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WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON WEATHER?

Many of the most costly impacts of climate change–in terms of both life and property–will result from more frequent, longer-lasting, or more intense extreme weather events and associated natural disasters, such as heavy precipitation events, floods, heat waves, droughts, and wildfires. Projecting how the risk of such events may change in the future is challenging and the answer will be different for different regions of the world. That said, a shift in average conditions to a warmer climate is expected, based on physical reasoning, to be accompanied by a shift in extreme temperature conditions, with increases in hot extremes and decreases in cold extremes. Also, a warmer atmosphere will hold more moisture, which means that when it does rain or snow, more water will be available to fall. Precipitation is therefore projected to be concentrated into more intense events, with periods of little precipitation in between.

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