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UT study raises climate concern; model shows next 50 years hotter, wetter

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KNOXVILLE, TN (News Sentinel) -- More intense heat waves, a drastic increase in precipitation and an uptick of severe storms could come to the eastern part of the U.S. in the next 50 years, a new University of Tennessee study shows.

Engineering professor Joshua Fu and his collaborators used supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to analyze climate models and predict weather changes in major U.S. cities east of the Mississippi River. Those models show that a continued reliance on fossil fuels will lead to hotter, wetter weather in this part of the country, Fu said.

Though the results focus on a specific region, they illustrate the need for changes in energy use across the globe in order to mitigate future problems, he said.

"We need to work on the energy policy at this moment and not wait until the problem is caused," said Fu, a civil and environmental engineer who is also part of the recently created UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.

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