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Climatology Research Lab looks into the future of storms

Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 10:50am

Statistical techniques like downscaling allow climate researchers to peer across extraordinarily large amounts of different kinds of data to give us a better idea of what to expect in terms of the broader changes in the climate and how those may translate into recurring weather events in the future. Researchers from the department of geography recently published an unequivocal new study:

More tornadoes will be commonplace by the year 2080 as a result of a changing climate, according to a new study from University of Georgia geography researchers.

They used climate models to examine severe weather patterns in the past-tornadoes, large hail and damaging wind-and how these patterns might change in the coming years.

Researchers found that if humans continue to emit carbon into the atmosphere, more severe weather can be expected, specifically by the end of the 21st century. Severe weather seasons are likely to be more variable, according to the study published in the journal Climatic Change.

The techniques continue to improve and provide a better picture of the consequences of global climate change. The question is when the mounting evidence will reach a critical mass sufficient to overcome status quo interests on energy extraction, transportation and housing. The climate change issue reaches into every sector of society, but the rationale for doing something about begins right here with our scientists. Great work.

Image: This graph plots the number of hazardous weather events from 1980-1990 in black and the projected number of hazardous weather events in the years 2080-2090 in red.

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