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Every day recently we seem to have warnings and news about massive outbreaks of intense tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.  Down under (i.e., Australia) in December and January they  had record rains, record cyclones and flooding earlier this year during the height of their Summer.  

And who can forget the Snowpocalypse in America this February ( I know the folks who attended the Super Bowl in Dallas haven't).

You could call it Snowpocalypse 2011—one of the biggest and worst winter storms since the 1950s has walloped at least 30 U.S. states, according to NASA.

Snow, sleet, freezing rain, and just plain old rain have fallen as part of a massive system that stretches from Texas, through the Rockies, and into New England. [...]

In particular, the storm has brought blizzard conditions to the Midwest, severe ice buildup in the Mississippi River valley, and heavy rain and thunderstorms in the Deep South, according to NASA. [...]

Some cities in the northeastern U.S. have already experienced record snowfall, such as Philadelphia, which has received 37 inches (91 centimeters) of the white stuff this winter, and New York City, which has seen 56 inches (142 centimeters).

The 20.2 inches (51.3 centimeters) of snow that hit Chicago during this winter storm alone make it the third biggest in the Windy City since record keeping began in 1886, according to the National Weather Service.

Here's a photo from space of that massive storm system that practically obscured most of the Continental United States if anyone is suffering from short term memory loss.

All this on the back of the numerous severe weather events in 2010, beginning with severe snowstorms in the Eastern United States, the flooding in Tennessee (especially Nashville), Arkansas, etc.  Of course the flooding in the US was miniscule compared to what happened in Pakistan last year:

The summer of 2010 produced Pakistan’s worst flooding in 80 years. The number of people affected, who need food, shelter and clothing to face a harsh Pakistani winter, is 20 million.

Flooding began on July 22, 2010, in the province of Baluchistan. The swollen waters then poured across the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province in the northwest before flowing south into Punjab and Sindh. Estimates of the death toll of the floods range from 1,300 to 1,600.

Even as Pakistani and international relief officials scrambled to save people and property, they despaired that the nation’s worst natural calamity had ruined just about every physical strand that knit the country together — roads, bridges, schools, health clinics, electricity and communications.

The flooding, which began with the arrival of the annual monsoons, eventually affected about one-fifth of the country — nearly 62,000 square miles — or an area larger than England.

"God's will" some might say (as some ignorant or simply cruel people always do).  But a group of people have been warning about increased incidents of severe weather for some time now, but their predictions have often been ignored or marginalized by our national news media, which has been much more interested in publicizing attacks on their credibility and promoting the viewpoints of a few (a very, very few) critics of their work.

I am speaking of course about climate scientists.  So, to be fair, let's take a trip on the wayback machine to the year 2007 to see what these abused and defamed climate scientists were saying regarding their warnings and predictions of the potential for increased extreme weather events as a result of global climate change:

ScienceDaily (Dec. 5, 2007) — Researchers who study severe weather and climate change joined forces to study the effects of global warming on the number of severe storms in the future and discovered a dramatic increase in potential storm conditions for some parts of the United States.

The Purdue University-led team used climate models to examine future weather conditions favorable to formation of severe thunderstorms - those that produce flooding, damaging winds, hail and sometimes spawn tornadoes.

"It seems that areas in the U.S. prone to severe thunderstorms now will likely have more of them in the future," said Robert Trapp, the Purdue associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences who led the research team. "We can't predict individual storms, but we can project the number of days with conditions conducive to storm formation." [...]

The study results were compared to current environmental conditions and past environmental conditions shown to produce severe thunderstorms.

Harold Brooks, a member of the research team and researcher at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla., said bringing together experts in climate modeling with experts in severe storms to examine how climate change may affect weather was a new approach to a problem important to both groups of researchers.

"Identifying the environmental conditions that favor certain weather has been at the heart of forecasting research," Brooks said. "We applied that forecasting model to the data from climate change research. It is the same way your local forecaster predicts tomorrow's weather, but we took it out over a long time period. Although we can't say if a storm will occur, we can tell from the data how severe a storm will be if it occurs." [...]

Research suggested global warming would lead to an increase in humid air that fuels severe thunderstorms, however, it also suggested global warming would reduce strong winds that contribute to the storms.

"This study was the first to include both of these key factors in order to see which would have a greater influence on overall environmental conditions," said Diffenbaugh, who also is an assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Purdue. "The result was a general increase in days more favorable to storm creation. It appears that the increase in warm, humid air near the surface outweighs the reduction in strong winds higher in the atmosphere."

In addition, the study showed a strong seasonal and regional variation in the effects of climate change.

"Some areas were only affected slightly, while others more than doubled the chance for severe thunderstorms," Diffenbaugh said. "Also, the storm-favorable conditions appear to occur during the same seasons as they do today, with an extension of the season in some areas. This increases the seasonal extremes, as opposed to more storms spread throughout the year. It is essentially a longer, more intense storm season - sort of a feast or famine."

