Nature and Biodiversity

Weather reports could soon be telling us about the role of climate change

Members of the Emergency Operations Committee (COE) monitor the trayectory of Tropical Storm Erika via satellite in Santo Domingo, August 28, 2015. Tropical Storm Erika threatened Haiti and the Dominican Republic with heavy rain and strong winds on Friday as it swirled across the Caribbean and geared up for a run at South Florida, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Due to some likely weakening over mountainous areas, Erika was no longer forecast to make U.S. landfall as a hurricane. REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas    - GF10000185479

Seeing the big picture. Image: REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas

Charlotte Edmond
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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“It will be largely cloudy in the north-west today, with a medium risk of extreme flooding because of climate change…”

Is this the weather forecast of the future?

Forecasters may soon be adding information about the effects of climate change to their reports, thanks to a new service being rolled out by the EU’s earth observation programme, Copernicus.

It is currently looking for a company to pilot its climate change information service, Copernicus Climate Change Service – or C3S. The aim is to use information on extreme weather events and how they relate to climate change to boost public awareness, distributing it via weather agencies and the media.

Weather maps are seen during a visit at the EDF–DTG division for weather forecasts in Grenoble, France, June 15, 2018.
Image: REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot

The service will also be made available to a range of intergovernmental organizations and businesses concerned with the effects of climate change on society, for example in the legal, health and insurance sectors.

C3S pulls on science from the World Climate Research Programme to provide climate data and information to scientists, consultants, planners and policy-makers.

Climate change in real time

Directly linking human activity and extreme weather is a tricky and evolving science. But by tying the two, scientists hope climate change will become less abstract and the public more aware of their role in influencing floods, droughts, and heatwaves.

Interactive version: Image: Carbon Brief

Recent analysis by climate science website Carbon Brief of research in this area concluded that over two-thirds of extreme weather events were made more likely or more severe because of humans.

Have you read?

The World Weather Attribution initiative, a partnership between the Environmental Climate Change Institute at the University of Oxford, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, aims to look at the effects of climate change on weather around the world as it happens.

Its recent analysis of the current extreme heatwaves in France, for example, shows that the probability and severity of high temperatures have increased by at least fivefold because of climate change. The country’s all-time temperature record was broken at the end of June, with the thermometers hitting 45.9°C.

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Nature and BiodiversityClimate ActionGeographies in Depth
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