COM-funded Arctic indicators shed light on changes in extreme events

  • 26 August 2020
COM-funded Arctic indicators shed light on changes in extreme events

In the Arctic, climate assessments have often focused on average changes, but extreme events are felt the most by ecosystems and humans. Funded by CPO’s Climate Observations and Monitoring (COM) Program and drawing on prior COM-funded Arctic indicators, John Walsh at University of Alaska, Fairbanks recently led a review of extreme weather and climate events in high latitudes to synthesize information on the evidence for variations and changes in extremes and future projected changes in the region. The authors focused on both extreme events (e.g. extreme temperature, precipitation, snow, freezing rain, atmospheric patterns, cyclones, and winds) and their impacts (e.g. sea ice conditions, ice sheet melt rates, drought, wildfire, coastal erosion, and terrestrial/marine ecosystem impacts). Extremes with the highest evidence and confidence that conditions had and would continue to change included: temperature, rapid loss of sea ice, and coastal erosion. Further research is recommended to identify the impact of climate change on the variability of extremes, and better understand the impacts on ecosystems, and humans. 

Read the early online release here »




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