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Going to extremes: weird weather forecast to continue

Extreme weather events are becoming more common according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

It is widely known that the Earth’s average temperature has been rising. But the new research shows that extreme temperature anomalies – readings well above or below the mean – are warming even faster than the overall average.

It comes after early figures from UEA showed that 2014 is on track to be the warmest year on record.

Researchers analysed temperature records for the years 1881 to 2013 from HadCRUT4 - a widely used data set for land and sea locations compiled by UEA’s Climatic Research Unit and the Met Office. 

Prof Phil Jones, from UEA’s Climatic Research Unit, said: “Trends in extreme heat and cold are important because they have a large impact on water supplies, agricultural productivity and other factors related to human health and wellbeing.

“Improved understanding of the spatial patterns of change are vital for understanding the causes of recent extreme weather events.” 

The research was led by Prof Scott Robeson from Indiana University in the US. He commented: “Average temperatures don’t tell us everything we need to know about climate change. Arguably, these cold extremes and warm extremes are the most important factors for human society.”


Picture credit: © Akulamatiau |


Global | Climate change


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