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A common framework for approaches to extreme event attribution

Shepherd, T. G. ORCID: (2016) A common framework for approaches to extreme event attribution. Current Climate Change Reports, 2. pp. 28-38. ISSN 2198-6061

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s40641-016-0033-y


The extent to which a given extreme weather or climate event is attributable to anthropogenic climate change is a question of considerable public interest. From a scientific perspective, the question can be framed in various ways, and the answer depends very much on the framing. One such framing is a risk-based approach, which answers the question probabilistically, in terms of a change in likelihood of a class of event similar to the one in question, and natural variability is treated as noise. A rather different framing is a storyline approach, which examines the role of the various factors contributing to the event as it unfolded, including the anomalous aspects of natural variability, and answers the question deterministically. It is argued that these two apparently irreconcilable approaches can be viewed within a common framework, where the most useful level of conditioning will depend on the question being asked and the uncertainties involved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:57109


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