Dr. Trenberth will address Climate Extremes and Climate Change: The Russian Heat Wave and Other Recent Climate Extremes.

The climate is changing and humans are playing a major role.  All climate events have natural and anthropogenic components these days.  An examination will be given of how climate extremes relate to climate change and the large number of high impact climate extremes that have occurred in recent years.  Climate change alters the odds of such events occurring.When nature and human influences work in the same direction, records are broken and such extreme events would have been very unlikely to have occurred without global warming.  Many recent examples exist: the 2009 heat and wildfires in Victoria, Australia; the 2010 floods in Pakistan, China and India; the drought, heat waves and wild fires in Russia in northern summer 2010, the flooding in Colombia and the second most active hurricane season in the North Atlantic; the extensive flooding in Australia from August 2010 to April 2011 and especially in Queensland in December 2010; widespread heavy rains and flooding along the Mississippi, and later the Missouri in 2011 with deadly widespread tornado outbreaks across the United States even as record breaking drought and wild fires occurred in Texas and Arizona.  Then drought, heat and wildfires in the United States in 2012.  Drought played an important role in the Russian heat wave in 2010 and also in recent events in the United States.  There was a direct local contribution to the drying and high temperatures in the absence of evaporative cooling.  Increased greenhouse gases effects accumulate over months and powerful feedbacks greatly amplify the effects and thereby provide a means by which global warming likely influenced the subsequent heat waves and wild fires.

Related reading, Climate extremes and climate change: The Russian heat wave and other climate extremes of 2010

Brief Bio
Dr. Kevin E. Trenberth is a Distinguished Senior Scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. From New Zealand, he obtained his Sc. D. in meteorology in 1972 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He was a lead author of the 1995, 2001 and 2007 Scientific Assessment of Climate Change reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize which went to the IPCC.  He served from 1999 to 2006 on the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), and he chaired the WCRP Experiment (GEWEX) scientific steering group.  He has also served on many national committees. 
He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the American Association for Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.  In 2000 he received the Jule G. Chaney award from the AMS and in 2003 he was given the NCAR Distinguished Achievement Award.  He edited a 788 page book Climate System Modeling, published in 1992 by Cambridge University Press.
He has published over 480 scientific articles or papers, including 47 books or book chapters, and over 213 refereed journal articles and has given many invited scientific talks as well as appearing in a number of television, radio programs and newspaper articles.  He is listed among the top 20 authors in highest citations in all of geophysics.