Category: REPORTS_Increasing_probability_2021

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Increasing probability of record-shattering climate extremes

By E. M. Fischer, S. Sippel and R. Knutti

Society has often been surprised by the magnitude by which recent climate extremes exceeded previous observed records, such as during the extreme rainfall of Hurricane Harvey1–3, the 2020 warm anomaly over Siberia4 or the 2003 European and 2010 Russian heatwaves5,6 that caused tens of thousands of heat-related fatalities6–8. Week-long temperature maxima during the latter heatwaves exceeded previous records by more than two standard deviations (σ) (Extended Data Fig. 1) and thereby literally ‘shattered’ previous records by a large margin.