ClimaMeter: a new meteorological approach helps us understand extreme weather events


The earth seen from space

Understanding extreme weather in a changing climate

Can extreme weather events be explained by natural climatological causes or can they be attributed to human impact on the climate? An international research team has now developed a method to better understand extreme weather events. Meteorological satellites have been used since 1979, and ClimaMeter analyzes two periods: the first half of the so-called satellite era between 1979-2000 and the most recent decades between 2001-2022. Using meteorological data, ClimaMeter examines how weather conditions have evolved between these periods and how they differ, analyzing if the changes can be referred to natural climate variability or human impact.

Screenshot of ClimaMeter

The main objective is to provide a rapid analysis of climate change with particular focus on specific weather conditions, like extreme heat and intense precipitation.

Rapid historical comparisons

The research team's interdisciplinary collaboration, between climatology, modeling, physics and statistics, allows ClimaMeter to more accurately identify the weather conditions behind different extreme weather events. A further strength is that ClimaMeter can quickly make comparisons using historical data rather than working solely with numerical model simulations. This makes it possible to put an extreme weather event in a larger climate perspective, as well as provide a more technical description and background.

ClimaMeter has already been used on extreme weather events such as the French heatwave at the end of August 2023, the Mediterranean heatwave in July 2023 and storm Hans that hit Sweden in August 2023.

Read more about ClimaMeter here

For more information contact:  Gabriele Messori, Professor in Meteorology
Telephone: 018-471 2588

ClimaMeter is a rapid experimental framework for putting weather extremes in a climate perspective, developed by the ESTIMR team at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (Institut Pierre Simon Laplace) in Paris-Saclay, led by Davide Faranda (CNRS & London Mathematical Laboratory (UK)Mathieu Vrac (CNRS), Pascal Yiou (CEA-Saclay) & Robert Vautard (IPSL), in collaboration with Gabriele Messori (Uppsala University, Uppsala), Erika Coppola (International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste) and Tommaso Alberti (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Rome).

We provide an easily interpretable contextualisation of extreme weather immediately after the actual event, as well as a more technical description and discussion of the event with a slightly longer delay. 

You can find the most recent events here, and a list of past events here.

News from the Department of Earth Sciences

Last modified: 2022-09-30