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Extreme Weather And Global Warming

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A new international scientific report by the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, says that the weather extremes we are observing now will only worsen due to global warming.  According to the report the world can expect more floods, more droughts, and greater financial losses from these extreme weather events.  The report even ventures to state that the extremes caused by global warming could grow so severe that some locations in the world become “increasingly marginal as places to live.”  The researchers did not focus on subtle shifts in average temperatures, but looked at the harder to analyze weather anomalies being caused by climate change.  The report stated that rainfall activity and the length of droughts is what we should be worried about.  The recent freak snow storm that hit the East Coast prior to Halloween is not an event they sais is a result of global warming.  But, the monsoons that have hit Thailand, and the flooding that the U.S. experienced this past summer are events that will become more frequent.  Instead of having a 50 year or 100 year rainfall event, these may hasten to become an every 20-year event.  The drought Texas is facing could extend into multiple years instead of an annual event, causing greater economic losses to that state, and eventually causing populations to migrate out of Texas.  Flooding events could cause the same economic and migratory effects that a drought would cause.  Hurricanes will not necessarily become more numerous, but the wind speed and amount of rain could grow and cause greater economic damage in the coming years.  The 18-page summary report isn’t completely grim. It says some “low-regrets measures” can help reduce disaster risks and costs, including better preparedness, sustainable land and water management, better public health monitoring and building improvements.  Scientists on the panel hail from the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, NOAA, MIT, University of Victoria, and from the United Nations World Meteorological Organization.

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