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“Going to the Extremes” – Climate Change and Weather Events

With the recent occurrence of Hurricane Sandy, climate change has once again been drawn to our attention. More and more evidence is being discovered linking climate change to extreme weather events. In September 2012, the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Energy and Commerce teamed up to put together this report: Going to Extremes: Climate Change and the Increasing Risk of Weather Disasters, further confirming that as the average global temperature rises, the number and severity of weather events continues to increase.

The  report focuses on weather phenomena from 2012, particularly extreme temperatures and drought. “This extreme summer follows a period of unusual weather that has plagued the country for more than a year, including an unusually warm winter and an early spring drought. In fact, August 2011 to July 2012 is the warmest 12-month period that the continental United States has experienced since the beginning of record keeping in 1895.” 90% of record temperatures in 2012  were highs, where in a world unaffected by climate change an even split of record highs and lows would occur. Other weather events are also briefly mentioned in “Going to the Extremes”, including storms, wildfires, and changing water levels due to lack of precipitation. Continue reading “Going to the Extremes” – Climate Change and Weather Events