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Sep 6, 2016 3:37 PM

Joe Knows: Extreme weather - hot and cold - not in your imagination

What a stretch of weather this has been!

This summer will go down as one of the warmest and driest on record. This comes after the warmest winter on record thanks to a Super El Nino in the Pacific. This recent warm turn of events all comes after the winter of 2014-2015 which brought one of the coldest and snowiest winter’s on record. Talk about a swing of extremes!

Scientists are saying this is not just your imagination and there is a pattern of increasing extreme weather. According to the U.S. Climate Extremes Index, which considers the frequency and extent of extreme weather nationwide, three of the past six years have ranked in the top ten for most extreme weather. 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 all broke records for the hottest year on record globally.

While there have been extremes on the cold and dry side, most of the increase in the frequency of extreme weather has been driven by unusually warm temperatures and unusually high levels of precipitation.

These events fit with what experts say is the expected result of human-induced climate change. Greenhouse gases trapping the sun’s radiation are leading to more warmth, more rain, more flooding, and more sea level rise as glaciers continue to recede. With each broken record, the trend becomes more alarming.

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