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Global warming is the 'new normal'

Given events like Snowmageddon, Hurricane Irene, and last month's derecho storm, it's no wonder officials are calling the recent uptick of extreme weather the "new normal" ("Severe weather renews climate-change talks in Washington, Annapolis," Aug. 1).

To drive home the point, a recent Environment Maryland report confirms that extreme rainstorms and snowstorms are happening 55 percent more frequently in the Mid-Atlantic region than in 1948. And the strongest storms in Maryland are dumping 14 percent more precipitation.

Scientists have said this trend toward heavier rainstorms is linked to global warming. The warmer climate increases evaporation and enables the air to hold more water, which provides more fuel for heavier rainstorms.

These storms have been immensely costly and damaging, as your article pointed out. To help limit their impact in the future, it's critical we do everything possible to cut the carbon pollution that fuels global warming.

Gov.Martin O'Malleyhas shown great leadership on this issue, and state agencies have drafted a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon emissions statewide by at least 25 percent by 2020. The governor and his staff should ensure that this plan is as robust, detailed and realistic as needed to achieve the required reductions.

Connor Acle, Baltimore

The writer is a field organizer for the advocacy group Environment Maryland.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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