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'Warm summers and stronger storms': Climatologist on climate change and extreme weather

An American flag is torn as Hurricane Irma passes through Naples, Fla., Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

CORVALLIS, Ore. - With all of the strange weather patterns seen around the world this summer, many are wondering whether or not these are signs of climate change.

Kathie Dello, a Climatologist at Oregon State University has been studying weather conditions over long periods of time.

She has seen temperatures across the nation rise over the past few years, and she says this is a direct sign of climate change.

"We always talked about these impacts that would happen in the future, and we still talk about these things," said Dello. "But we are seeing record heat events - these huge storms - we are seeing bigger wildfires. Climate change certainly making these more likely."

Here in Oregon, Dello says warmer temperatures could impact the upcoming weather.

"Rough for ski resorts, rough for the critters that live in the mountains and produced one of the biggest droughts we've seen in the last decades. We really rely on that mountain snow pack not just for fun, but for our summer resources," said Dello.

Unless we reduce our carbon footprint, this will continue to happen.

"We are altering our climate, we are changing our atmosphere, we are heating up our planet," said Dello. "Warm summers and stronger storms is something that is going to come with it."

For people in Dello's profession, events like we've seen this summer are hard to watch.

"It's difficult to see this kind of destruction happen to people. It's difficult to comprehend that this could keep happening," said Dello.

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