With severe weather in the forecast, some people feel storms are becoming more frequent and stronger than in years past. Is that all to blame because of climate change? Some people may agree and others may not. Meteorologist Joe Bird found some newly released reports that seem to contradict each other. However, those reports may actually may go hand in hand.
Many cities suffered a brutal 2013-2014 winter, such as Chicago. The National Weather Service released a report stating that Chicago had the coldest winter on record dating back to 1872. Chief Meteorologist Candice King of WTVO in Rockford, Illinois was one of many who had to bear the cold December through January months. She stated that the average temperature for this past winter 22 degrees and that Chicago received just a little over 80 inches of snow, which made it the third snowiest winter on record.
But a report recently released by the United Nations doesn't match the winter Chicago just experienced...or does it? The report states that threat of global warming has been heightened and that global warming poses a threat to the health of billions of people.
However, not everyone agrees that global warming, which is believed to cause more frequent storms and harsh winters, is completely caused by humans. Larry Johnson of Evansville feels that climate change is real, but doesn't think man has anything to do with it. That's where the big debate on climate change begins.
Dr. Hochwender from the University of Evansville feels that we do play a role in the global warming process. He states that the increasing the amount of carbon dioxide that we put into the atmosphere is a really big player in global warming. According to Dr. Hochwender, we burn a billion tons of coal in the United States every year, which contributes dramatically to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and so it's very unrealistic to say we're not having an impact when we release so much carbon dioxide into the air.
So the million dollar question is, how can there be global warming, yet Chicago having the coldest winter on record? Dr. Hochwender says that while global warming does mean we are gradually warming, that actually causes extreme weather conditions - from extremely cold winters to very hot summers