Dim Coumou, Stefan Rahmstorf

Nature Climate Change

Published date March 25, 2012

A decade of weather extremes

  • Reviews the evidence and argues that for some types of extreme — notably heatwaves, but also precipitation extremes — there is now strong evidence linking specific events or an increase in their numbers to the human influence on climate
  • States that for other types of extreme, such as storms, the available evidence is less conclusive, but based on observed trends and basic physical concepts it is nevertheless plausible to expect an increase
  • States that increased atmospheric moisture content provides more latent energy to drive storms and that the potential intensity of tropical storms increases with warmer sea surface temperatures, all else remaining equal