Climatic Change

, Volume 121, Issue 1, pp 15–26 | Cite as

Changes in weather and climate extremes: phenomenology and empirical approaches

  • János MikaEmail author


The terms “weather extremes” and “climate extremes” are widely used in meteorology, often in relation to climate change. This paper reviews the empirical investigations into parallel changes in extreme events and climate change published in recent years and looks at their relevance for the global energy system. Empirical investigation into the correlation of extremes with global warming covers five groups: changes in temperature, precipitation, wind (storm) extremes, tropical and extra-tropical circulation phenomena. For temperature extremes, extensive analyses demonstrate that extreme hot days and nights will likely become more frequent, and extreme cold days and nights less frequent. Intense precipitation events will likely become more frequent in most continental regions. Scientific confidence in the trends of the frequency, duration, and intensity of tropical cyclones, is still low. A poleward shift is observed for extratropical cyclones, whereas no convincing tendencies of many smaller-scale phenomena, for example, tornados, or hail, can yet be detected. All these extremes have serious implications for the energy sector.


Cyclone Tropical Cyclone Extreme Event Extreme Precipitation Climate Extreme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author is grateful to the guest editor, F.L. Toth for the idea to compile this paper, and to the anonymous reviewers for their criticism and detailed instructions on improving the text. Support from the IAEA is also acknowledged.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (PDF 839 kb)
10584_2013_914_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (296 kb)
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10584_2013_914_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (98 kb)
ESM 3 (PDF 98 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Eszterhazy Károly CollegeEgerHungary

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