Extreme weather risk assessment to be re-examined

Friday 24th Sep 2010 by theWeather Club

All over the world climate projections are pointing towards more frequent and intense weather extremes such as heat-waves, cold-spells, droughts and floods. These projections, together with the recent series of extreme events, have highlighted the need for improved weather related risk assessments to help both policy makers and the public alike.

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), co-sponsored by The World Meteorological Organisation and UNESCO is hosting a workshop on the metrics and methodologies of estimation of extreme climate events in Paris, on 27th-29th September. Representatives from fields as diverse as meteorology, statistics and re-insurance will review and assess the existing means of observing and defining extreme weather events. The aim is to develop a strategy to improve our ability to estimate the risk of weather extremes, increasingly frequent in our changing climate. "We need accurate, reliable and simple measures of the probability of extreme events." said Dr Ghassem Asrar, Director of the WCRP.

Understanding the expected distribution, frequency and intensity of extreme events is vital to the financial security of countries across the globe. "Climate and weather modelling is the key technique to understanding these risks and we congratulate the WCRP and UNESCO for their focus on this critical area" said Michel Gero, Managing Director of Willis Research Network who coordinate studies into the risk management of extreme weather events.

The event will focus on creating the scientific and methodological basis for assessment of risks associated with climate extremes. "The standards developed for assessing risks associated with climate extremes will be published openly and could be used by national weather and climate service providers worldwide to issue alerts for saving life and property." Dr Asrar told journalists.