EGU2020-8553, updated on 29 Sep 2021
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Singular Extreme Events and Their Attribution to Climate Change: A Climate Service–Centered Analysis

Aglae Jezequel1,2, Vivian Dépoues3, Hélène Guillemot4, Amélie Rajaud5, Mélodie Trolliet6, Mathieu Vrac5, Jean-Paul Vanderlinden7, and Pascal Yiou5
Aglae Jezequel et al.
  • 1Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique - LMD-IPSL, Paris, France (
  • 2École des Ponts ParisTech, Cité Descartes, Champs-sur-Marne, France
  • 3I4CE Institute for Climate Economics, Paris, France
  • 4Centre Alexandre Koyré–CNRS, Paris, France
  • 5Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, UMR CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, IPSL and U Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette CEDEX, France
  • 6PSL Research University, O.I.E.–Center for Observation, Impacts, Energy, MINES ParisTech, Sophia Antipolis CEDEX, France
  • 7CEARC, OVSQ – University Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Guyancourt, France

Extreme event attribution (EEA) proposes scientific diagnostics on whether and how a specific weather event is (or is not) different in the actual world from what it could have been in a world without climate change. This branch of climate science has developed to the point where European institutions are preparing the ground for an operational attribution service. In this context, the goal of this article is to explore a panorama of scientist perspectives on their motivations to undertake EEA studies. To do so, we rely on qualitative semi-structured interviews of climate scientists involved in EEA, on peer-reviewed social and climate literature discussing the usefulness of EEA, and on reports from the EUCLEIA project (European Climate and Weather Events: Interpretation and Attribution), which investigated the possibility of building an EEA service. We propose a classification of EEA’s potential uses and users and discuss each of them. We find that, first, there is a plurality of motivations and that individual scientists disagree on which one is most useful. Second, there is a lack of solid, empirical evidence to back up any of these motivations.

How to cite: Jezequel, A., Dépoues, V., Guillemot, H., Rajaud, A., Trolliet, M., Vrac, M., Vanderlinden, J.-P., and Yiou, P.: Singular Extreme Events and Their Attribution to Climate Change: A Climate Service–Centered Analysis , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8553,, 2020.