Friday, November 01, 2013

Bad News for Storm-Battered Europe: There's More Extreme Weather on the Horizon

Europe began this week bracing itself against one of the most powerful storms in years. Gusts of 99 m.p.h. trailed across parts of southern Britain before heading toward mainland northwestern Europe, causing havoc in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark. At least 13 people have been reported dead and hundreds of thousands have been left without power or stranded on planes, trains and ferries.
The bad news for Europe as it begins the cleanup operation and assesses the financial cost of the damage (Britain’s Great Storm of 1987, which left 18 dead and felled 15 million trees, caused $3.5 billion in damage in today’s terms) is that there’s likely more extreme weather to come.
A new report on extreme-weather events by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the European national science academies suggests that “some of the extreme weather phenomena associated with climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity within Europe.” They also say that “human activity has been the cause of more profound and rapid change” for the earth’s climate. Read More