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You are here: Home / Environmental topics / Climate change / FAQ / Are extreme events, like heat waves, droughts or floods, expected to change as the Earth’s climate changes?

Are extreme events, like heat waves, droughts or floods, expected to change as the Earth’s climate changes?

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Yes; the type, frequency and intensity of extreme events are expected to change as Earth’s climate changes, and these changes could occur even with relatively small mean climate changes. Changes in some types of extreme events have already been observed, for example, increases in the frequency and intensity of heat waves and heavy precipitation events (see FAQ 3.3).

For more information, see FAQ 10.1, extracted from Chapter 10 of "IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M.Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA".

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