Damn those climate change scientists!  They are talking about this stuff four years ago.  How could they have been so lucky?  And what's worse?  They weren't the only one's noticing a trend toward more extreme weather.  Look at this report of a study regarding an increase in severe weather in New England over the last 60 years, also published in 2007:

Over the last 60 years, New England has seen a 61-percent increase in extreme rainstorms, an environmental advocacy group said in a study released yesterday, and unchecked global warming will likely make them worse. [...]

By analyzing data from more than 3,000 weather stations in the 48 contiguous states from 1948 to 2006, the group found the likelihood of severe rainstorms is increasing almost everywhere in the United States.

Described in the report as “extreme precipitation,” these incidents were determined by taking the 59 most severe precipitation events in a region, such as New England or the Pacific Northwest, and plotting them on a timeline over the last 59 years.

The results showed a gradual increase of extreme precipitation in recent years.

Heck, as long ago as the year 2000 (and no doubt before that, but I'm too lazy to do anymore research on the matter), climate scientists were warning of the potential for increased severe weather events as a result of global warming:

It has been recognized recently that changes in precipitation intensity could have a geographical dependence. For example, Bhaskharan and Mitchell (1998) note that range of precipitation intensity over the south Asian monsoon region broadens in a future climate experiment with increased greenhouse gases, with decreases prevalent in the west and increases more widespread in the east. Increases in extreme precipitation events recently have been projected in nested regional models over Australia (Hennessy et al. 1998) and the United States (Giorgi et al. 1998), and in a high-resolution nested hurricane model over the northwest tropical Pacific (Knutson and Tuleya 1999). [...]

Concerning El Niño’s effects on weather, it previously has been shown that a warmer base state would result in future El Niño–related seasonal precipitation
swings that are more extreme (Meehl et al. 1993). Thus, areas in the tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean regions that are anomalously wet during El Niño could become wetter, and anomalously dry areas would become drier during future El Niño events. These changes in extremes in dry spells have been noted more recently to have serious consequences, for example, for water resources on small Pacific islands
(Meehl 1996). [...]

Several global climate models indicate that the future mean Pacific climate base state could more resemble an El Niño–like state (i.e., a slackened west–east SST gradient with associated eastward shifts of precipitation), though that result remains model dependent. For such an El Niño–like climate change, future seasonal precipitation extremes associated with a given El Niño would be more intense due to the more El Niño–like mean base state.

I'm not shocked that no one took these studies seriously.  The last decade was dominated by the Bush administration's war on science, after all.  Inconvenient truths about the consequences of continuing to pump massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere was not a topic fit for discussion when President Bush held office.  On the contrary, his administration did their best to deny, delay and repress the dissemination of such information to the general public.

Over the past eight years, the lives of millions of people in the United States and beyond have been endangered by the US government. No, I'm not talking about the war in Iraq. I'm talking about the quiet, systematic war the government has been waging against science.

You may have heard about gross examples of the government censoring scientific documents. For example, it was widely reported last year that a government regulatory group excised at least half of the statements Centers for Disease Control director Julie Gerberding was set to make at a congressional hearing about how climate change will affect public health. [...]

The UCS report documents, in chilling detail, how agencies have fired scientists who disagreed with government policies. [...]

Worse, the government has falsified scientific studies to bolster its policies and undergird its ideological positions. [...]

Most intriguing, though, is the UCS report's suggestion that many federal regulatory agencies may in fact be breaking the law by cutting real science out of government policy decisions. Both the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act require the EPA and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to base their decisions on "the best scientific data available." And yet the UCS has documented countless examples of both agencies, as well as others, refusing to take into account the latest research on climate change, animal populations, and systems biology.

Well, you can't suppress science forever.  Just ask Galileo.  However, it does seem that with enough money and power, corporations with a vested interest in denying the existence of man-made global climate change can either help elect officials who will ignore the problem, or convince enough people that the climate scientists are the real villains here, lying to obtain government grants and make Al Gore rich.  

Corporations like Exxon and BP have done a pretty good job pulling the wool over a lot of people's eyes.  I'm certain a number of people, even here at Daily Kos, will contest the validity of the predictions made by climate scientists, despite the increase in severe or extreme weather events to which we bear witness seemingly every month if not every week.  Like new theories of cosmology to the Roman Catholic Church in the 1600's, and medical studies revealing the dangers of smoking cigarettes sold by the Tobacco companies in the 1950's and 1960's, the science of climate change threatens large, powerful and profitable institutions that will not easily give up their positions of wealth and power, despite knowing that the truth is not on their side.

The Roman Catholic Church forced Galileo to recant his theories that the the earth revolved around the sun.  The US tobacco companies spent decades and millions of dollars lying about the health risks of their products.  

