Global warming is an issue that, for most people, conjures up images of melting ice caps and polar bears treading water, but it isn't often associated with extreme downpours.
However, this is exactly what we're seeing happen, according to PennEnvironment's new report. Hotter weather leads to more evaporation from waterways, which creates larger, wetter storms.
Williamsport is no stranger to heavy rainfall.
The year 2011 broke the 39-year-old record for annual rainfall by over 10 inches, receiving over 70 inches of rain last year.
What's worse is that the frequency of these larger more intense storms has increased by 52 percent in our region since 1948, according to PennEnvironment's report entitled "When It Rains, It Pours." This report explains how global warming is leading to an increase in extreme weather events.
Our policy makers need to use this new data to inform their decisions and enact tougher limits on the pollution causing global warming.
This damaging trend is proving economically and environmentally expensive, and our environment and our wallets cannot afford the destruction caused by extreme weather.
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Sara Clark is an intern at PennEnvironment, a statewide citizen-based environmental advocacy organization with members across the Commonwealth, including many in this region.