Northern California Science Writers Association

Climate Change and Extreme Events in California

  • Thursday, March 25, 2021
  • 6:00 PM
  • Free Zoom event


Registration is closed

NCSWA invited UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain for a conversation about climate change and its effect on extreme weather events in California.

California has suffered one extreme event after another in the last decade, from record-breaking drought to heat waves to wildfires. Is climate change throwing our weather out of whack? Until recently, scientists couldn't link an individual extreme event to climate change ― but now they can.

"For certain types of extreme events, the influence of anthropogenic climate change has emerged beyond a reasonable doubt," wrote Swain and colleagues in their December 2020 One Earth primer called "Attributing Extreme Events to Climate Change: A New Frontier in a Warming World."

Dr. Swain studies how climate change affects the likelihood and intensity of regional extremes, focusing on the atmospheric processes that drive droughts, floods and wildfires. He also offers perspectives on California weather and climate in his Weather West blog, where he famously coined the term “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” to describe the stubborn high-pressure mass that diverted rainstorms away from California during the last drought.

Dr. Swain will talk broadly about the impact of climate change on California and then zoom in to discuss the attribution of extreme events to climate change.

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