Extreme Weather More Common
500-year floods and microbursts have only recently entered my vocabulary. Extreme weather events have entered our national consciousness, altered our landscape, and are currently changing our thinking about global warming. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research recently released a scientific analysis of the extreme weather changes we can expect in the future. The study focuses on the U.S. specifically, and the related NOAA release provided six projections for the near future.(1) It's Getting Hotter in Here
Abnormally hot days and nights, along with heat waves, are very likely to become more common. Cold nights are very likely to become less common.
(2) Amazing Vanishing Sea Ice
Sea ice extent is expected to continue to decrease and may even disappear in the Arctic Ocean in summer in coming decades.
(3) When it Rains, it Pours
Precipitation, on average, is likely to be less frequent but more intense.
(4) Hot & Dry in the South & West
Droughts are likely to become more frequent and severe in some regions.
(5) Wetter and Stronger Storms
Hurricanes will likely have increased precipitation and wind.
(6) More Damaging Winds and Waves
The strongest cold-season storms in the Atlantic and Pacific are likely to produce stronger winds and higher extreme wave heights.
The full report, 'Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate' is available at the U.S. Climate Change Science Program website. The table below (high res available) provides another way to quickly look at the predictions found in the report that are likely to continue throughout this century.