Loading the Dice- The role of climate change in storms and floods- EPA Climate Change Lecture Series

Date released: Mar 11 2015, 10:10 AM

Loading the Dice - The role of climate change in storms and floods

– EPA Climate Change Lecture Series

Professor Myles Allen will present the next EPA Climate Change Lecture in the Mansion House today, Wednesday 11th March.  

Laura Burke, EPA Director General said,

“We look forward to hearing the presentation by Professor Allen this evening.  The focus of his talk is on weather and climate extremes and possible changes to these extremes. It is these events which grab attention rather than the on-going gradual changes, for example in sea level rise, which are reshaping our environment and the world we live in.  Both are important; on-going sea level rise is hardly perceived, but it is a key threat for an island such as Ireland, which has major economic, social, environmental and cultural assets in coastal areas.  It is when sea-level rise combines with storms, such as we experienced just over a year ago, that we all take notice.”

Whenever extreme weather events occur, like the storms and floods that occurred across Ireland in January and February 2014, questions about human-induced climate change arise.  The answer is seldom clear-cut, because weather can be chaotic and extremes can occur over short periods, while climate change is measured over decades and beyond.

Now scientists are working out methods to calculate how the odds of a particular event happening may have increased, or perhaps decreased, because of climate change.

Ahead of his talk Professor Allen said,

“As evidence of actual harm from greenhouse gas emissions begins to emerge, we need to know what the implications of future climate will be for us all and particularly for more vulnerable communities.  Advanced analysis and climate modelling can assist in doing this.”

Professor Allen is working at the cutting edge of this research and is a leader of the climateprediction.net/weatherathome project.  Using an array of distributed computers, he is exploring factors behind the extreme weather events. He has carried out an assessment of the role of human influence on those storms and will present his outcomes at the lecture, in the context of the findings from the recent reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

The Climate Change Lecture takes place at the Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 from 6.15pm – 8.30pm on Wednesday 11th March. All are welcome to attend this free event though prior registration is essential.

The EPA will be live webcasting this lecture from 6.15pm.

Previous lectures can be found on the EPA website on the videos page, as well as the EPA YouTube Channel.


Notes to Editor:

Myles Allen is Professor of Geosystem Science in the Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment and Department of Physics, University of Oxford. His research focuses on how human and natural influences on climate contribute to observed climate change and extreme weather events. He founded climateprediction.net and weatherathome.org experiments, using volunteer computing for weather and climate research and in 2003 proposed the probability-based approach to the attribution of extreme weather events to climate change. He has served on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Scientific Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and in 2010 was awarded the Appleton Medal from the Institute of Physics.

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