Climate Matters

BAMS REPORT: Explaining Extreme Events of 2015 from a Climate Perspective

Greetings Meteorologists!

Today, the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society released a special edition: Explaining Extreme Events of 2015 from a Climate Perspective. This is the fifth annual report looking at the role human-caused climate change played in extreme weather events from around the globe.

• Here’s the full report

• The archived press conference will be posted here

• Our World Weather Attribution team's page has more info on their Chennai flood and other analyses 

• Coverage of this report on

This year’s edition features 25 peer-reviewed research papers from across five continents and two oceans. The strongest evidence of human influence was found for temperature-related events --- the increased intensity of numerous heat waves, diminished snowpack in the Cascades, record-low Arctic sea ice extent in March and the extraordinary extent and duration of Alaska wildfires. Here are tools to help explain some of the U.S. attribution analyses included in this edition:

• Alaska wildfire season (Alaska wildfire report)

• Extreme eastern U.S. winter of 2015 (more cities: Fewer cold nights; Winter loses its cool)

• Snowpack drought in Washington State (More rain, less snow; Winter precip & western snow)

• Florida’s king tide flooding (more city specific data and online interactive)


Earlier this year, the National Academies of Sciences released a complete assessment of the science of extreme event attribution. The main takeaway from the report was this:


• “In the past, a typical climate scientist’s response to questions about climate change’s role in any given extreme weather event was “we cannot attribute any single event to climate change.” The science has advanced to the point that this is no longer true as an unqualified blanket statement.


Also, visit our workshops and webinars page to learn more about the science of extreme event attribution from those doing this groundbreaking work.


As always, drop us a note if there are any questions, or if we can help you with a story.

Cheers, Bernadette and Sean


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