UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Nathanael Harwood

A rise in the frequency of extreme weather in response to Arctic Amplification and its implications for European decision-making

The question of whether recent extreme weather can be robustly linked to anthropogenic climate change and changes in the Arctic in particular is complex and unresolved. A mechanism of jet stream destabilisation has often been invoked to support the idea of a link between Arctic warming and persistent weather at midlatitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. This project examines links between Arctic changes and Eurasian extreme weather using a novel Bayesian Network approach to examine the past and projected rise in extreme weather events. 

Recent extreme events like the 2013/2014 North American Cold Wave and record UK flooding in the winters of 2013 and 2015 have heightened public interest in this area of climate research. Projected scenarios of extreme weather will be considered in a policy context; how the results of these types of analyses are communicated to the public and decision-makers will be the focus of this, and the communication of uncertainty in findings will be central to this process.