Extreme weather refers to unexpected, abnormal, extreme, or extraordinary weather; weather in the extremes of its previous historical record-the range which has usually been experienced in the past.
Extreme weather is most often caused by human interventions, and the frequency and severity of extreme weather events can be tied to such interventions. Examples of these human interventions include acts of terrorism, political conflict, and major environmental change.
Droughts, floods, fires, super storms, and earthquakes are all examples of extreme weather.
Changes in the Earth’s climate are one of the biggest drivers of extreme weather. Evidence shows that the earth has warmed and cooled several times in its past. Human activities, mainly through burning fossil fuels, have warmed the planet, resulting in increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and increased heat absorbed by the oceans and other greenhouse gases. The extra warmth caused by human activities has led to an increase in the planet’s average surface temperature, with some areas experiencing increased temperatures for as long as centuries. This warming of the climate is one of the leading drivers of climate change.
Extreme Weather is also caused by human interventions. For example, wildfires are often set off by crop fires in agricultural lands as a result of farmers not being able to clear their fields fast enough to allow them to harvest. This “blobbing” of cultivated land releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, creating what is called a “fires” in the climate.
Drought can also be caused by a sudden bout of rainfall over the same area, which can be destructive to the infrastructure of the state. hurricanes can also spawn tornadoes, although the strongest storms do not originate from landmasses rather from the ocean.
Both natural and human-caused fires can lead to extreme weather events. Fires can burn for days or weeks, destroying entire towns, forcing people to evacuate their homes, and sometimes even forcing the evacuation of entire cities. On the other hand, natural fires can be short-lived and may not threaten life-tenants or infrastructure.
Extreme Weather can have direct effects on human health. It increases the risks of heat waves, rainfall, snowstorms, and tornadoes. Many of these climate change and extreme weather events are linked to health problems like heat exhaustion, fatigue, headaches, chest pains, and skin diseases.
The frequency and severity of these problems vary by the weather: for instance, heat waves generally occur during the summer, while severe thunderstorms cause a different set of symptoms.
Global warming and climate change have led to such extreme weather events as the recent California drought, Russian winters, and Texas floods. While it is difficult to attribute such extreme weather events to man-made causes, the correlation between global warming and extreme precipitation is becoming more apparent. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change projects that the Earth will warm by up to 4.5 degrees by the end of this century. If we keep in pace with the carbon emissions we are putting into the atmosphere, we can expect a rise in atmospheric temperatures of up to 3 degrees, with even higher potential levels during the wintertime. Rapid melting of ice caps and increase in water levels can also increase coastal flooding risks.
How Does Weather Affect Extreme Weather?
Extreme weather conditions comprises sudden, unexpected, extreme, or unprecedented extreme weather; conditions in the extreme limits of the previous historic distribution – the range which has typically been witnessed in the distant past. While there have been many such records throughout history, they have been irregular and are prone to change. The extreme weather conditions were a normal constituent of the Earth system during the Mesozoic era. But, they were more prevalent in certain regions than others and only at those locations were there sufficient gradients in elevation to act as barriers to the rapid spread of warm air and cold air. Throughout the eons, the Earth has been subject to extreme variations in climatic conditions.
One of the most common characteristics of extreme weather is that it brings with it, extensive destruction, extensive rescue operation, loss of life and extensive material damage. Cyclones, fires, earthquakes, tidal waves and super cyclones have all played their part in providing mankind with the catastrophic weather conditions we have today.
Severe storms, floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes are all regular features of our modern society. As mankind struggles to adapt to the ever changing environment and resources, extreme weather conditions will continue to take on a greater part in our modern society. Among these will be devastating hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and super cyclones.
Most of the time the role of extreme weather and fires is to produce so much destructive wildfire which destroys infrastructure and often entire towns and cities. There have been instances where entire villages have been destroyed in a short amount of time when fires break out due to tropical storms or heavy rainfall. Some fires may be contained within certain localized areas and may not spread to other areas. But, in large areas where large fires break out, the devastation and loss of life are often greater than with smaller fires.
- Severe drought is another one of the commonly cited factors contributing to the extreme conditions we see today.
- Drought results in crop failures and an increase in food prices leading to increases in inflation and poverty levels.
- One of the studies looking at global warming found that a rise in global temperatures due to drought could cause up to a billion dollars worth of losses per year.
Global warming is thought to be one of the driving factors behind a large-scale drought that affects the United States, parts of the Asia and Africa. The study also found that some types of extreme weather events may be tied into changes in the Earth’s temperature, and it could worsen droughts in already arid areas.
One of the major projects examining the relationship between climate change and extreme heatwaves focuses on the West Australian heatwave in 2021. The study found that this heatwave was the largest in Australian history and was attributed in part to the large-scale failure of one of Australia’s largest coal mines. Extreme heatwaves can lead to drastically increased temperatures that exceed what the Earth’s thermostat can handle, forcing the system to respond by releasing more heat into the atmosphere. Although this extra heating can temporarily relieve uncomfortable weather, it ultimately leads to climate change.
There are many climate change and extreme heatwaves researchers around the world studying these events, but none of these studies have yet been able to explain exactly how they happen or why they occur. However, a number of these researchers agree on the fact that climate change is the cause of more intense rainfall and humidity.
This increase in precipitation leads to increased water consumption, which in turn exacerbates drought conditions. Another study looking at the impacts of rain in China found that the dramatic increase in precipitation was likely caused by climate change, with the addition of human intervention.