Al and Bruce discuss how organizations deal with uncertainties, especially when those uncertainties have a lot of risk with them. We will talk about three groups who have a lot invested in doing it right.
Attributing weather events to climate is difficult. Climate change is a change in the base conditions, so it is difficult to attribute any one event to “climate change”. But the change in the frequency of weather events is one way to detect the effects of climate change.
We can compare what we are seeing with what we used to see – and the statistical techniques are similar to those I [Bruce] used in medical studies. The statistics are clear, and the numbers are changing in a bad direction. The NCBI report, Attribution of extreme weather and climate‐related events, January 2016, states:
Event attribution studies seek to determine to what extent anthropogenic climate change has altered the probability or magnitude of particular events. They have shown clear evidence for human influence having increased the probability of many extremely warm seasonal temperatures and reduced the probability of extremely cold seasonal temperatures in many parts of the world.
Which is how a scientist might describe something that the the rest of us might express as “Warm enough for ya?”
Record costs of weather disasters. The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) describes their methodology in an article, Calculating the Cost of Weather and Climate Disasters, available on-line. One way to present their findings is graphically – the Climate Extremes Index is an aggregate measure of extreme climate events: