Global Warming Effects on Weather

Is Extreme Weather the New Normal?

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TheWorldCounts, 16 May, 2015

Is Extreme Weather the New Normal?

Scientists have continually warned about the increase in extreme weather conditions, and yet whenever a disaster happens, people ask – is this Climate Change? The writing on the wall seems to be blurry and unclear.

Recently, extreme heat waves, droughts and the increasing occurrence of floods have made people look at the topic of human-induced climate change again and question whether it’s driving these extreme weather conditions. The weather has become hotter, colder, drier, stronger, and longer – covering the opposite ends of extreme.

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As an example, in the US 60 years ago, the recorded high temperatures around the country was almost equal to the recorded lows. Currently, the number of record highs have doubled, a clear sign that the planet is indeed warming up and proof that it is influencing the weather conditions around the country.

Extreme weather events have occurred in the past, but lately it seems to be becoming the norm. Several factors have been pointed out as the causes of weather disturbances that do a lot of damage to life and property – which in turn causes issues on health and the economy. It’s a domino of bad news.

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But we can’t seem to make up our minds about it since there are varying points of view on the subject.

Causes of Extreme Weather Conditions

  • A warming planet. Since 1970, our average global temperature has risen by 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.5 degrees Celsius. This is due to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere contributed by humans.
  • More carbon dioxide emissions make the planet just a little bit warmer. On a planetary scale, little shifts in temperature can either make the planet freeze or fry.
  • As the planet’s oceans grow warmer, the rising temperature causes more moisture to evaporate into the atmosphere. The more water in the atmosphere, the bigger the chances of extremely heavy rainfall.
  • The increasing density of the population in rural areas results to increased waste generation. Coupled with poor waste management, the result is flooding.
  • The continued degradation of forests and other natural resources.

There are many causes but it all comes down to one main point. Earth is warming up. An increase of 7 degrees Celsius will cause regions of our planet to become uninhabitable, causing many species of plants and animals to become instinct, threatening our very existence.

Can We Cope With The Extreme Weather Changes?

We have set up safeguards that will protect us from weather disturbances, but the data we used are from the past. The game has changed and we need to re-examine and revisit our coping procedures to ensure that life as we know it will continue and flourish for many generations to come.

Related Articles: The Debate on Global Warming

There’s a lot of work in front of us. But we should remember that we didn’t get here in a year, even a decade. The solution to the problems at hand will be slow, but it can begin with small but sure steps.

Recycle. Conserve. Reduce your Carbon Footprint. Minimize Waste.

Our collective efforts will have a significant effect that will halt the further degradation of our planet.

Increase your awareness of climate change and other issues contributing to extreme weather conditions. Read The World Counts Stories.

Start buying environment friendly products. There’s a better and healthier alternative to most of the consumer products we are using now.

Sources

  1. https://www.climatecommunication.org/new/features/extreme-weather/overview/
  2. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/08/120820-extreme-weather-heat-waves-science-environment-global-warming/
  3. http://www.globalopportunitynetwork.org/resources/risks/extreme_weather.pdf
  4. http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/02/extreme-weather-events-in-our-future-climate/
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_weather

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