Weather extremes are 'the new normal,' scientists warn

Red Lodge Clearinghouse-'This summer is a good wake-up call not to take nature lightly,' said Katherine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University. 'No matter people's perspectives about climate change, this year has helped highlight our vulnerability. Climate change increases our risk of what happens naturally'.

With record blizzards, epic flooding, devastating drought and a heat wave that has burned a broad swath of the country, 2011's weather, which has been labeled by climate scientists as the worst in America's history, has been unrelenting and exceptional.

"This summer is a good wake-up call not to take nature lightly," said Katherine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University. "No matter people's perspectives about climate change, this year has helped highlight our vulnerability. Climate change increases our risk of what happens naturally".

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