Saturday, June 21, 2008
Rough Seas Ahead
By Larry Wheeler, Gannett News Service
WASHINGTON — If you think the weather is getting more extreme, you're right — and global warming caused by human activity probably is the reason, according to a report released Thursday by a panel of government scientists.
The report comes as the Midwest copes with record rainfall and catastrophic flooding.
There is strong evidence the increasing frequency of extreme rain, heat, drought and tropical storms is caused by global climate change, according to the report from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.
"Changes in some weather and climate extremes are attributable to human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases," the study authors concluded.
The report is a synthesis of the latest research on extreme weather in the U.S. and comes after nearly six months that saw a record number of tornadoes, unusual winter warmth and record-setting precipitation in many regions.
CLIMATE CRYSTAL BALL
According to the U.S. Climate Change Science Program's most recent 3.3 report, people can expect these environmental changes in the future:
Hot temperatures and heat waves will be more likely, as the number of cold nights and "frost days" will decrease.
Strong waves will erode Arctic coastlines in Alaska and Canada
The Atlantic and Pacific basins will be hit with harder cold-season storms, packed with stronger winds and taller waves.
Source: Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate brochure by CCSP.
Wild and woolly weather set to continue over much of the Midwest and East, while the West bakes in record heat.
How bad can it get? It's just a typical Earth cycle they say, even as such, the devastation is enormous. We are at the mercy of the wind, water, and fire.
Batten down the hatches and stow the mainsail, rough seas ahead.