Alpha, and Beta, and Gamma, Oh My!

Feature story - December 5, 2005

This year has broken all records when it comes to hurricanes, from the highest number of storms to the strongest storm on record. And never before have we used the Greek alphabet after running out of planned names. Even now, with the hurricane season officially over on December 1, Hurricane Epsilon is swirling out in the Atlantic.

Hurricanes are only part of the picture when it comes to climate chaos and natural disasters. Scientists are starting to connect the dots from extreme events to global warming. From severe droughts in the West, to severe flooding in the Northeast, to record melting of Arctic ice, there is no question that our weather is becoming more erratic and unpredictable. And scientists are gathering evidence that global warming is the cause.

Scientists have long predicted the consequences of global warming pollution and now we are seeing the predictions come true.  Global warming effectively supercharges the weather, causing increased storm intensity, melting glaciers and polar ice caps, droughts, flooding, heat waves, wildfires and the spread of infectious disease through mosquitoes. 2005 has seen it all.

Here are just a few examples of this year's chaotic weather: