One of the most visible consequences of a warming world is an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events.
Extreme weather events have severe impacts on society and ecosystems in our current climate, and pose an increasing threat as climate changes. The number of extreme events which cause loss is affected by both changing human factors - such as growing population and increasing infrastructure - as well as natural variability of the climate.
Apart from highlighting specific instances of increasing intensity of severe weather events, on this page I will look at some summary statistics from the National Geographic Society.
Devastating flooding in Central Florida
Florida residents are no strangers to hurricanes.
But in the fall (autumn) of 2022 hurricanes dumped more rain on the region than anyone had seen in hundreds of years. Hurricane Ian was followed a few weeks later by Hurricane Nicola.
Preliminary studies concluded that human-induced climate change increased Hurricane Ian's rainfall rates by more than 10%, as reported by Stony Brook University and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
Catastrophes on the rise
In an article on "how to live with wild weather" the National Geographic Society describe how extreme weather phenomena can claim lives and cause untold damage.
As National Geographic point out "Climate change influences severe weather by causing longer droughts and higher temperatures in some regions and more intense deluges in others, say climate experts. Among the most vulnerable are communities in exposed mountain and coastal regions. In those settings worldwide, citizens are adjusting to new weather realities by strengthening warning, shelter, and protection systems".