The September issue of BAMS included a special supplement, “Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a Climate Perspective,” edited by Thomas Peterson, Martin Hoerling, and Stephanie Herring of NOAA and Peter Stott of the UK Met Office. This was the second edition of this annual investigation of the causes of recent extreme events. The supplement consists of short, concise studies by various author teams and thus serves as a demonstration of the latest methodologies for attributing specific events to longer term trends in climate. For their work on the report, Peterson, Hoerling, Herring, and Stott are lauded in this month’s issue of Foreign Policy magazine as “Leading Global Thinkers of 2013.”
Foreign Policy called the report “a breakthrough in climate science” for connecting extreme events like Hurricane Sandy to human-influenced climate change. The magazine praised the report’s four editors for “point[ing] problem-solvers in the right direction” on better understanding the causes of extreme weather and climate events. Upon learning about the honor, the four noted that the recognition highlights the value that studying extreme events can provide to global security and sustainability.
“It is clearly an acknowledgement that attribution of extreme events is an important scientific topic—that the results of event attribution research can help guide real-world, climate-smart actions,” Peterson told Climate.gov.
The editors also noted that the tribute “honors the collective effort” of all climate scientists studying extreme events, and specifically the 18 different research groups that contributed to the BAMS report. Of course, extreme events will be a featured topic at the AMS Annual Meeting in Atlanta in February, as the theme of the meeting is “Extreme Weather–Climate and the Built Environment: New Perspectives, Opportunities, and Tools.”
Foreign Policy‘s 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2013 are divided into 10 categories ranging from “the innovators” and “the healers” to “the artists” and “the decision-makers.” The coeditors of the BAMS report were cited in “the naturals” category. Others who made the list of 100 include Vladimir Putin, Pope Francis, the Mars Rover Team, Mark Zuckerberg, Shinzo Abe, and the IPCC. Foreign Policy will be honoring the 100 Global Thinkers at a special event this Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Watch for the third extreme-events supplement to be released with BAMS next September.