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Satellite photo of a hurricane

Extreme Events

As climate change becomes more pronounced, so too does the size, impact, and prevalence of extreme weather events. University of Michigan specialists are examining ever-increasing natural disasters, the upheaval they wreak on impact communities, and how local authorities can better manage them. U-M researchers have focused on extreme weather that ranges from regional events, like Great Lakes flooding and polar vortices, to droughts, hurricanes, wildfires, and tsunamis that carry a global toll.

News and Impact

Colorado River flowing through a canyon
The southwest must fight for its water and its future
wildfires
Wildfires, communities and climate change
dry land
Extreme heat and the ongoing aridification of the West
Thwaites glacier. Image credit: NASA/James Yungel
‘Doomsday Glacier’ may be more stable than initially feared
The study results can help inform policy around disaster preparedness and response planning for health care systems, says lead author Sue Anne Bell, assistant professor at the U-M School of Nursing.
Research examines impact of hurricanes on hospitalizations, medical providers
A screenshot from an ICoR simulation of a hypothetical Category 5 hurricane in Miami. Flying roof tiles and debris are outlined in red.
From resilience to adaptation: The case of hurricanes
Forest fire
New approach to wildfire management
In fields around Hatch, N.M., workers pick chile by hand, careful not to bruise the state’s prized crop. But the peppers are in trouble.
Hard times for a hot commodity, the prized New Mexico chile
A Hanover Street resident surveys the damage along Currier Street in Dearborn Heights on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 as Dearborn Heights firefighters rescue a family from their flooded home. (Photo: Max Ortiz, The Detroit News)
Opinion: Wave of flooding a wake-up call
Analysis of a single vehicle trip occurring from 21:46–22:26 on August 11, 2014. The top two panels show video footage during the rainy (left) and dry (right) segments of the trip. The bottom left panel shows a map of the vehicle’s trip, with the wiper intensity indicated by color. A radar overlay shows the average rainfall intensity over the 40-minute time period. Blue circles represent the gages nearest to the vehicle path. The two bottom right panels show the precipitation intensity as estimated by radar and gage measurements (center), and the 1-minute average wiper intensity (bottom). Image courtesy: Scientific Reports
How connected vehicles’ windshield wipers could help prevent flooding
The Amazon River basin and its tributaries are clearly visible in this imagery from the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System. Credit: Clara Chew, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Hurricane satellites reveal flooding
Illustration of a cloud with rain and a bolt of lightning
Perception of extreme weather processed through partisan lens
Ischinomaki, Japan was one of the most damaged cities due from a 2011 tidal wave. This picture was taken on August 21, 2011, six months after the disaster, and shows the concrete sea wall that was supposed to defend the city from tidal waves. Photo: iStock
Large seawalls are effective at cutting tsunami deaths
River near the Amazon Basin lake where scientists collected sediment samples for a climate study. Image credit: Luke Alexander Parsons.
Amazon outlook: Continued warming, multiyear droughts