Red Cross/ Red Crescent Climate Centre

World Weather Attribution

The science of the attribution of extreme climate-related events is rapidly advancing and there is increasing capacity to assess whether a specific event is more likely today than in a world without climate change.

These methods are becoming increasingly robust through the use of data and climate; scientists can do such analyses more quickly, often within days of an extreme event.

The Climate Centre has teamed up with the World Weather Attribution (WWA) partnership: the Princeton University-based Climate Central group, who are convenors, Melbourne and Oxford Universities, and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.

To date the WWA team carried out analyses of the 2015 European summer heatwave that generated humanitarian concern, the first exercise of its kind, the severe drought in south-east Brazil, Storm Desmond that caused some deaths and large-scale damage and disruption in the UK late last year, and the spring 2016 floods that affected Europe and triggered major Red Cross responses, focusing on France (photo) and Germany.

The group is overseen by a scientific steering body and brings in local partners appropriate to the event being studied, including (for our platforms) National Societies.

The ‘Raising Risk Awareness’ programme, meanwhile, groups WWA scientists with the Climate Centre and the UK-based Climate and Development Knowledge Network to assess whether climate change has contributed to droughts, floods and heatwaves in several specific countries in East Africa and South Asia.

A 2017 RRA-commissioned report summarizes the findings of research in India and Kenya on communicating attribution information across a range of actors in the two countries (executive summary).