Scientists blame weather disasters on global warming
(National-NBC) Oct. 18, 2005 - Hurricanes, floods, mudslides and other weather disasters are hitting the US from coast to coast.
A new report says these conditions could be the norm in the US over the next 100 years. A team of climatologists say it's the result of global warming and greenhouse gases, a report that other scientists say is a lot of hot air.
It's already a record-tying year for hurricanes and tropical storms. Parts of the northeast have been flooded out after a week of rain. There was even enough water to overwhelm a century-old dam in Massachussetts.
But these may be remembered as the good old days by our grandchildren, if a new report on the effects of greenhouse gases is right. Climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh of Purdue University , "The climate regime of the could become more severe."
Noah Diffenbaugh led a Purdue University study that predicts growing emissions of gases like carbon dioxide from factories and cars and methane could lead to regular flooding in some regions, and in others, "We could see much more frequent heat waves and extreme hot events. We could see more droughts."
The Purdue study hinges on the theory greenhouse gases will double in a hundred years from sources like traffic and factories. A researcher from Stanford University says disappearing tropical rain forests are making the buildup worse.
But one critic doubts greenhouse gas levels will double. Environmental scientist Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute counters, "This report is yet another report that uses an extreme scenario... "
Diffenbaugh stands by the findings, but, "I'd be thrilled to be wrong on this."
If the Purdue team is right, temperatures in some areas could shoot up 18 degrees higher than they are right now.