Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate

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Forecasting for the In-Between

We can do a good job forecasting the weather for a week or two, and we can settle on what the climate is likely to do season to season, a month to a year into the future. But what about in-between?

by |December 13, 2016
Below the Mesocyclone: The stovepipe tornado stretches down below the structure of the supercell mesocyclone and tornado cyclone. This would go on to become the EF-5, 2.6-mile-wide monster.

Increasing Tornado Outbreaks: Is Climate Change Responsible?

In a paper published in the journal Science, researchers looked at increasing trends in the severity of tornado outbreaks, measured by the number of tornadoes per outbreak. They found that these trends are increasing fastest for the most extreme outbreaks.

by |December 1, 2016
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Lessons of Climate Resilience in New York City

The Earth Institute hosted a panel focused on how New York City, and other cities like it, can take steps to become stronger and more resilient in the face of climate change.

by |October 24, 2016
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Hurricane Experts: Earth Institute Resources for Journalists

With the approach of Hurricane Matthew, here are a few of the many scientists at Columbia University’s Earth Institute who can help journalists cover the story.

by |October 6, 2016
Heat wave over Queens. Photo: Chris Goldberg

NYC’s Heat Waves: A Harbinger of Things to Come?

As global temperatures rise and heat records are broken, many wonder if New York City’s heat waves this summer were a result of climate change, and if we will experience more of them in the future.

by |September 27, 2016
Retired Rear Admiral David Titley described the potential effects of climate on geopolitics.

An Admiral Assesses Climate Change

Columbia University’s Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate hosted its biggest seminar to date. David Titley presented a talk entitled Climate Risk and National Security: People not Polar Bears. Titley, a retired U.S. rear admiral and now a professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University, brought humor to a serious topic and how it affects people and geopolitics.

by |September 23, 2016
Flooding this week near Port Vincent, Louisiana. Photo: NASA

As Louisiana Floods, Measuring the Climate Change Effect

The heavy rains and flooding in Louisiana have been devastating. Can we attribute the severity of it to climate change? How you measure that depends on the questions you ask.

by |August 17, 2016
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Rapid-Fire Cyclones over the North Indian Ocean

With Chapala’s destructive landfall in Yemen just a couple of days in the past, a second tropical cyclone, Megh, has just formed in the Arabian Sea. This one is not forecast to become anywhere near as intense as Chapala did—though we know intensity forecasts can be wrong, as they were at early stages for both Chapala and Patricia.

by |November 5, 2015
Visible satellite image of Hurricane Patricia at 10:00 AM EDT on October 23.

Historic Hurricane Nears Landfall on Southwest Coast of Mexico

Hurricane Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever observed in either the Atlantic or eastern Pacific, is expected to make landfall on the Southwest coast of Mexico this afternoon and evening as an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane.

by |October 23, 2015
Wind speed probability map from NOAA for Hurricane Joaquin.

Joaquin? There’s No Perfect Forecast, So Stay Tuned

What will Hurricane Joaquin do? The science of predicting that is getting better, but still uncertain. The debate today is over whether there will be a U.S. landfall now in five or more days’ time or not; 30 years ago there would have been no point in even having that discussion.

by |September 30, 2015