NASA reports the rate of record low temperature events has been decreasing since 1950, when climate change ramped up. Moreover, the frequency of record high temperature events in the U.S. has been on the uptick. America has been witnessing increasing numbers of intense rainfall occasions, the agency adds. These extreme events are life-changing forces in many peoples’ lives. They may even cause them to move away from where they live.
Impact of Extreme Events by the National Climate Assessment Team
The National Climate Assessment characterizes extreme events as hurricanes, tornadoes, heavy downpours, heat waves, and droughts. These affect “all sectors of the economy and the environment, impacting people where they live and work,” it says.
Heat waves have become more frequent and intense, particularly in the west. While we now have fewer cold waves across the entire sub-continent. The agency expects more droughts in the southwest. The agency also notes an increase in heavy downpours in the past few decades especially in the Midwest and Northeast. It warns of even more extreme events in terms of precipitation across the country.
Scientific American Believes These Trends Will Be Worldwide
Scientific American adds these extreme events will “happen more frequently around the world” even if we meet global climate targets. The risks could increase by five times if global temperatures increment by three degrees centigrade.
Moreover, if this happens, up to sixty percent of locations in North America, Europe, East Asia and parts of southern South America could experience at least a threefold increase. Because the low value of current Paris Agreement pledges is not adequate to meet the accord goal. This was to keep global temperatures within the two-degree threshold.
“Large areas of the world have already experienced an increase in extreme events,” Scientific American warns. “And these risks will only worsen as the climate continues to warm.”
Preview Image: Diablo Dam, Washington 2003