4.15 More disasters?
A warmer climate means a warmer troposphere. More energy in the air gives more violent storms. A warmer air can hold more water before it condenses and falls down as precipitation. Longer periods of drought followed by periods of very heavy precipitation are logical consequences. Warmer oceans and air are among the ingredients for more violent hurricanes. We should expect the future climate to be warmer, drier, wetter and wilder. The anthropogenic enhancement of the greenhouse effect will enhance natural processes. - Nothing new, but the extreme will become more normal. The weather will be more erratic, more difficult to predict, and all kinds of records will continue to be broken.
The natural phenomena of El Nino Southern Oscillation; El Nino and La Nina are likely to increase in intensity with more energy in the air. The North Atlantic Oscillation (The Arctic oscillation) is also likely to change patterns with a warmer gulf stream, an increasingly open polar sea in the summer season, and increasingly disrupted jet streams in the higher troposphere, lower stratosphere.
(See separate pages on the Ocean conveyor belt, ENSO and NAO: chapters 2.9 and 2.10)
More intense periods of a negative NAO, especially in combination with a La Nina, may increase the probability of pushing cold arctic winds southwards to the temperate zones, giving cold spells and snowfalls in Europe and in the USA, while the polar areas experience unusally mild weather during wintertime.
El Nino periods will increase the risk of floodings in Latin America and parts of Africa, while Asia will experience droughts and wildfires.
La Nina periods that often follows an El Nino, will likely increase the danger of heavy flooding, especially in Australia and Asia.

Photo: Åke Bjørke
  1. Sources and more reading:

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?