We've heard a lot about global warming and extreme weather in recent years.
Now, a researcher at the University of North Dakota has been studying the effect of all this on our weather, right here in the Valley.
Atmospheric Sciences professor, Xiquan Dong says as more and more sea ice on our polar ice caps melts, less sunshine is reflected back into space, causing the earth to get warmer.
Reporter: "Less ice means less radiation back into the atmosphere and it heats up here?"
Xiquan Dong, UND Professor: "Right. Exactly."
Professor Dong says global warming means the same amount of rainfall continues to fall around the planet. However, he says it also means there will be wild swings as to where that rain falls. He says it also means wild swings in seasonal temperatures for any given area, like the Red River Valley.
Xiquan Dong: "We did a study of extreme events. Severe drought and flooding and the number of severe events occur more than before. They're increasing right now with global warming."
The National Weather Service does not take an official position on global warming or research like Professor Dong's. It does issue forecasts as far out as this winter.
Mark Ewens, National Weather Service: "The current climate outlook calls for a continuation of above normal temperatures as an El Nino appears to be developing in the Pacific. Precipitation? We may trend a little more to normal precipitation patterns as we get into the fall and winter seasons."
Meanwhile, Professor Dong says his research cannot forecast specifics, only that each upcoming season can have extreme swings from the average.
If you'd like to learn more about all this, the Professor is holding a free, public seminar. It's at 3 p.m. Thursday, in Streibel Hall on the UND campus.
Dallas Fire-Rescue says a firefighter is trapped inside a burning condominium complex. The blaze had smoke billowing through the roof of the complex when the first fire crews arrived at the scene at 2:52 a.m.