“The atmosphere is on steroids.”
From Face the Nation today:
BOB SCHIEFFER: Doctor Cullen, there’s no question that it’s getting warmer. We have a graphic here that just shows 2012 was the hottest year on record. It shows how much hotter it was. The entire country was affected. Is this going to get any better or is it going to get worse?
HEIDI CULLEN (Climate Central): It’s not going to get any better if we don’t do anything about it. I mean right now we’ve added about a degree and a half of extra warming to our atmosphere, the planet is that much warmer. And so what we are talking about is how does that extra degree and a half affect our day-to-day weather? And so right now I’d say that, you know, the jury is still out as to how global warming will affect tornadoes, which of those two variables will win out. But when it comes to things like heat waves, when it comes to things like heavy rainstorms, drought, wildfires, we know that, you know, the– the atmosphere is on steroids, if you will. So basically, you know, we know that we’d have to deal with weather-related risks. We live in a country that has always seen extreme weather. We’re basically moving in a direction where we’re going to see more and more of certain of these extremes and– and as we heard before that– that stuff is really expensive.