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Posted Wed Sep 8 2010: from New York Times:
Extreme Weather in a Warming World
The need for developing resilience in the face of worst-case weather is glaring and urgent. With or without shifts propelled by the buildup of human-generated greenhouse gases, as populations continue rising in some of the world's worst climatic "hot zones" -- sub-Saharan Africa being the prime example -- the exposure to risks from drought and heat will continue to climb, as well. In poor places, the risk is exacerbated by persistent poverty, dysfunctional government and a glaring lack of capacity to track climate conditions and design agricultural systems and water supplies around them.... The impact of warming on calamitous weather remains primarily one of frequency. The odds of extreme and prolonged heat or heavy rains will rise with an unabated buildup of warming emissions.... For temperatures, reality is matching the pattern forecast by climate scientists for more than two decades. The prediction? Heat waves -- and new record highs -- are ever more likely while unusually cold stretches -- and new cold records -- are ever less likely. This trend has already been measured over the 48 contiguous states. And there's every sign this will continue, according to a recent study led by scientists at Stanford University.
[Read more stories about: weather extremes, climate impacts]

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