Nightly News   |  May 25, 2013

Severe weather partly a result of climate change

Damaging tornadoes are an annual springtime threat in parts of the country, but Monday’s massive storm in Oklahoma, in a year that seems to have had more than its share of extreme weather, has many wondering whether things have gotten even more extreme than usual. NBC’s John Yang reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> damaging tornados are an annual springtime threat in parts of this country. but monday's massive storm in oklahoma in a year that seems to have had more than its share of extreme weather , has a lot of us wondering if things have gotten more extreme than usual. john yang takes a look.

>> oh, my god!

>> devastating tornados. sering heat waves , withering droughts and related wildfires and powerful hurricanes. with more people living in the danger zone , whether it's tornado alley or along the coast, when extreme weather does happen, there's a greater chance someone will be impacted.

>> 2012 was the hottest and record and saw 11 disasters that each cost $11 billion in damage. the costliest year since 2005 . superstorm sandy alone, more than $50 billion. this year's already seen record snow cover . across this region, rivers are still rising. massive spring flooding and violent tornado outbreaks including the ef5 twister that mowed down moore, oklahoma. this summer, noaa predicts up to 11 hurricanes in the atlantic.

>> the climate factors all point to an active hurricane season .

>> meteorologists say we're in an active hurricane pattern that began in 1995 when the number of tropical storms and hurricanes tripled from the year before. it's remained high ever since. why all this severe weather ? government scientists say it's the result of manmade climate change .

>> if we continue to increase atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we will warm the globe and that will bring certain risks into play or increase the risks of certain types of extremes.

>> storms may strike quickly, but recovery can take time. right now, 35 states have fema response teams on the ground. work, it seems, that will always be in demand. john.