|Adapting to extreme weather: Part 1|
|Written by James J. Hoorman|
|Thursday, February 14, 2013 1:49 PM|
By James J. Hoorman
In 2011, the wettest and warmest year on record occurred followed by the hot weather and drought of 2012. Weather experts say that the last 50 years were rather “mild” in relationship to weather changes but we now are entering an era where we should expert “extreme” weather changes.
Weather and climate both deal with atmospheric conditions like temperature, cloud cover, and precipitation. Weather describes short term events like what the temperature is today, while climate deals with average weather changes over time, like what is the average temperature. Global warming is a term used to describe the increase in average temperatures due to greenhouse gases. Climate change describes changes in precipitation (rainfall or snow), wind patterns, sea levels, extreme events, and includes temperature changes. In the future, while Midwestern USA is expected to heat up, the west coast may actually be cooler than normal. In the next several decades due to “climate change”, we should expect average temperatures to rise, expect more intense precipitation and storms, longer growing seasons, earlier snow melts, and changes in plant and animal migrations.
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