According to a report by U.S. Public Interest Research Group " a public science watchdog group in Washington, D.C. " global warming came on with a vengeance in 2006, resulting in the highest temperatures in 30 years in Oklahoma.
"Warmer-than-average days hit Texas and the Great Plains the hardest in 2006, with average peak temperatures soaring more than 5 (degrees Fahrenheit) above normal in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma," the study notes. "Oklahoma City experienced 108 days where the temperature peaked at 90 (degrees) or higher, 40 days more than the historical average."
Brittany Brewer, U.S. PIRG spokeswoman, said the higher temperatures are strong indicators that global warming is changing the climate. While 5 degrees on average may not seem like much, she said that the temperature is equivalent to having a fever.
"You have to think of the environment the same way," she said. "It really does have an effect. The results are immense. It makes erratic weather patterns."
However, not everyone agrees. A climatologist at the University of Oklahoma, associate professor David Deming, said groups like U.S. PIRG are jumping on a bandwagon of claims that can't be scientifically supported.
"I'm a little cynical," Deming said. "People have such a short timeline perspective on things. We have a human perspective. Climate unfolds over the geologic perspective. Every summer, somewhere in the world, someplace, there is a record high temperature, and it gets trotted out as evidence for global warming. But, when there are record cold temperatures, it's pretty much ignored "¦ or cited as evidence for global warming." "Ben Fenwick