 2013

Like many people around the world I watched and followed the astonishing rainfall and flood events in Colorado in September this year that resulted in at least 10 deaths, damaged some 18,000 homes, caused the evacuation of more than 10,000 people, washing away roads and bridges and isolating communities for a time. The rain and flood event is estimated to have caused $2 billion worth of damage.

The extent of the rainfall was unprecedented in meteorological records that stretch back a little more than 100 years. The extreme rainfall event has been described as a 1 in 1,000 year event. An Extremely rare combination of weather factors combining to produce the event.

Alberta Floods highlight a more active water cycle with climate change

Looking downtown from Riverfront Ave in Calgary, during the Alberta floods 2013 Photo: Ryan L. C. Quan / Wikicommons CC-by-SA-3.0Looking downtown from Riverfront Ave in Calgary, during the Alberta floods 2013 Photo: Ryan L. C. Quan / Wikicommons CC-by-SA-3.0An intense rainfall and storm event on June 20-21 has caused widespread flooding in the Canadian province of Alberta, encompassing much of the southern portion of the province including Canada's fourth largest city of Calgary. It is the worst flooding event in Alberta's recorded history, highlighting the more active hydrological cycle with climate change.

Over 120,000 people across the region were evacuated, 75,000 in Calgary (7% of the population), many now returning to flood damaged homes and businesses to start the clean up.

Hawaii: Climate change fuelling more Hurricanes by end of century

A recent study looking into regional tropical cyclone formation conditions in the east and central Pacific has projected that 2 to 3 times more tropical cyclones (Hurricanes) are likely to hit Hawaii in the later part of this century.

Arctic amplification, the Jet stream and Extreme weather in Northern Hemisphere

NASA image: Rossby Waves of the JetstreamNASA image: Rossby Waves of the JetstreamA series of major extreme weather events in the Northern hemisphere including the heatwave in the United States in 2011, the Russian heatwave of 2010, the Pakistani floods of 2010 have now been attributed to a common physical cause. The scientists suggest in a new scientific study that man-made climate change repeatedly disturbs the patterns of atmospheric flow - the atmospheric Rossby waves of the jet stream - around the globe's Northern hemisphere through a subtle resonance mechanism.

"An important part of the global air motion in the mid-latitudes of the Earth normally takes the form of waves wandering around the planet, oscillating between the tropical and the Arctic regions. So when they swing up, these waves suck warm air from the tropics to Europe, Russia, or the US, and when they swing down, they do the same thing with cold air from the Arctic," explains lead author Vladimir Petoukhov.

Increases in extreme rainfall linked to global warming

A worldwide review of global rainfall data led by the University of Adelaide has found that the intensity of the most extreme rainfall events is increasing across the globe as temperatures rise.

Increase in cyclone frequency in Indonesia blamed on climate change

Tropical Cyclone Iggy: Image Courtesy NASA, January 2012Tropical Cyclone Iggy: Image Courtesy NASA, January 2012Cyclone frequency in Indonesia in 2012 is 28 times that for the year 2002, according to the Indonesian Disaster Management Agency BNPB, with the increase attributed to the persistent impact of systemic climate change.

Tropical Cyclone Iggy

Tropical Cyclone Iggy

Image Courtesy NASA, January 2012

Video report: Frankenstorm Sandy a wakeup call on climate change for the USA?

In the three presidential debates between Mitt Romney and Barak Obama climate change was never mentioned, despite it being raised in all previous campaigns going back to 1988. And then came Hurricane Sandy from the Caribbean. A late season category 1 tropical cyclone that combined with a north-easter from the Arctic to pummel the northern eastern coast of the United States, one of the most populous and industrialised areas on earth.

The Hurricane crossed the coast in New Jersey on Monday night, 29 October, at about 8pm not far from Atlantic City. The storm surge caused widespread flooding leaving coastal towns decimated. The winds of the hurricane caused trees to fall and whipped up a massive 3 to 4 metre storm surge. A full moon and a spring tide also exacerbated the storm surge. 10 metre waves were measured just outside New York Harbour entrance. (See Accuweather Superstorm Sandy Stats)

Related: ClimateIMC: Crops devastated, food crisis looms in Haiti from Hurricane Sandy | Skeptical Science - Hurricane Sandy and the Climate Connection | Inside Climate News: 3-D Maps Pictured Sandy's Devastation–Five Years Ago

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