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More Extreme Weather

by Kent Ehrhardt

KMOV.com

Posted on July 4, 2008 at 10:11 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 3:30 PM

I doubt you've ever heard me refer to "Global Warming" on TV. That doesn't mean I don't address global climate though. I prefer to refer to it as "Climate Change". I'm no expert on it but I have attended several confrences that focused on the changing climate of our planet. In fact more and more meteorological conferences over the past few years have dedicated much of their content to Climatology. In a nutshell here's my thoughts:

* The earth has, and will continue to, move through a cycle of climate change. This is a natural process caused by a number of dynamics including the solar cycle.

* I am always skeptical of anyone who quotes hard numbers regarding long term forecast changes in temperature, sea level rise or even greenhouse gasses. Most of these numbers are output from climate models. We're still trying to perfect tomorrow's forecast so I find predicting numbers out decades and even centuries is pretty sketchy. That does NOT mean these models don't have any skill or value.

* Using the evidence collected thus far I believe we can conclude that human beings have made an imprint on the climate of the earth. That imprint is superimposed upon the earth's own natural cycle and the degree of anthroplogical input is difficult, if not impossible, to measure.

* Regardless of how much future climate change is naturally or anthroplogically induced, it certainly appears likely that our children's children will be dealing with a different climate than what we are experiencing today, perhaps much different.

* As important as it is to find ways of reducing greenhouse gas production, I think it is just as important for us to develop adaptive strategies to deal with the changing environment. I think there is a HUGE investment opportunity in these technologies.

* I think that a big part of our changing climate will be an increase in the number and intensity of severe weather events. This goes back to my original thoughts regarding my preference to refer to it as climate change as opposed to global warming. I think we will be seeing an overall increase in the number and intensities of hurricanes, cold waves, heat waves, droughts, floods, snow storms, tornadoes etc.

* I'm no "tree hugger" but one thing seems crystal clear to me. We can not continue to pollute our planet and it's atmosphere without some significant negative effects. Finding ways to reduce any and all pollution and developing adaptive strategies should be a major priority in the years to come.

With that in mind here's a link to an article our local National Weather Service office posted on their website. You may find it an interesting read.

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