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Activists Link Extreme D.C. Weather, Climate Change

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Environmental activists say that unless more is done to curb global warming, extreme weather like "Snowmageddon" will become more frequent.
Dominic Campbell: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dominiccampbell/4350651654/
Environmental activists say that unless more is done to curb global warming, extreme weather like "Snowmageddon" will become more frequent.

Some environmental activists say continued global warming is going to result in more extreme weather for residents in the D.C. region. Whether it was flash flooding from Tropical Storm Lee last summer, "Snowmageddon" in 2010, or record heat waves, Sarah Bucci says extreme weather is fast becoming the new normal.

Nine out of ten Virginians live in areas that have been hit by environmental disasters in the last five years.  And Bucci, an organizer with the advocacy group Environment Virginia, says we can expect more of the same.

"Global Warming is projected to bring more frequent heavy downpours and snowfalls," says Gucci. "Heat waves will become more common. And hurricanes may become even more intense."

Jim Kinter, a professor of climate dynamics at George Mason University in Virginia explains why that is. He says the warmer the planet gets, the more likely it is for powerful storms to gather.

"When you increase the temperature of the planet, you're increasing the energy of the climate system," says Kinter. "And when you increase the energy of the climate system, that means there's more water available for rain storms, there's more energy available for dynamics for storms"

To help stem the changes, Bucci's group is calling for stricter standards for coal-fired power plants in order to reduce carbon pollution and slow climate change.

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