Dangerous weather extremes have brought heat waves, devastating wildfires and droughts to much of the United States in recent weeks, but climate experts warn this could just be the first glimpse into what global warming has in store for us.
Climate scientists suggest that the summer’s wild weather fit predictions with what will happen because of climate change, but suggest that it’s still too early to know for certain. Though the can’t say for certain that global warming is behind the 3,215 daily high temperature records set in June, scientists are taking the extreme weather as a warning, the Associated Press reported.
“This is what global warming looks like at the regional or personal level,” Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona, told the Associated Press. “The extra heat increases the odds of worse heat waves, droughts, storms and wildfire. This is certainly what I and many other climate scientists have been warning about.”
This summer more than 2.1 million acres of land have been destroyed by wildfires and two-thirds of the country is expecting drought. The conditions aren’t limited to hot and dry weather—sudden and torrential rains caused flooding in Minnesota and Florida as well in June.
The predictions about unpredictable weather have been clear. In March the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, seen as the leading research group on the issue, warned about “unprecedented extreme weather and climate events,” the Associated Press reported.
The reports come as global warming actually dropped on the list of Americans’ biggest environmental problems, the Washington Post reported. Climate change fell to No. behind air and water pollution on the list, which was compiled in a Washington Post-Stanford University poll. Americans still see global warming as a major problem and want to see governments and businesses do more to address it, the poll found.
Do you think global warming is the cause of this summer’s extreme weather?