Climate change attribution

Various sources

ECI lead: Dr Friederike Otto, now at Imperial College London

The World Weather Attribution (WWA) initiative is a group of international climate scientists which provides robust assessments on the role of climate change in an extreme weather event.

Whenever an extreme weather or climate-related event occurs, the media and decision-makers ask  to what extent it is influenced by climate change. The scientific community can answer that question for relatively simple extremes: hot and cold extremes, extreme precipitation and drought. However, going through peer-review means results are usually published a year or longer after an event occurred, when the public has moved on and questions about rebuilding or relocating have been answered without taking scientific evidence on the role of climate change into account.

WWA was founded to provide robust assessments on the role of climate change in the aftermath of the event. and has developed methods to do extreme event attribution quickly but thoroughly. 

See the WWA website for the most recent event analyses.

Guide for journalists

Following an extreme event with severe impacts, a great deal of public interest is generated in its causes. Increasingly, the dominant question is: “Was this event caused by climate change?” This guide is intended to help journalists navigate this question.