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Preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 September 2009

Henry F. Diaz
Affiliation:
Research Meteorologist, Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, USA
Richard J. Murnane
Affiliation:
Program Manager for the Risk Prediction Initiative (RPI); Senior Research Scientist, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), USA
Henry F. Diaz
Affiliation:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, District of Columbia
Richard J. Murnane
Affiliation:
Bermuda Biological Station for Research, Garrett Park, Maryland
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Summary

Extreme events are critical determinants in the evolution and character of many natural and human-influenced systems. From such a perspective, extreme climatic events, in particular, present society with significant challenges in the context of a rapidly warming world. The societal impacts of recent extreme climatic events around the world motivated us to bring together in one book a scientific exploration of the nature of climatic extremes – past, present, and future – and examples of efforts aimed at making these events more comprehensible and manageable.

Extreme climatic events can affect both natural systems (e.g., coastal and riparian ecosystems) and human systems (e.g., the city of New Orleans). Despite having one of the most effective emergency response systems in the world, the United States has experienced months, and will likely continue to experience years, of difficulties in coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Furthermore, while Hurricane Katrina may not be classified as an “extreme” hurricane in terms of its wind intensity at landfall, or a rare event in terms of the wind speed return period, the consequences of its landfall along the northern Gulf Coast would likely qualify as an extreme and, one hopes, rare event.

The capacity of society to respond optimally to climatic events such as active hurricane periods or long droughts depends on its ability to understand, anticipate, prepare for, and respond to extremes.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2008

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  • Preface
    • By Henry F. Diaz, Research Meteorologist, Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, USA, Richard J. Murnane, Program Manager for the Risk Prediction Initiative (RPI); Senior Research Scientist, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), USA
  • Edited by Henry F. Diaz, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, District of Columbia, Richard J. Murnane
  • Book: Climate Extremes and Society
  • Online publication: 14 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511535840.002
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  • Preface
    • By Henry F. Diaz, Research Meteorologist, Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, USA, Richard J. Murnane, Program Manager for the Risk Prediction Initiative (RPI); Senior Research Scientist, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), USA
  • Edited by Henry F. Diaz, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, District of Columbia, Richard J. Murnane
  • Book: Climate Extremes and Society
  • Online publication: 14 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511535840.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Preface
    • By Henry F. Diaz, Research Meteorologist, Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, USA, Richard J. Murnane, Program Manager for the Risk Prediction Initiative (RPI); Senior Research Scientist, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), USA
  • Edited by Henry F. Diaz, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, District of Columbia, Richard J. Murnane
  • Book: Climate Extremes and Society
  • Online publication: 14 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511535840.002
Available formats
×