Articles on Extreme weather

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Floods in South East Queensland follow a 40-year cycle, and planners should take note. AAP Image

Floods don’t occur randomly, so why do we still plan as if they do?

Engineering practice assumes that floods are randomly distributed but science suggests they are not. This raises questions about the reliability of flood infrastructure and management strategies.
People collect water piped in from a mountain creek in Utuado, Puerto Rico on Oct. 14, 2017, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans were still without running water. AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

Why climate change is worsening public health problems

Climate change threatens to widen the health gap between the haves and have-nots. Here's why addressing environmental issues that drive poor health is a starting point.
Extreme cold weather in Atlanta, Ga., on Jan. 3, 2018. AP Photo/David Goldman

Climate change and weather extremes: Both heat and cold can kill

Many parts of the US have experienced extreme heat or extreme cold in the past year. Recent research projects that climate change will increase deaths from both types of weather, especially cold spells.
The storm intensified rapidly off the US east coast. NOAA/EPA

Explainer: ‘bomb cyclones’ – the intense winter storms that hit the US (and Australia too)

The US was hit by a 'bomb cyclone' last week, bringing icy cold and driving snow. These storms develop very rapidly, forming outside the tropics, typically on continental east coasts in winter.
Frost affected many crops across WA during September 2016. WA Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development

Not just heat: even our spring frosts can bear the fingerprint of climate change

We already know that climate change makes heatwaves hotter and longer. But a new series of research papers asks whether there is also a climate fingerprint on frosty spells and bouts of wet weather.
Knowing about hailstones in advance would be preferable. AAP Image/Dan Peled

All hail new weather radar technology, which can spot hailstones lurking in thunderstorms

New "dual-pol" weather radars promise to spot large hailstones forming inside thunderstorms, giving people a heads-up when it's about to hail.
Breezy Point, New York off the coast of Long Island after the storm surge from Superstorm Sandy. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Storms hit poorer people harder, from Superstorm Sandy to Hurricane Maria

Five years after Superstorm Sandy, we see how disadvantaged social groups suffered more from the storm before and after – much as we're seeing in Hurricanes Harvey and Maria.
The intensity of heavy downpours in Houston has increased dramatically since the 1950s, leading some people to argue the city’s disaster planning and infrastructure are not up-to-date. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Can cities get smarter about extreme weather?

It's not just about rebuilding infrastructure after storms: Cities need to systematically rethink their knowledge systems which are at the heart of urban resilience.
Flooding in Port Arthur, Texas during Hurricane Harvey, Aug. 31, 2017. According to the Climate Science Special Report released on Nov. 2, heavy precipitation events are becoming more frequent and intense in most regions of the world. SC National Guard

The climate science report Trump hoped to ignore will resonate outside of Washington, DC

On Nov. 2 the White House posted a detailed climate science report without comment. The Trump administration is unlikely to heed it, but it could boost state, local and private sector action.
A fireman tackles one of the wildfires that swept through parts of California in October. Jim Urquhart/Reuters

2017 is set to be among the three hottest years on record

This year is poised to go down as the hottest non-El Niño year ever recorded, with record low polar ice and extreme weather that left many regions battling bushfires and hurricanes.
Extreme temperatures in Cordoba, Spain in June 2017. EPA/SALAS

Why hot weather records continue to tumble worldwide

In an unchanging climate, we would expect record-breaking temperatures to get rarer as the observation record grows longer. But in the real world the opposite is true - because we are driving up temperatures.

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