Preparing for a new world of weather and climate extremes
Climate change is intensifying extreme weather and climate events, such as the unprecedented heatwave in western North America in 2021 and rainfall from Hurricane Harvey in 2017. These devastating events are becoming more intense globally, but we do not adequately know the changing risks for specific regions and communities, or how changing extremes will affect the wider use of wind, solar, and hydroelectric energy that is needed to limit future greenhouse gas emissions.
Our grand challenge will address these key gaps in knowledge by making improvements in the science and prediction of extremes and their effects on our energy systems. Based on the improved predictions of extremes, we will build a scalable toolkit, initially focused on cities in the United States and Africa, for communities and stakeholders to prepare and adapt. Our team brings together experts in climate science, engineering, design, and machine learning at MIT with external partners to provide the greatest benefit to communities, municipalities, and industry.
Paul O’Gorman is a professor of atmospheric science in the Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. He studies atmospheric dynamics and extreme precipitation events with a focus on the response to climate change.
Miho Mazereeuw is an associate professor of architecture and urbanism in the Department of Architecture and director of the Urban Risk Lab. She develops methods, prototypes and technologies to embed risk reduction into the design of cities and to increase the adaptive capacity of communities.
Kerry Emanuel is the Cecil and Ida Green Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences and co-founder of the MIT Lorenz Center. A prominent meteorologist and climate scientist, his research focuses on the underlying physics of hurricanes and tropical cyclones.