21st Conference on Climate Variability and Change


Is climate change inducing a more volatile climate?

Peter Dailey, AIR Worldwide, Boston, MA; and G. Zuba and I. M. Dima

Many efforts to understand how climate modulates severe weather focus on the potential shift in mean conditions under the influence of a warm environment. For example, it is known that observed warm Atlantic Ocean anomalies induce a significant increase in the mean level of tropical storm activity. What is less clear is whether the variability in activity is also changing, namely, should one expect more frequent quiet years and more frequent active years, or a relatively stable distribution with a systematic shift in the mean frequency? The implications are important since risk management requires an understanding of what's expected as well as the probability of low frequency high impact scenarios. Similar questions can be imposed on other activity metrics such as storm counts, the accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) index, and hurricane tracks. By examining the coefficient of variation (COV) amongst several key activity metrics, this study examines whether climate change is inducing increased volatility in the occurrence of severe weather and concurrent increases in the uncertainty of what the future may bring.

wrf recording  Recorded presentation

Session 8B, Observed changes in climate
Wednesday, 14 January 2009, 8:30 AM-10:00 AM, Room 129B

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