New Report Says Extreme Weather Result of Climate Change

By KBJR News 1

March 15, 2012 Updated Mar 15, 2012 at 6:14 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Two weeks ago we were
shoveling our cars out from under a foot of snow.

This week, we're playing Frisbee golf in the sunshine while it melts around our feet.

A new Environment Minnesota report claims 4 out of 5 Minnesotans live in counties already affected by weather–related disasters since 2006.

While tornadoes have already ripped through the nation's southern states, according to the interactive map on Environment Minnesota's website, St. Louis County hasn't seen any extreme weather—just sunshine.

But the question on everyone's mind: is it typical?

"Oh, no, it's not typical at all. Climate is never average. It's never just the same 33 and 16 every day. It's always going to be turbulent. It's feast or famine," said Northland NewsCenter's chief meteorologist, Adam Clark.

According to Clark, this year's above average conditions—though opposite—were much like the extreme weather patterns the Northland experienced last year: "Last year was below average as far as temperatures, and above average precipitation."

And while it's difficult to tell what the weather has in store for the rest of 2012, Environment Minnesota is already calling the extreme trends a product of climate change.

"Attributing a single year's weather to climate change is not something that you can do comfortably, but when you start to see the same thing over and over again, and you realize that this year was the warmest year in the recorded climatic history, then things start to add up in a hurry," said LSC Biology and Environmental Sciences Instructor Glenn Merrick.

Merrick said his main concern—if climate change is the culprit—is economic: "Then we're going to see issues—economic issues—related to grazing, related to being able to have groundwater recharged in the Ogallala Aquifer."

...concerns that are growing as the temperature rises.

To see the Environment Minnesota's interactive map, you can visit our website at Northland's NewsCenter dot com, where we've added a link.