The science of attributing extreme weather and climate events has progressed in recent years to enable an analysis of the role of human causes while an event is still in the media. However, there is still widespread confusion about the linkages between human-induced climate change and extreme weather, not only among the public, but also among some meteorologists and others in the scientific community.
This is according to an article written by communications advisors of the World Meteorological Organization’s Commission for Climatology and published in the WMO Bulletin.
“This is an issue of communication as well as of science,” says the article, Un/natural Disasters: Communicating Linkages Between Extreme Events and Climate Change. The authors, Susan Joy Hassol, Simon Torok, Sophie Lewis and Patrick Luganda, review advancements in event attribution science, and offers suggestions for improvement in communication.
“Many people have received the erroneous message that individual extreme weather events cannot be linked to human-induced climate change, while others attribute some weather events to climate change where there is no clear evidence of linkages. In order to advise adaptation planning and mitigation options, there is a need to communicate more effectively what the most up-to-date science says about event attribution, and to include appropriate information on linkages when reporting extreme weather and climate events in the media,” says the article.
Other items in the WMO Bulletin are:
- Integrating Meteorological Service Delivery for Land Transportation
- The Weather Enterprise: A Global Public-Private Partnership
- Outcomes of COP21 and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- 20 Years of Impact – Working on Partnership on Water
- WMO Virtual Laboratory for Meteorological Satellite Education and Training
- The HimawariCast Project – Bringing the power of new satellite data to the Asia-Pacific region
- Weather and Climate Services for Farmers in India
- Climate change impacts on aviation
- Observing Water Vapour
- Contributions to Climate Science of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project
The online version of the WMO Bulletin is available here