The tropical Americas, including the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Central America, and portions of the Pacific, Atlantic, and North and South America, are uniquely positioned to serve as the pulse of climate change and climate variability. In fact, the Central American region is the most prominent tropical “HotSpot” identified by the Regional Climate Change Index, but global climate model biases are large in this region. Climate extremes such as droughts, floods, heatwaves, and tropical cyclones can lead to large socioeconomic impacts in the IAS region. The region also plays a vital role in weather, climate, and extreme events on adjacent continents, including North America. Therefore, it is of foremost importance to expand our observational record to understand climate extremes in and around the tropical Americas region. The lack of observations, both spatially and temporally, in the tropical Americas is a major hindrance to resolving climate model biases, as we are unable to reliably constrain and evaluate simulations with the observed climate extremes. There is a strong need for a more comprehensive, end-to-end approach for climate extreme assessments at a regional scale including better integration of paleoclimatic evidence, atmospheric and oceanic observations, physical understanding, model evaluation, and projections.
This session seeks contributions to increase our understanding of climate extremes in this region in the past, present, and future using observations, paleoclimate proxies, and model simulations. Paralleling the theme of the annual meeting, we especially encourage contributions with an Interdisciplinary approach to paleoclimate, oceanography, and atmospheric science activities to address climate extremes in the Tropical Americas, and from International partners in the region.