Mammatocumulus clouds after a thunderstorm

Stormy weather

Climate change promises to bring more turbulent weather

The UK has suffered several extreme weather events recently. But it is very difficult to pin any of these specifically on climate changeWhat seems likely, though, is that they will be more common in the future.

The Met Office, the UK’s weather and climate service, commented on an “exceptional run” of winter storms in 2014, but was cautious on connecting these to climate change, saying there was “no definitive answer on the possible contribution of climate change to the recent storminess, rainfall amounts and the consequent flooding”, partly because of the UK’s large range of climate variability. They are pushing for more research to establish a link.

Globally, the situation is likely to vary from region to region, depending on local climate factors. Most regions may experience more severe storms, which if experienced will lead to flooding and damage to people and property.

Harm can come from unexpected hazards. In severe storms in India, for example, people were drowned when they were trapped in their cars by rapidly rising floodwaters. In Mozambique flooding released landmines from former areas of conflict.

Lead image:

Mammatocumulus clouds after a thunderstorm in Leeds, UK, 2014.

Carl Milner, Flickr CC BY


About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Health and Climate Change’ in January 2009 and reviewed and updated in September 2014.

Statistics and maths, Ecology and environment
Health and Climate Change
Education levels:
14–16, 16–19, Continuing professional development