Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Climate Extremes Are Here to Stay: Expect More Heat Waves and Cold Snaps

Cold snowy road. (Credit: © pergo70 / Fotolia) Click to enlarge.
Researchers show how they've used advanced computational data science tools to demonstrate that despite global warming, we may still experience severe cold snaps due to increasing variability in temperature extremes.

Evan Kodra and his adviser Auroop Ganguly, a climate change expert and associate professor in Northeastern's Department of Civil and Envi­ron­mental Engi­neering, decided to take a dif­ferent approach in their paper recently pub­lished online in the journal Scientific Reports, published by Nature.  Their work was performed in Northeastern's Sustainability and Data Sciences Laboratory run by Ganguly.

What they found may surprise some:  while global temperature is indeed increasing, so too is the variability in temperature extremes.  For instance, while each year's average hottest and coldest temperature will likely rise, those averages will also tend to fall within a wider range of potential high and low temperate extremes than are currently being observed.

Climate Extremes Are Here to Stay:  Expect More Heat Waves and Cold Snaps

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