Scientists seek ways to predict global warming-related disasters

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From Green Right Now Reports

Some of the world’s leading climate scientists have gathered in Boulder, Colo., to consider ways to set up an early warning system to predict future meteorological disasters caused by global warming. The meeting comes in the wake of a series of meteorological events that have dominated the summer’s headlines, including:

  • The record-breaking heat wave that left Moscow blanketed with smog from burning peat lands
  • Splintering of a massive island of ice from the Greenland ice cap
  • Floods in Pakistan that have killed at least 1,600 and left 20 million homeless.

The objective of the Colorado meeting is to develop more precise predictive techniques to help pinpoint the location and severity of droughts, floods, and heat waves before they happen. It will be the first full session of ACE, the Attribution of Climate-related Events, which has been set up by scientists from the world’s three leading meteorological organizations: the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the United Kingdom’s Met Office, and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Meteorologists have developed effective techniques for predicting global climate changes caused by greenhouse gases, but their ability to predict specific outcomes remains limited.

“These are the sorts of things we need to understand,” said Dr. Peter Stott of the UK’s Met Office, the nation’s national weather service. “We need to be able to forecast events weeks or months ahead of their occurrence so people can mitigate their worst impacts.

“We also need to consider the longer-term context and see if we need to build better sea defenses at a particular location and assess how high dikes or walls need to be. Certainly, one thing is clear: there is no time to waste. The effects of global warming are already upon us.”

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