Climate models have long predicted that severe storms and other extreme weather will become more frequent and intense as global warming pumps more energy into the atmosphere.
But scientists have shied away about making predictions about the smaller weather events, like tornadoes and thunderstorms, because local weather conditions are so variable and hard to tie to larger climate trends.
No more is that the case, as a new NASA study shows, according to an AP story today. One consequence of a warmer climate is a greater chance of updrafts, the precursor to thunderstorms and tornadoes, according to the NASA research. More updrafts + more heat energy = more intense and frequent storms.
Ask farmers who have lost apples to bursts of hail, or people who have lost homes to floods or wild twisters, and you will see that "small" storm is a term of art. These storms have real consequences, nearly every day, across the nation.
Other scientists quoted by the AP caution that this is a leading-edge study making hypotheses that need more testing before they can be trusted as truth.
But it's another indication that the weather in the backyard, across this country, will change in concert with the global changes and that the impact of global warming will not be relegated to remote corners of the earth.
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