News / Science & Technology

    Scientists Warn Severe Weather to Increase in Near Future

    U.S. climate scientists say they expect more heavy rains and droughts in the near future. Weather experts were speaking before a panel of U.S. lawmakers in Washington.  The Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. was also at the discussion.  He says extreme weather in Pakistan this year is creating security concerns that could extend beyond the borders of his country.



    In Pakistan and Russia, in China and the United States, torrential rains and severe heat have killed thousands of people and left many more homeless.

    Appearing before U.S. lawmakers, these climate scientists said heavy rains have been increasing around the world, causing devastating floods.  

    One reason -- the planet is getting hotter, and warmer air holds more water. Michael Wehner, a climate scientist from California,. says he expects extreme weather to become the norm. "The intensity of future rare heat waves are projected to be unprecedented with temperatures to be higher than it has ever been seen. I expect that daily high temperature records will continue to be broken at high rates across the United States and much of the world in the foreseeable future," he said.

    Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, says this year his country experienced the worst monsoon rains in its history.  At their peak, he says more than 20 percent of Pakistan was underwater. "Unfortunately, the country is getting hotter. The summers are lengthening and the winters are shrinking and becoming milder. Monsoons, the main source of water in our rivers, are becoming totally unpredictable," he said.

    Ambassador Haqqani says the flooding in Pakistan is also causing security concerns. "There is the prospect and possibility of insurgent and extremist groups taking advantage of the circumstances," he said.

    The ambassador says Pakistani security forces have been diverted from fighting terrorism to helping with flood relief, leaving the country vulnerable.

    He says one of the main causes of extreme weather is human activity. "Our scientists in Pakistan believe that green house gases emitted by factories, motor vehicles and even farm animals across the world are contributing to rising global temperatures," he said.

    Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner insisted that global warming is not linked to extreme weather. "This is about how to tie this natural disaster to the Democrats' environmental agenda which will do nothing to stop the monsoon rains in Pakistan. There is no evidence of a direct link between climate change and these floods," he said.

    These scientists say while they cannot tie any single severe weather event to climate change and global warming, they say the increase in greenhouse gases and man made pollutants will increase the likelihood of more extreme weather in the future.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora