Many extreme events have occurred and continue to occur during the 2001-04 CEOP period. For example, in 2002, the most recent Red Cross World Disasters Report pointed out that more disasters occurred worldwide than during any other year in the preceding decade; a staggering 608 million people were affected, three times the annual average between 1992 and 2001. This was associated with many storms around the world and 20% of the Earth’s land surface experienced drought. Although tragic, such events offer us a unique opportunity to examine them as individual episodes as well as a collective unit with unprecedented detail through the CEOP time period.
As a step towards addressing the issue of extremes around the world, the following will be addressed within CEOP:
- What extremes occurred during CEOP across the world?
- What are their characteristics?
- What factors led to these individual extremes?
- To what degree were the extremes inter-connected?
- How typical and/or unusual is the CEOP period and why?
- What are the implications for extremes and the climate system?
It is expected that this CEOP initiative will provide us with the answers to these key questions and it will also represent an opportunity for us to carry out a hands-on experiment as to how to tackle such issues from scales ranging from global and regional down to individual events while fully capitalizing on our new collective research capabilities.
The latest version of the CEOP Phase II implementation Plan is available. The WISE component of this plan is described under Section 2.2.5 and is referred to as the Extreme Events Impacts Analysis Project.