Expert hopeful of positive outcomes in climate change summit - WNEM TV 5

Expert hopeful of positive outcomes in climate change summit

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Rhett Mohler is an assistant professor at Saginaw Valley State University. He's studied climate change for years.

"Michigan will probably and is to some extent experiencing the same effects that much of the United States will," Mohler said.

He said our lifestyle has led to high levels of carbon in the atmosphere which warm the earth, making climate change a factor right here in Michigan.

"We can expect that as the climate continues to warm heat waves will get more intense, droughts will get more intense, even storms could get more intense and you could have more rainfall," Mohler said.

Michigan has experienced a warmer than average fall thanks to El Nino. But, El Nino is something that is not a result of climate change.

"It's based more on global circulation patterns than on a warming globe," Mohler said.

Mohler said the warm Pacific Ocean waters behind El Nino can't be blamed on climate change. But he believes instances of extreme weather can be.

He said if something isn't done we'll have to deal with all different kinds of intense weather. But he believes it's not too late to reverse the trend.  Mohler is optimistic leaders attending the climate change summit in Paris will come up with a solution for a healthier planet.

"It's our habits burning fossil fuels, cutting down forest and releasing this carbon in the atmosphere," Mohler said. "And so if we want to do something about it and not just resign to our fate and roll the dice and see what happens then we have to address those particular issues."

Next to China, the United States is the world’s greatest source of pollution.

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