VPRIG says severe storms are caused by climate change
12/05/07 7:04AM By John Dillon
(Host) Vermont environmental activists say New England is experiencing more frequent bouts of severe weather - and that climate change is to blame.
The report was released by the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. It says that the number of storms with heavy rain or snow fall are now 61 percent more frequent than they were 60 years ago.
Bill McKibben is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College and wrote the first book on global warming for a general audience. He says the report shows what scientists have long predicted would be the first signs of a changing climate.
(McKibben) ``Those predictions are panning out. It's not rocket science, this question of precipitation. Warm air holds more water vapor than cold air does. Hence, when you begin to raise the temperature, you get more evaporation in arid areas. Hence, you get more drought .... But once that water is up in the atmosphere, it's going to come down some place. And when it comes down now, it's coming down more and more in deluge or torrent, not in sort of typical rain.''
(Host) VPIRG says the report is timely because a U.S. Senate committee is debating a climate change bill this week.
On a national level, the report says that severe storms have increased 24 percent across the U.S. since 1948. The report was compiled using data from 3,000 weather stations.