Extreme events may refer either to socio-economic or to physical and biological systems. There are several ways to define an extreme event in climate. It can be generally described as a very large or very small meteorological value occurring rarely. According to IPCC (2001), within the statistical reference distribution, it is rarer than the 10th or 90th percentile, and it is normally associated with important socio-economic damage (Easterling et al., 2000). Examples of extreme weather events are important droughts and heat waves, hurricanes, wind storms, etc. Even if their intensity and frequency have increased over time (Wisner et al., 2004), they remain hard to study and to predict due to their rarity.
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Wisner, B., P. Blaikie, T. Cannon, and I. Davis.
(2004). At risk: natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters. 2nd edition. New York: Routledge.
IPCC, 2001: Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Edited by J. T. Houghton et al. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA
Editor: Melania MICHETTI