Extreme weather and large, deadly wildfires have been making headline news in the U.S. recently. Is this just coincidence/fluke, or is there something more to it? Is climate change to blame?
Dr. Kevin Trenberth, who is a Distinguished Senior Scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research voiced his opinion in a recent video interview with PBS' Judy Woodruff. Video courtesy of PBS and YouTube.
What do you think of Trenberth's comments?
I will add.....In terms of U.S. wildfires, the season did get off to an early start and there have been some very large fires, but statistically, the U.S. is still running well behind the 10-year normal this season (through this date) in terms of the number of fires and slightly behind in terms of acres burned. See here.
However, with the heat expected to build west and the continuing bark beetle situation with the trees, the number of fires and acres burned could still easily end up above normal at the end of the season. Time will tell.
Also, June 2012 was not nearly as warm (relative to normal) compared to May in the U.S. as the Pacific Northwest and the East Coast averaged near to below normal. The heat was concentrated in the Rockies.
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March 2018 ranked as the sixth warmest March on record while Arctic sea ice continues to run well below normal.
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) has slowed down since the mid-20th century.
High tide coastal flooding has become much more common along the U.S. East Coast over the last 20 years.
The annual maximum Arctic sea ice extent will end up being the second lowest in the satellite record
Extreme winter weather is two to four times more likely to occur in the eastern U.S. when the Arctic is abnormally warm versus abnormally cold.
Warmer and wetter summers may cause some unexpected negative impacts in the near future