Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change Attribution: Workshop Agenda

October 21-22, 2015
Keck Center
500 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC

Workshop Goals

Inform the committee as they write their report on the science of attribution of specific extreme weather events to human-caused climate change and natural variability.

Specifically, the committee will:

  • Provide an assessment of current scientific understanding and capabilities for attribution of specific extreme weather events to climate change.
  • Provide guidance about the robustness of extreme event attribution science. The guidance should discriminate among different attribution approaches and different classes of extreme events, and it should consider various characteristics of the analysis (e.g., data coverage and quality, model performance, etc.).
  • Identify research priorities for further development of the approaches.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


1:00 P.M.: Welcoming remarks and introduction--David Titley, Pennsylvania State University (video)

1:30 P.M.: Framing of event attribution questions and risk-based perspective for decision-making--Alexis Hannart, CNRS (video)

Q & A (video)

2:00 P.M.: Background and overview on climate attribution of extreme events--Friederike Otto, University of Oxford (video)

Q& A (video)

2:30 P.M.: Break

3:00 P.M.: Panel on Methods and Uncertainties--Moderated by: Ted Shepherd, University of Reading (video)

Discussion (video)

5:00 P.M.: General Discussion--Moderated by: John Walsh, University of Alaska, Fairbanks (video)

5:45 P.M.: Adjourn

Thursday, October 22, 2015


9:30 A.M: Panel on Attribution of Specific Weather Phenomena--Moderated by: Phil Mote, Oregon State University (video) 10:45 A.M.--Break

11:15 A.M.--Panel discussion continues (video)

12:15 P.M.--Working lunch

1:15 P.M.: Break out group session to identify opportunities and challenges on the following topics:
  1. Uncertainty quantification:
    • assessing model quality
    • uncertainty quantification given a reasonable model
    • how can event attribution be evaluated
  2. Framing of event attribution questions (are we asking the right questions?) and how to describe and quantify a potential anthropogenic component to the meteorological drivers of an extreme event, given that natural variability is generally playing a dominant role.
  3. Timescale/operational event attribution (e.g., How do the timescale and spatial domain of an event impact our ability to attribute the event? On what timelines can event attribution studies be conducted? How does the timescale of an event affect the timeline on which attribution studies can be conducted?).
3:45 P.M.: Rapporteurs report back in plenary (video)

4:15 P.M.: Invited responses to the workshop discussions--Kathy Jacobs, University of Arizona (video)

5:00 P.M: Wrap up--David Titley, PSU (video)

5:30 P.M.: Adjourn