World Climate Experts Forecast Apocalyptic Weather 22-08-2014
World Climate Experts Forecast Apocalyptic Weather
Friday Aug 22, 2014
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) brought together 1,000 specialists to discuss the uncertain future of weather forecasting. Photo / Thinkstock
Intense aerial turbulence, ice storms and scorching heatwaves, huge ocean waves - the world's climate experts forecast apocalyptic weather over the coming decades at a conference in Montreal that ended this week.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) brought together 1,000 specialists to discuss the uncertain future of weather forecasting.
A decade after the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, the world's focus has shifted from reducing greenhouse gas emissions linked to warming, to dealing with its consequences.
"It's irreversible and the world's population continues to increase, so we must adapt," said Jennifer Vanos, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas Tech University.
Average temperatures have increased 0.47 per cent degrees Celsius so far. Scientists have predicted a two-per cent rise in average temperatures by 2050.
A one-degree hike translates into seven per cent more water vapour in the atmosphere and because evaporation is the driving force behind air currents, more extreme weather events are expected to follow.
"We'll see clouds forming faster and more easily, and more downpours," leading to flash flooding, said Simon Wang, assistant director of the Utah Climate Center.
Broadly speaking, said the American researcher, rising temperatures will have a "multiplying effect on weather events as we know them".
For meteorologists, the challenge will be to incorporate this "additional force" into their weather modelling, explained Wang.
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