We are experiencing the warmest weather patterns recorded in the modern record. Do our grandchildren think it is warmer than usual? Would our grandparents have felt that it was generally colder during their lifetime? Can we quantify their generational experience? An analysis of three overlapping statistical baselines allows comparison of three climatological periods, 1910 to 1970, 1930 to 1990, and 1950 to 2010.
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More intense precipitation events are occurring worldwide in both dry and wet climates. What has changed is the overall temperature constraint in the system. When the globe is warmer, there is more energy to work with. More heat - that is, more energy - begets more intense precipitation, and the possibility of more floods and more droughts. The most immediate threats of warming result from the changing risks of extreme weather. Unlike sea level rise which is real but less perceptible, this influence is already upon us and apparent.