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Climate change group cites increasing number of severe storms

Wed, 16 May 2012 14:24:57 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

A climate change warning group says the frequency of severe storms with heavy rainfall is accelerating in Illinois and other Midwestern states. Stephen Saunders heads the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization which looked at precipitation data over the last 51 years. Illinois has seen an 83% increase in storms with more than three inches of rain in a day.


Each step up in the size of storm lead to higher growth in the frequency of storms.


He says if greenhouse gas emissions keep going up severe storms could continue to increase.


Saunders says the Midwestern data are similar to results for other geographic areas. High precipitation storms are closely linked to floods and Saunders says the study has strong implications for how cities and rural areas should deal with storm water systems and flood preparations. Total precipitation is up 21% over the half century.


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