Future may bring more extreme storms and heat waves, study claims

A warming climate could worsen future extreme weather more than previously thought, new research reveals.

Current models predicting the impact of global warming on hurricanes, heatwaves and other weather events are probably underestimating what may come, according to a study published in Science Advances on Wednesday.

Researchers found that the warming already on track for Earth should make heatwaves 80 percent more likely and wet events 50 percent more likely. That's 50 percent higher than previous predictions.

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A view of a flooded street after the River Ouse burst its banks in the aftermath of Storm Ciara, in York, England, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020.(Danny Lawson/PA via AP)

A view of a flooded street after the River Ouse burst its banks in the aftermath of Storm Ciara, in York, England, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020.(Danny Lawson/PA via AP)

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“We are seeing year after year how the rising incidence of extreme events is causing significant impacts on people and ecosystems,” Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh said in a statement. “One of the main challenges in becoming more resilient to these extremes is accurately predicting how the global warming that’s already happened has changed the odds of events that fall outside of our historical experience.”

The study's findings, analyzing climate change connections to extreme weather events, could increase the effectiveness of global risk management.

“The good news,” Diffenbaugh said, “is that these new results identify some real potential to help policymakers, engineers and others who manage risk to integrate the effects of global warming into their decisions.”

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