No Denying Climate Change Impact on Extreme Weather Patterns – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
This story originally appeared on LX.com
More than 4.2 million people in Texas woke up Tuesday morning with no electricity when record-breaking cold weather caused residents to crank up electric heaters and drive electricity demand beyond the worst possible scenarios grid operators had envisioned.
Worse still, the deadly winter storm that struck the south of the country shows no signs of indulgence as more snow and ice were predicted late Tuesday and Wednesday along a storm front stretching from Texas to the Appalachians.
Texas has been particularly vulnerable as the state’s main electrical grid is largely separate from the rest of the country and is primarily designed to handle the most predictable weather extremes. But rising temperatures last summer spurred millions of Texans to turn on their air conditioners at once. And this week’s winter storms, which buried the state in snow and ice, brought the grid to its breaking point.
As Texas and other parts of the country seek shelter and prepare for a second wave of winter storms, some are questioning what role climate change has played in these extreme weather patterns across the country.
Chris Gloninger, a meteorologist at NBC10 Boston, told NBCLX that there was a clear link.
“There are waves in the jet stream and due to climate change and the warmer air in the Arctic and the largely ice-free Arctic Sea, these waves can go far south,” said Gloninger. “Places like Alaska or Iceland, which are in their low 40s today, are warmer than places like Texas, Louisiana or Oklahoma. That’s why we see these extremes.”
Author Michael E. Mann, who wrote “The New Climate War,” told NBCLX earlier this month that extreme weather has made it harder for climate change deniers to claim that there is no problem.
“We’re really that close to seeing the measures we need to tackle the climate crisis,” said Mann. “But there are still barriers thrown in our way by the same institutions that denied climate change years ago. There is no way to deny it now because people can see it in real time of unprecedented, devastating weather. ” Events. “