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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid