Stateside: A morning jog in December, courtesy of global warming

Dec 4, 2012

It's December and joggers' shorts are still short.

Atypical high temperatures continue throughout the state, something Dr. Jeff Masters says is in line with a warming climate.

Masters, who co-founded the Weather Underground, is reasonably concerned.

"It doesn't feel very right. We have seen a number of winter-time thunderstorms and it's definitely not right. The climate has shifted to a warmer state," said Masters.

"We're seeing natural extremes, too. You wouldn't see these temperatures if there wasn't a natural component."

According to Masters, numerous factors contribute to the warming.

"The jet stream is partially responsible, when it takes a path far to the north, that allows warm air from over the Gulf of Mexico to move northward," said Masters.

Masters also noted the massive drought occurring in the middle of the country.

"Drought is the most serious danger we face from climate change because it affects the two things we need to survive: food and water," said Masters.

The melting polar ice greatly contributes to the changing climate.

"The record ice we saw melt was a big concern. If you warm the Arctic like that, you're going to change large-scale weather patterns. You've disrupted the normal temperature differences between the equator and pole and the jet stream is going to have to respond," said Masters.

-Cameron Stewart

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