Thursday, June 19, 2008

Warming = More Harmful Climate Extremes

The first thorough federal review of research on how global warming may affect extreme climate events in North America forecasts more drenching rains, parching droughts (especially in the Southwest), intense heat waves and stronger hurricanes if long-lived greenhouse gases continue building in the atmosphere.

The report is distinct from last month’s federal review of specific impacts of warming on agriculture, ecosystems, coasts and the like in the United States, focusing instead on how weather patterns will change.

The report, Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate, is online at The biggest impacts of global warming will be from the shifts in the frequency and duration of extreme events, not the slow rise in the average temperature, it concluded.

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