How Global Warming Sharply Increases The Likelihood Of ‘Outlandish’ Heat Waves

By Joe Romm on Mar 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm

IPCC (2001) graph illustrating how a shift and/or widening of a probability distribution of temperatures affects the probability of extremes. (Via RealClimate)

The full 592-page (!) IPCC extreme weather report is out. Like most Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports it has some value for people who don’t follow the science closely, which is to say the overwhelming majority of the media and policymakers.

Of course, the TV media ignored the summary report in November, so we will have to see if they pay any attention to this one now that the United States has just been through the most extreme winter heat wave in our recorded history.

But as Kevin Trenberth, one of the world’s leading experts on the link between climate change and extreme weather, put it to me in an email:

I have seen the chapter on the physical climate and I found it quite disappointing…. I don’t think it adds to AR4 [IPCC Fourth Assessment] much.

Read more


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