ST. LOUIS (CBS ST. LOUIS) – Global warming will spawn more deadly thunderstorms and tornadoes by the end of this century, especially in the Midwest, according to a new study.

“There now is considerable evidence that the occurrence and intensity of climate extremes have been increasing in recent decades, and that continued global warming likely will amplify these changes,” says the climate analysis, led by Stanford scientists.

They predict the number of killer storms in the United States could increase by 2070. The study’s authors warn that warmer weather will create atmospheric conditions that increase the number and severity of storm systems. They looked at computer models which factored in rising temperatures and the formation of severe storms.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said this past August tied as the fourth warmest since record keeping began in 1880.

Scientists say as the air in the low atmosphere gets warmer, it rises and carries its moisture to higher altitudes. To become a severe thunderstorm, it must collide with a strong vertical wind shear, a strong current that organizes and sustains a storm.

The report suggests bigger and deadlier storms will sweep across the eastern part of the country, with the biggest increases over the Central U.S.  during the Spring seasons.

The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.


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