Climate change drives recent rough weather - Cedar Rapids Gazette

posted Aug 22, 2011, 5:52 AM by James Hodina   [ updated Aug 22, 2011, 5:57 AM by Lynne Carlson ]

The following letter from Charles Crawley to the editor was published August 5, 2011.

The July 28 storm in Dubuque and surrounding areas dumped 15 inches of rain in 12 hours, shattering the previous record.

This is but another example of extreme weather that will become far more common, according to a must-read series of articles recently published in Scientific American ( And the reason for this is climate change.

While the cause of a particular weather event cannot be determined, its likelihood can be, according to the new science of “climate attribution.”

Gene Takle, professor of meteorology at Iowa State University, has data that show a 13 percent rise in moisture over the last 50 years in Des Moines. Was the 2010 flood in Ames caused by this? We cannot be sure, but the dice are now loaded for more such events.

How many wake-up calls do we need or how many can we afford?

Charles R. Crawley

Cedar Rapids