Storm Data Shows Links to Global Warming: Report

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Two vicious thunderstorms that slammed New Jersey in the past month are part of a trend that the northeast is experiencing due to global warming, according to a new report released by Environment New Jersey.

“When it Rains, It Pours” analyzed storm data for the past 65 years and found a 33 percent rise in severe rainstorms.

The increase is due to higher temperatures creating more evaporation of water into the atmosphere, said Matt Elliott of Environment New Jersey. But the extra rainfall doesn't mean the state won't face water shortages and drought because higher levels of evaporation are also drying out soil.

“So we're kind of getting hit at both ends here,” Elliott said. “Where we're seeing more rain and more intense storms and also more drought and less water left in the ground.”

The research can't claim that any one storm is the result of global warming, but the frequency of severe storms can be tied to upward trend of higher temperatures, Elliott said.

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