1. An extreme weather event is something that falls outside the realm of normal weather patterns. It can range from a flood to a drought to a hurricane to a hailstorm. Some extreme weather and climate events have increased in recent decades, and new and stronger evidence confirms that some of these increases are related to human activities.
2. As the world has warmed, that warming has triggered many other changes to the Earth’s climate. Changes in extreme weather and climate events, such as heat waves and droughts, are the primary way that most people experience climate change.
3. Human-induced climate change has already increased the number and strength of some of these extreme events. Over the last 50 years, much of the U.S. has seen increases in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, heavy downpours, and in some regions, severe floods and droughts.
4. Heat waves are periods of abnormally hot weather lasting days to weeks. The number of heat waves has been increasing in recent years.
5. Extreme Drought – higher temperatures lead to increased rates of evaporation, including more loss of moisture through plant leaves.
6. Heavy downpours are increasing worldwide, especially over the last three to five decades. The mechanism driving these changes is well understood. Warmer air can contain more water vapor than cooler air.
7. Flooding has intensified worldwide in certain areas,
8. Hurricanes, there has been a substantial increase in most measures of Atlantic hurricane activity since the early 1980s, the period during which high quality satellite data are available. Hurricane development, however, is influenced by more than just sea surface temperature, it also depends on how local atmosphere responds to changes in local sea surface temperatures.