Events like floods and droughts are not just figures in Treasury spreadsheets, writes Professor Dave Frame, the risks of them are changing and we need to understand how quickly they’re doing so.
An excerpt (read in full):
This comparison between the climate as it is today and as it might have been in a world without climate change lets us investigate how aspects of climate have changed, including the frequency of extreme weather events.
The jury is still out on the links between tropical cyclones and climate change, but some clear physical links are emerging.
One result common to mid-latitude climates such as New Zealand’s is that many of the wettest events are getting wetter. Broadly speaking, the cause seems to be that air parcels are getting warmer, and simple physics dictates that they can therefore support more water vapour.
When the time comes for these parcels of air to dump their moisture, they have more to dump.