While other research has warned of broad weather changes on a large scale, like more extreme hurricanes and droughts, the new study predicts even smaller events like thunderstorms will be more dangerous because of global warming.
The basic ingredients for whopper U.S. inland storms are likely to be more plentiful in a warmer, moister world, said lead author Tony Del Genio, a NASA research scientist.
And when that happens, watch out.
"The strongest thunderstorms, the strongest severe storms and tornadoes are likely to happen more often and be stronger," Del Genio said in an interview Thursday from his office at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. The paper he co-authored was published online this month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.