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Climate change is making extreme weather events more common: study

Climate change is making extreme weather events more common: study

Scientists and forecasters who study the connection between climate change and extreme weather say the rapid rates of sea-level rise are accelerating the frequency and intensity of severe weather events—like hurricanes, heat waves and more. Claudia Tebaldi, Climate Scientist with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, joins to discuss her latest report on the global impacts of rising sea levels.

Hari Sreenivasan:

There has been no shortage of dramatic weather events around the globe this year. Scientists and forecasters who study the connection between climate change and extreme weather say the rapid rates of sea-level rise are accelerating the frequency and intensity of severe weather events. I recently spoke with Claudia Tebaldi, a climate scientist with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, about her latest report on the global impacts of rising sea levels.

Claudia Tebaldi:

Just because of sea-level rise, what used to be a 100-year event right now will become an annual event and this happens, unfortunately, at many locations around the world, even with warming that is limited to one and a half degrees, which is, as you know, a very at this point aspirational goal. Unfortunately, the last IPCC report has said that we may hit one and a half degrees in the 2030s.

Hari Sreenivasan:

Is this likely to be uniform around all of the coastal areas or are there particular sections of the planet that are going to get the sea level rise impacts worse?

Claudia Tebaldi:

So we know that there are areas that we see for the same amount of warming, much more sea-level rise than other areas where sea-level rise will be of lesser magnitude. And in particular, we see areas of the tropics and subtropics seeing this change much more, I would say easily than areas, for example, in the northern hemisphere, like northern Europe of the northern Pacific coast of the US.
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