by Max Brantley
How hot? Hot enough to talk more, and seriously, about global warming and/or climate change. I know. There's that guy in England with the e-mails and it snowed in Washington a lot last winter and if Limbaugh and Greenberg think it's all a hoax .... Still, there's this from NY Times.
The floods battered New England, then Nashville, then Arkansas, then Oklahoma — and were followed by a deluge in Pakistan that has upended the lives of 20 million people.
The summer’s heat waves baked the eastern United States, parts of Africa and eastern Asia, and above all Russia, which lost millions of acres of wheat and thousands of lives in a drought worse than any other in the historical record.
Seemingly disconnected, these far-flung disasters are reviving the question of whether global warming is causing more weather extremes.
The collective answer of the scientific community can be boiled down to a single word: probably.
Oh, and re those heavy snowfalls:
“Global warming, ironically, can actually increase the amount of snow you get,” said Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. “But it also means the snow season is shorter.”