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Climate change means more extreme weather?

Climate change means more extreme weather?
A volcano in southern Chile, some 600 miles south of Santiago, erupts in a storm with lightning for a second day on June 5, 2011, shooting out a cloud of ash six miles high. Residents evacuated from the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano complex area, and there have been no injuries. UPI/Miguel Angel Bustos | License Photo

NEW YORK, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urges governments to come up with ways to cope with extreme weather expected during the next century.

The report predicts "substantial warming" of temperature extremes by 2100, with the length, frequency and intensity of heat waves increasing over most land areas.

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The authors say there is "medium confidence" that droughts will become more severe in many parts of the world, including central North America, Central America, Mexico and northeastern Brazil.

The 29-page document released Friday, involving more than 100 scientists from around the world, is a summary of a larger report expected to be released in February. It comes ahead of the U.N. climate summit in Durban, South Africa, later this month.

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"As we said in the 2007 assessment report floods, droughts, and heatwaves will all increase," said Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC. "We abide by that, and we hope the world accepts it. We can never link a specific event, but the aggregate analysis is totally sound."

The authors say there is at least a 66 percent chance climate extremes can be attributed to greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities, including coal-fired power plants and fuel burned through transportation.

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"Projected changes in climate extremes under different emissions scenarios generally do not strongly diverge in the coming two to three decades, but these signals are relatively small compared with natural climate variability over this timeframe," the report says.

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"It is virtually certain that increases in the frequency and magnitude of warm daily temperature extremes and decreases in cold extremes will occur in the 21st century on the global scale. It is likely that the frequency of heavy precipitation or the proportion of total rainfall from heavy falls will increase in the 21st century over many areas of the globe."

The National Climate Data Center says this year has already set a record for billion-dollar disasters in the nation, with at least 10 of the disasters approaching a total of $50 billion.

The Climate Corp., a San Francisco company providing weather insurance for farmers, uses climate modeling to help determine rates. Because the weather has become so unpredictable, says Chief Executive Officer David Friedberg, more corn and soybean farmers are willing to pay an extra $30 to $40 an acre to insure their crops.

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"What we see is really the acute pain experienced by farmers because they're suffering from more floods and more droughts than they've ever experienced," Friedberg told The Washington Post.

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