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Weather expert: "be prepared for the worst"

February 12th, 2014
01:36 PM ET

Is the recent spate of extreme weather around the globe a result of climate change?

Max spoke to Bob Henson, a meteorologist at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, to find out what’s behind the major snowstorms in the U.S. and the devastating flooding in the UK.

Agreeing that climate change is playing a role, Henson says in recent years is that "when it's raining or snowing hard, it tends to be raining or snowing a little bit harder."

He attributes the more extreme weather we're seeing now to the change in sea levels. "Sea levels are undoubtedly and absolutely rising, and are expected to continue to do so, at least by a few inches over the coming decades, possibly by as much as a foot by the end of the century."

This impacts the weather on land because "storms move and strike on top of an existing sea level that's getting higher and higher, so that makes the storms even more able to inflict serious damage."

As governments try to figure out how to tackle this issue, Henson offered this piece of advice: "You have to be prepared for the worst you might expect, and that worst might be worse than anything you've ever seen."

Text: Floods hit homes in England as wild weather batters Europe

Text: Whiteout, then blackouts as frigid Northeast digs out of snowstorm


Filed under:  Climate change • Environment • United Kingdom • United States • Weather
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