Right now we're experiencing extreme heat -- hotter than it's ever been -- in Southern California (116 in Palm Springs, 109 in Woodland Hills) and the Santa Cruz area (111 degrees in Corralitos, 105 degrees in Watsonville...) And Iowa's flooding is an extreme weather pattern that used to happen once every 500 years and now happens once every 15 years.
Friday researchers concluded that it's only going to get worse. "Droughts will get dryer, storms will get stormier and floods will get deeper with the changing climate," the AP reports, citing new government data. "Events that have seemed relatively rare will become commonplace, said the latest report...a joint effort of more than a dozen government agencies."
"The data are quite clear," says a U.S. precipitation expert. "We're in an era when these heavy rain events have been occurring more frequently."
Researchers have also identified other new patterns of extreme weather phenomenon.
Heavy downpours are now more common in northern states, and rainfall could quadruple by the end of the century -- plaguing other parts of the country with drought. "When it rains, it rains harder," says the director of the National Climatic Data Center, "and when it's not raining, it's warmer — there is more evaporation, and droughts can last longer."
And the AP reports the researcher's conclusion that we're already feeling some of the effects -- that "The Southwestern drought that began in 1999 is beginning to rival some of the greatest droughts on record including those of the 1930s and 1950s."
And the evidence is pointing to global warming.
Who are the environmental extremists behind this study?
It's the Department of Defense, the Department of State, NASA, the Department of Transportation, U.S. Geological Survey, Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and The Smithsonian Institution.