Stronger Storms, Deeper Droughts Coming, Federal Report Says

The U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research published the first comprehensive analysis of observed and projected changes in weather and climate extremes in North America on June 19. It says droughts, heavy downpours, excessive heat, and intense hurricanes are likely to become more common as atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases rise.

"This report addresses one of the most frequently asked questions about global warming: What will happen to weather and climate extremes? This synthesis and assessment product examines this question across North America and concludes that we are now witnessing and will increasingly experience more extreme weather and climate events," said the report's co-chair, Tom Karl, Ph.D., director of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

"We will continue to see some of the biggest impacts of global warming coming from changes in weather and climate extremes," said Co-chair Gerry Meehl, Ph.D., of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. "This report focuses for the first time on changes of extremes specifically over North America." The report, "Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate," and a summary brochure are available at www.climatescience.gov/.

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