Eli5 Extreme weather


How does global warming brings extreme wheather like storms or hail ?

In: 1

Storms need lots of energy to do their thing. They get this energy from the warmth of the air and of bodies of water.

Warmer air and oceans means that, overall, there is more energy flowing around in the oceans and atmosphere and therefore more energy available to drive storms.

What happens when you pour a bunch of water really quickly into a bucket?

The water splashes around all over the place.

Adding a bunch of heat to the planet really quickly is pretty similar in that regard. It doesn’t just smoothly increase the temperature across the entire surface all evenly, but rather increases it in some places a good bit more than others, causing a lot of very energetic weather patterns.

Weather is entirely driven by heat. Specifically heat causes two things: Evaporations, and Wind. Water that evaporates condenses higher up into clouds, and in some cases has the potential to fall back down to the earth as precipitation. And then wind, where rising warm air creates a vacuum for cooler heavier air to take its place. When moisture-filled warm air masses collide with colder and drier air masses, you get rain as the warm air rapidly condenses and drops its water load, and in the worst cases when air masses violently collide, they begin to rotate, creating storms that can cause flooding, lighting, hail, and tornadoes. These same conditions are also the cause of Hurricanes.

More heat fuels more wind and evaporation, leading to more frequent and stronger storms, but it can also have other effects like changing the regional climate, causing areas that may once have gotten a lot of rain to start drying out and suffer from drought and fire risks, while regions that had less may get more and have to deal with flooding and erosion.

it doesn’t Climate change does. global warming is only one aspect of climate change, shifts in weather patterns is another.