The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that climate change will make the drought and flooding events that have battered the United States and other countries in 2011 more frequent in years to come, forcing nations to rethink the way they cope with disasters. The report suggests that researchers are far more confident about the prospect of more intense heat waves and heavy downpours than they are about how global warming is affecting hurricanes and tornadoes.
 
The report says there is at least a 66 percent chance that climate extremes have changed as a result of greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities, including coal-fired power plants and fuel burned through transportation. It notes that – economic losses from weather- and climate-related disasters are increasing.
 
But the new analysis also speaks to a broader trend: The world is facing a new reality of more extreme weather. Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and one of the report’s reviewers, says the report highlights why climate change means more than just a gradual rise in the global temperature reading. Meehl, explains that – as average temperatures go up, it’s fairly obvious that heat extremes go up and the number of low extremes go down.
 
NAFB News Service