The concepts of weather and climate are usually used interchangeably by many people and scientists (Romm 25). However, the two words are different in terms of development and implication. Romm indicates that “climate is the long-term average of weather patterns in a specific region or place” (65). On the other hand, the weather is capable of changing in a few days. Climate change usually develops within a prolonged period (Frischkorn). The change can take place after several years or decades. Planet Earth has experienced a wide range of extreme weather events in the recent past. Scientists have argued that such isolated events or changes in the weather cannot be used to explain various climatic trends. This discussion will explore the relationship between global warming (and climate change) and extreme weather patterns.
Climate Change, Global Warming, and Extreme Weather Patterns
Modern scientists have been analyzing how climate change is associated with extreme weather conditions. Unfortunately, the scholars have been unable to present accurate relationships between the two. The collected data has revealed that the current changes in climate are attributable to increasing global temperatures (Frischkorn). Many scholars argue that short-term occurrences such as typhoons cannot be directly related to the issue of climate change (“Climate Change”). This is the case because the planet has recorded similar extreme happenings in the past. It is also arguable that most of these events have been occurring more frequently in the recent past.
From the above analysis, it is notable that such events are catalyzed by several risk factors. Global warming has therefore been singled out as a major factor that influences various weather events or patterns. Although natural events or cycles occur periodically, the level of global warming has been on the rise within the past decade. This means that increased global temperatures have become a risk factor for various weather changes (Romm 73). These developments can be used to explain why there is a possibility of advanced changes in climatic patterns. For instance, climatic trends in different regions have changed significantly within the past five centuries.
The above understanding supports the fact that global warming has become the leading risk factor for extreme weather events and patterns. With human activities catalyzing the rate at which the planet is warming, chances are extremely high that climate change will be inevitable. This is the case because global warming has been associated with rising sea levels and increased levels of precipitation (“Climate Change”). Human-induced changes in climate will eventually result in extreme occurrences. In the United States, the past five decades have been characterized by increased temperatures, prolonged downpours, and unprecedented droughts (Romm 103). Future studies will be required to present accurate information that can be used to explain how climate change continues to influence global weather patterns.
Extreme Weather Patterns: Impacts
Changes in global temperatures have been linked to climate change in different parts of the world. Environmentalists have outlined several indicators to support the fact that the global climate has changed significantly (“Climate Change”). Some of these indicators include increased air and sea temperatures, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and loss of snow in the hemispheres (Romm 39). Many scholars strongly believe that such changes have led to unsympathetic weather patterns. Unless something is done urgently, experts indicate that the planet will continue to experience unprecedented weather events in the coming years.
The first extreme weather pattern is the current change in global temperatures. Studies indicate that average global temperatures have been on the rise since the year 1900 (“Climate Change”). Some of the warmest years have been recorded since 1998 (“Climate Change”). These temperatures have led to increased levels of downpours in every continent. Many scientists acknowledge the fact that the world has been encountering both increased temperatures in summer and cooler periods in winter. This scenario has led to record lows and highs within the past twenty years.
Many regions have been recording heavy downpours in the recent past. Such precipitations can occur in a single day and disappear. These extremes usually result in heavy downpours that leave many people homeless or displaced. Such precipitations have forced people to migrate to other regions. The losses caused by such downpours amount to billions of US dollars (Romm 69). Statistics indicate that annual precipitation has been increasing since 1902. However, some areas have been affected the most by such weather events. Tropical storms have intensified in different regions such as the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean (“Climate Change”). Although some analysts argue that the number of hurricanes recorded annually has not been on the rise, it is remarkable that they have become more catastrophic and disastrous. These extremes have affected operations in different seaports and economic activities such as fishing and mining.
The current rate of downpours explains why river flooding is a major problem today. Romm believes that flooding has become a common occurrence in different countries (92). Large floods have also been recorded in various states across the United States. These floods have made it impossible for more people, firms, and organizations to pursue their economic objectives (Levin). More often than not, such floods leave many people homeless, destroy infrastructure, and disrupt agricultural activities.
Droughts have been recorded in more countries than ever before. This occurrence indicates that the world is currently facing extremes in weather (Frischkorn). These abnormal changes have catalyzed new problems such as feminine, diseases, and poverty, especially in the developing world. Prolonged droughts have been observed to make it hard for people to get clean water. Such changes also stress natural occurrences or systems.
Solutions and Recommendations
Climate science is a field that should be taken seriously by modern researchers. This kind of science will present risk-based data and information that can be used to forecast the future of these extreme weather patterns. The gathered data can then be analyzed to inform various investments in adaption, awareness, and prevention. The above discussion has indicated that global warming is one of the leading risk factors for these extremes. Human beings should embrace various practices that have the potential to deal with the problem (Frischkorn). Some evidence-based initiatives include minimizing the emission of greenhouse gases, conserving water, utilizing energy efficiently, and embracing sustainable economic activities (“Climate Change”). If such approaches are ignored, more people will continue to suffer due to these extreme weather changes experienced in every part of the world. Governments should support research studies to produce meaningful information that can be used to deal with global warming. These efforts will eventually minimize the above extreme weather events and address their respective impacts.
Frischkorn, Kyle. “Does Climate Change Cause Extreme Weather Events?” Smithsonian Magazine. 2017, Web.
Levin, Kelly. “Extreme Weather: What’s Climate Change Got to Do With It?” World Resources Institute. 2017, Web.
Romm, Joseph. Climate Change. Oxford University Press, 2015.