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DATE: November 26, 2018

SNIP: Powerful storms that cause extreme weather conditions such as flooding across Europe and North America, with the potential to wreak social and economic havoc, could increase threefold by the end of the 21st century due to climate change.

Pioneering new research, led by Dr. Matt Hawcroft from the University of Exeter, has shown new and detailed information on projections of the frequency of extratropical cyclones.

The research shows that unless there is a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, there will be a stark increase in their frequency across large swathes of the Northern Hemisphere.

In this new study, the researchers analysed the behaviour of present day and future storms using state-of-the-art modelling and storm tracking techniques. By approaching the analysis in a ‘storm centred’ framework, the team were able to evaluate changes in the frequency and intensity of these extratropical cyclones with more consistency than previous studies have suggested.

Importantly, the research team were able to show that models project there would be a threefold increase in the number of the most intensely precipitating extratropical cyclones in both Europe and North America by the end of the century.