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4.3 Extreme weather
Global average temperature increased by 0.7 ° C over the last century, while sea levels rose by 17 cm. The IPCC projects increases in the global average surface temperature by between 1.4° C and 5.8° C and sea level rise by almost half a meter the coming 90 years.

Graphic: UNEP/GRID-Arendal

  1. Sea level rise in combination with hurricane landfalls presents one of the greatest climate-related hazards, e.g. in tropical Latin America.
    From 1945 to 1990 there was an overall decrease in the number of intense Atlantic hurricanes.
    However, the last decades features a return to more intense and frequent Atlantic hurricanes.
    The 1998 and 2004 hurricane seasons in the Atlantic probably exceed previous records of hurricane intensity, damage and loss of life.

  1. There is no conclusive evidence that hurricanes will be more frequent in a warmer climate.
    Several studies suggest greater hurricane intensity due to climate warming and increased ocean temperatures.
    Warmer water means more energy accessible for the tropical cyclones, transforming heat energy to wind.
    Higher temperatures mean more evaporation, in turn leading to heavier precipitation.
    However, the complex nature of hurricane formation creates high uncertainty in the future dynamics of these devastating natural events.
  1. There is a clear increase in damages and losses due to natural disasters. The logic is straightforward: when we put more energy into the atmosphere, more energy is likely to come out.
    Warmer air can hold more water, and the precipitation will increase in intensity.
    Stronger winds, more flashfloods, more extreme weather are inevitable results.
    Some areas will become drier and risk desertification, other areas will receive more precipitation.

    The extreme will become the normal.
    Extreme Drought Ahead, Scientists Predict

    The waves are growing
    Could climate change cause bigger rogue waves?

    Heatwaves, droughts, big freeze and floods



    Graphic: UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The Greenhouse effect, Climate Change and the road to sustainability
1. 1 Greenhouse effect
2. 2 Science
3. 3 Mitigation
4. 4 Impacts
5. 5 Solutions?