Extreme weather raises global warming concern

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Jackie Kincaid feels like she can't make a move anymore with out a bag full of bottles.

"Yeah, we carry cold water and we hit the buildings with all the air conditioning, and that's about the only way I'm handling it," she says.

Temperatures have recently reached very uncomfortable levels.

But most scientists won't attribute this intense heat wave to global warming. After all, here in Charlotte, we also experienced days this month that were cooler than normal. Experts need a lot more data.

Still, across the country, 3,215 daily high temperature records were set in the month of June.

And what scientists will say - this is exactly what global warming would feel like, if it is indeed happening.

In the past, public opinion polls have revealed a good deal of skepticism about global warming. But the drama of recent weather patterns seems to be swaying opinions.

"People who say global warming it doesn't exist," Kincaid says, "I think they're doing that so they don't scare people."

"Get your head out of the sand," says Charlotte resident James Romano. "You know, take a look around. You've got to face the brutal facts."

It's not just the heat that's alarming people.

Scientists say global warming and serious wildfires go hand in hand. This spring, New Mexico experienced its worst wildfire in history, and right now, they are raging in Colorado and South Dakota. So far, the fires there have consumed hundreds of houses, along with the lives of several local airmen who flew out of Charlotte to help contain the flames.

On the eastern shore, water is rising three times faster on the North Carolina coast than it did a century ago.

An immense amount of flooding occurred in Florida in June. And at the end of the month a rare windstorm called a derecho caused 5 million to lose power from Chicago to Washington DC.

"I think it's a new reality," Romano says. "Weather patterns are going to be much more drastic. So we've got to get the scientists together around the world, figure it out. Move forward."