Experts say recent extreme weather made more likely by climate change

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 4:19 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - From extreme heat, droughts, and destructive flooding, extreme weather has affected millions across the country in recent weeks.

Just about everyone can agree that temperatures are rising on average across the globe. We know that greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere--that’s how our planet holds heat. The evidence is clear that additional greenhouse gases humans are putting into the atmosphere are intensifying our planet’s warming.

As the average temperature rises, extreme heat events become more likely. Climate experts have been warning that we can expect “more extreme extremes” as the climate changes. That includes flooding events.

Travis O’Brien, a meteorology professor at Indiana University, notes that a warmer atmosphere means more heat extremes, which is well-known from climate studies. He also acknowledges a warmer atmosphere can hold more water, meaning an increase in temperature leads to more fuel for storms.

In other words, recent extreme heat and flooding is evidence before our eyes that climate change is happening, as these are the expected results of an increasing average temperature.

Of course, it’s normal for us to see ups and downs in our weather and in our climate. We’ve seen that ourselves in recent springs, which have been colder than normal. We’ve also always had some extreme heat and flooding, but these events are becoming more common.

The overall global trend is clear, showing increasing temperatures on average across the globe, and an increasing number of extreme heat events, droughts, and flooding.

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