Extreme Events


North Carolina Army National Guardsmen and local emergency services assist with evacuation efforts in Fayetteville, N.C., Oct. 08, 2016. Heavy rains caused by Hurricane Matthew led to flooding as high as five feet in some areas.

What a Difference 0.5°C Makes! Or, How a Seemingly Small Amount of Global Warming can Lead to a lot More Rain

, climate scientist

The soon-to-be released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (IPCC 1.5) assesses, among other things, the impacts that could be avoided if global warming is kept to 1.5°C instead of 2°C, and the ways we can limit some of the worst impacts of climate change and adapt to the ones that are unavoidable. Let us pause and think for a moment about this business of 1.5°C and 2°C, because 0.5°C just seems like such a small difference. Why so much discussion about this seemingly small difference in global temperature? Read more >

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Homes and businesses are surrounded by water flowing out of the Cape Fear River in the eastern part of North Carolina Sept. 17, 2018, in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)

Hurricane Florence: One Week Later Here’s What We Know and Here’s What’s Next

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

On the morning of September 14, Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, bringing with it record storm surge and torrential, historic amounts of rain. A week later, communities across the Carolinas are struggling with the aftermath. At least 42 people have lost their lives thus far. Heavy, lingering rainfall has caused rivers to rise for days after the storm, leading to catastrophic flooding including in inland areas. Here’s what we know so far and what we can expect in the weeks and months to come.

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Photo by Sgt. Odaliska Almonte, North Carolina National Guard Public Affairs
NC DOT
U. S. Coast Guard photograph by Auxiliarist Trey Clifton/Released.
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Three hurricanes forming in the Atlantic in 2017. Photo: NASA Earth Observatory

Hurricane Season 2018 Begins: Will it be Different From Last Year’s?

, climate scientist

Hurricane season starts Friday June 1st. I compare this year’s hurricane forecast to last year’s. Here’s how 2018 may be different. Read more >

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Abnormal and Catastrophic 2017 Hurricane Season Finally Over

, senior climate scientist

The official end of the 2017 North Atlantic hurricane season, November 30th, has finally arrived.  This year’s season was not normal. Read more >

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Photo: USDA-ARS/Scott Bauer

Northern Plains Drought Shows (Again) that Failing to Plan for Disasters = Planning to Fail

, Kendall Science Fellow

As the dog days of summer wear on, the northern plains are really feeling the heat. Hot, dry weather has quickly turned into the nation’s worst current drought in Montana and the Dakotas, and drought conditions are slowly creeping south and east into the heart of the Corn Belt. Another year and another drought presents yet another opportunity to consider how smart public policies could make farmers and rural communities more resilient to these recurring events. Read more >

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