Yet in the end, the truth was acknowledged.  It's only a matter of time before more and more people will stop believing the lies of the Climate Denialist Industry and start believing their own eyes.  It's only a question of when, for these extreme storms and weather events are not going away.  We are watching them worsen with each passing decade.

No, the only real question is when will we begin to act on what the scientists have told us.  When will our governments act to reduce the human activities that drive climate change and thus increase the risk of death and catastrophic destruction about which the climate scientists have been warning us for many, many years. The longer we and our political leaders wait, the longer we ignore the problem staring us in the face, he more suffering and misery and death we, our descendants and the rest of the living species who call this planet earth their home will have to endure.

Originally posted to Steven D on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 05:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (140+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, DarkestHour, janislav, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, mightymouse, 2laneIA, FishOutofWater, jayden, Ezekial 23 20, jfromga, DWG, RF, Jesterfox, Dbug, maybeeso in michigan, eeff, KrazyKitten, ricklewsive, Milly Watt, pateTX, Gabriel D, dbradhud, RLMiller, oortdust, ipaman, Eric K, Mike08, blue aardvark, SuWho, luvmykona, Pariah Dog, Bmeis, millwood, doe, cececville, dark daze, opinionated, Adam AZ, cocinero, dlemex, JAM11, where4art, pensivelady, LimeyExpatDave, MikePhoenix, Diana in NoVa, Dartagnan, OtherDoug, Larsstephens, Wife of Bath, Dauphin, mikeconwell, McMeier, bnasley, jack 1966, SeaTurtle, MartyM, RW, radical simplicity, Cassiodorus, mkfarkus, Matt Z, forgore, SteveLCo, US Blues, Railfan, MKSinSA, Regina in a Sears Kit House, Simplify, Fiona West, dotsright, Outrider, Paul Ferguson, mofembot, engine17, HeartlandLiberal, ozsea1, dirtfarmer, maxcat06, Isara, Glen The Plumber, doingbusinessas, zerelda, Temmoku, Overseas, Cory Bantic, johnrhoffman, Methinks They Lie, linkage, KJG52, hubcap, bluesweatergirl, Ed in Montana, mollyd, RhymesWithUrple, monkeybrainpolitics, Nebraskablue, greenbastard, el dorado gal, vacantlook, Nowhere Man, Oaktown Girl, Salunga, ColoTim, prettygirlxoxoxo, milton333, latts, westyny, Sylv, cinnamon68, Youffraita, psyched, kafkananda, madmsf, eru, skybluewater, BlogDog, LSmith, Sun Tzu, aigeanta, frisco, RunawayRose, xaxnar, Wheever, ms badger, Lorinda Pike, kempsternyc, LookingUp, Bluesee, KMc, WheninRome, terabytes, Pescadero Bill, cameoanne, Meteor Blades, BusyinCA, splashy, ChemBob, Mary Mike, cumberland sibyl

    "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

    by Steven D on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 05:59:21 AM PDT

    •  Oh (9+ / 0-)

      And those photos you post?

      Those satellite images that encapsulate most of the entire continental US in their overlay?

      Those are serious signal that I cannot help but be awe inspired by; a human trait that I have time to indulge in because my country nearly completely politically ignores climate signals with very loud Inhoffe noises, and no, it doesn't matter that a US Senator can nearly kill somebody landing his plane, because I suppose that isn't the half of it, when it comes to potential damage to humanity one man can promulgate-

      I gotta go do some good for a friend up the road...  maybe when I return the birtherism orgy will have run it's course here at D' Kos and in the land of the free, and the home of the brave-

      Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

      by RF on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 09:58:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ask Whimsical (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, Youffraita

      about the solution to all our abrupt climate change problems:

      For starters there are already blueprints for technology that, if as it works at advertised , would take our Co2 levels down to 1860 levels in a decade.

      "I'm not going against ten thousand years of Ferengi tradition." Quark, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

      by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 12:10:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Central, NY (4+ / 0-)

      I live in a suburb of Syracuse, we had a rainstorm yesterday the likes of which we hadn't seen in years-if ever. It was so dark outside it looked like late evening and the rain came POURING down.

    •  What people have to understand is that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BusyinCA, Steven D

      this is just the start of the effects of global warming. We have another 60, 80, 100 years of increased warming to go.

      What will Tornado Alley look like 50 years from now if the warming pattern is allowed to continue? What will rivers and streams begin to look and act like with ever increasing rainfall patterns?

      We may be able to glean a little of what the future will look like from these events. Then times it by 10 maybe by the end of the century?

      Are hemisphere sized storms possible on earth like they are on other planets in the solar system? I get the feeling time will tell.

