To promote interdisciplinary collaboration at the Meeting of the Americas, the 2013 AGU Program Committee identified two SWIRL themes: (1) Anthropogenic Influences on the Natural Environment, and (2) Extreme Events.
There can be little doubt of the influence of humans upon the natural environment. This SWIRL traces such influence through a range of impacts, including changes in the composition of the atmosphere, climate variability, alterations in the hydrologic cycle, changes in vegetation type and biomass, expanding urbanization, and induced seismicity.
Although various definitions exist for an extreme event, most agree that the event lies outside the normal occurrence or statistical reference, that is, it is unique or rare and is significant in terms of effects. This SWIRL will highlight research on extreme events that affect the Americas as well as global societies, extreme or severe solar transient events, tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, floods, and heat waves. Presentations will focus on better understanding of causes, processes, and patterns as well as risk to, and impact on, human populations and/or ecosystems.