IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation

The IPCC launched its ‘Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation’ on 18 November 2011.

The IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) was released after the 1st Joint Session of Working Groups I and II and the 34th Session of the IPCC held consecutively between 14 and 19 November 2011, in Kampala, Uganda.

For the first time, the report integrates expertise in climate science, disaster risk management, and adaptation with the aim of reducing and managing the risks of extreme events and disasters in a changing climate. The report also evaluates the role of climate change in altering the characteristics of extreme events, and evaluates evidence from observational records for changes in extremes as well as trends in disaster-related losses. It also assesses experience with a wide range of options used by institutions, organizations, and communities to reduce exposure and vulnerability, and improve resilience, to climate extremes. These include are early-warning systems, innovations in insurance coverage, improvements in infrastructure, and the expansion of social safety nets.

Key findings globally include:

  • Increases in some extreme weather and climate events have been observed.
  • It is likely (i.e. a 66-100% probability) that the frequency of heavy precipitation will increase in the 21st century over many regions.
  • It is virtually certain ((i.e. a 99-100% probability) that increases in the frequency of warm daily temperature extremes and decreases in cold extremes will occur throughout the 21st century on a global scale.
  • It is very likely (i.e. a 90-100% probability) that heat waves will increase in length, frequency, and/or intensity over most land areas.
  • It is likely that the average maximum wind speed of tropical cyclones  will increase throughout the coming century, although possibly not in every ocean basin. However it is also likely that overall there will be either a decrease or essentially no change in the number of tropical cyclones.
  • Projected precipitation and temperature changes imply changes in floods, although overall there is low confidence at the global scale regarding climate-driven changes in magnitude or frequency of river-related flooding, due to limited evidence and because the causes of regional changes are complex.
  • Economic losses from weather- and climate-related disasters have increased overall.

Key findings for southern Africa include:

  • Confidence in observed trends in daily temperature extremes in Africa generally varies from low to medium.
  • There is medium confidence that droughts will intensify in the 21st century in some seasons and areas, due to reduced precipitation and/or increased evapotranspiration.


The Summary for Policymakers can be found here:


or at this location on the SARVA portal:


The SREX Fact Sheet can be downloaded here:



The full Report from the IPCC is scheduled for release in February 2012.




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