TABLE 3-1 Observed Changes in Extreme Weather and Climate Events Since 1950


Event Global Change Confidence Regional Changes Confidence

Cold days and nights Decrease Very likely Decrease at the continental scale in North America, Europe, and Australia Likely
Warm days and nights Increase Very likely Increase at the continental scale in North America, Europe, and Australia Likely
Warming trend in daily temperature extremes in Asia Medium
Warming trend in daily temperature extremes in Africa and South America Low to medium, due to insufficient evidence
Length or number of heat waves Increase in many regions with sufficient data Medium
Heavy precipitation events More regions have experienced increases than decreases, although there are strong regional and subregional variations Likely
Tropical cyclone activity (intensity, frequency, duration) Unclear Low confidence after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities
Drought Intense and longer droughts in southern Europe, west Africa Medium
Extreme coastal high water Increase related to an increase in mean sea level Likely, at global scale

SOURCE: Adapted from Tables 3-1 and 3-2 in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2012).



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement