Statistics of Weather and Climate Extremes


Sir Ronald Fisher:

"The one 'chance in a million' will occur, with no less and no more than its appropriate frequency, however surprised we may be that it should occur to us."

Emil Gumbel:

"It seems that the rivers know the theory. It only remains to convince the engineers of the validity of this analysis."

"Il est impossible que l'improbable n'arrive jamais."

"Il y aura toujours une valeur qui dépassera toutes les autres."

Nassim Taleb:

"Extremistan: the province where the total can be conceivably impacted by a single observation."

John Tukey:

"As I am sure almost every geophysicist knows, distributions of actual errors and fluctuations have much more straggling extreme values than would correspond to the magic bell-shaped distribution of Gauss and Laplace."

President's Water Commission (1950):

"However big floods get, there will always be a bigger one coming; so says one theory of extremes, and experience suggests it is true."

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