Highlights from UNFCC 2011 SREX report

Here are some highlights of the forecasts for the future from the 2011 SREX report:

– A 1-in-20 year hottest day is at least 66% likely to become a 1-in-2 year event by the end of the 21st century in most regions, except in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, where it is likely to become a 1-in-5 year event.

– For Eastern North America, a 1-in-20 year heavy rain event is predicted to become a 1-in-7 to 1-in-9 year event by the end of the century.

– For Eastern North America, a maximum high temperature that occurred only once every 20 years during 1980 – 2000 is predicted to occur between once every three years and once per year by 2100.

– Extreme high temperature readings that occur once every 20 years will increase by 1°C to 3°C (1.8°F – 5.4°F) by mid-21st century and by about 2°C to 5°C (3.6°F – 9°F) by late-21st century.

– It is at least 66% likely that the frequency of heavy precipitation or the proportion of total rainfall from heavy falls will increase in the 21st century over many areas of the globe. This is particularly the case in the high latitudes and tropical regions, and in winter in the northern mid-latitudes. There is medium confidence that, in some regions, increases in heavy precipitation will occur despite projected decreases of total precipitation in those regions.

– Heavy rainfalls associated with tropical cyclones are at least 66% likely to increase with continued warming, and the maximum winds will increase. The total number of these storms is likely to remain about the same or decrease.

– There is medium confidence that droughts will intensify in the 21st century in some seasons and areas. Southern Europe and the Mediterranean region, central Europe, Central North America, Central America and Mexico, northeast Brazil, and southern Africa are at particular risk.

– In some regions, the main driver for increased damages from extreme weather events will not be climate change, but increases in population and wealth and vulnerability.

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