  •  can't be shy about connecting weather & AGW (33+ / 0-)

    People love to talk about how "we can't ascribe any single weather event to global warming." The more I hear it the more that sounds wrong. It sounds like something designed to make us stumble over our feet .... in truth, weather has to reflect global warming, because weather is driven in part by heat in the air and sea surface.

    Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, has a good take on it:

    I find it [Climate Change] ... often gets underplayed by my fellow scientists. Because one of the opening statements, which I’m sure you’ve probably heard, is “Well you can’t attribute a single event to climate change.” But there is a systematic influence on all of these weather events now-a-days because of the fact that there is this extra water vapor lurking around in the atmosphere than there used to be say 30 years ago. It’s about a 4% extra amount, it invigorates the storms, it provides plenty of moisture for these storms and it’s unfortunate that the public is not associating these with the fact that this is one manifestation of climate change. And the prospects are that these kinds of things will only get bigger and worse in the future.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 06:47:59 AM PDT

    •  PS thanks for the diary (7+ / 0-)

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 06:48:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not a single event. (15+ / 0-)

      You can't attribute a single event to the increase in atmospheric CO2.

      The increase in frequency of such events, OTOH, is something which can be attributed with a fair degree of likelihood.

      (Similarly, there are people who have died of lung cancer who never smoked. And 3-pack-a-day smokers who lived to 90 without any trace of cancer. That doesn't change the fact that there is a clear correlation between smoking and lung cancer.)

      If you roll the dice and they come up 7, that is not caused by the fact that 7 is the likeliest result.

      Corporations are people; money is speech.
      1984 - George Orwell

      by Frank Palmer on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 09:48:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wish it weren't true, but Frank is correct. (6+ / 0-)

        Scientists use observed events to support trends, but the events only support - they do not provide "proof." The deniers know this and so they keep claiming that proof is necessary before action should be taken.

        A single storm is only an event, but those with eyes can plainly see the trends.

      •  I don't know (12+ / 0-)

        Every weather event bears the imprint of global warming - it has to be. How can it be otherwise?

        The frontal systems travel over warmer seas than otherwise. They pick up more water than otherwise. They move differently than otherwise, on account of different heat distribution than pre-AGW. And so on.

        I believe we are arguing two different points.

        Yours is, "would a given weather event have happened this way w/o AGW?" That can be hard to answer, as you say, for a single event. Impossible to answer, even.

        Mine is, "Is a given weather affected by AGW?" I say the answer has to be YES.

        This is an important thing to highlight. Too often I hear the good guys tripping over their tongues while shying away from making the essential connection between weather and climate.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 10:59:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the call it a weather system (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse, forgore, Steven D, dougymi, dotdot

          earth's entire atmosphere is a system. You cant simply go in and change gears in a system ( global climate change) and then not think it wont effect ever single event.

          I understand the "proof" part, but really, who are you kidding. Sometimes you dont need a historically proven algorithm  to see the truth.

          Simple fact, time tested and proven over and over.  Humans FUCK UP everything we touch.

          Bad is never good until worse happens

          by dark daze on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 11:21:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the other POV is using denier framing in a way (6+ / 0-)

            Set up a seemingly unprovable test ("is this one storm/flood/drought due to global warming - yes or no?"), and watch the careful rationalist retreat ("well, it's an isolated data point, let's look for a trend" etc.). Of course a trend is not what the question is about.

            The proper answer is "in part, yes, just like all the other weather we have now in the era of global warming."

            An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

            by mightymouse on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 11:30:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah....maybe... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I agree that any given weather event, forming as it must in a globally warmer, wetter atmosphere than it would have otherwise, is affected by AGW, but we don't really know how.

          I can imagine a particular event being less severe than it might have been because global warming caused an event to happen yesterday that dissipated energy that would have contributed to today's event.

          So the effect of any individual event might be lessened rather than enhanced- I suspect this may be among the reasons why scientists are so cautious.

          •  better question - "is the weather different now?" (6+ / 0-)

            that one can be answered statistically.

            How warmer air and surface ocean affects the weather can be very complicated to answer with great precision & specificity. But it has to affect is some way. The basic "More intense storms & rainfall" is predictable on account of more water in the atmosphere.

            An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

            by mightymouse on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 11:35:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ask anybody on the Planet (10+ / 0-)

              who has personally observed the weather in their location for the past 40 years if the weather has gotten strange lately, like for the past decade or so.

              And yes, it is "anecdotal evidence", so it can be dismissed as "unscientific", but those folks, and I am one of them, are not imagining things.

              don't always believe what you think...

              by claude on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 12:37:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  sure - and add to that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Youffraita, RunawayRose

                it is very possible to quantify total rainfall, rain intensity, # events/yr with wind > some threshhold, average temperature, extremes of T, etc.

                but yes you are right - people do notice a change in the weather. that is probably more important to bringing attention to the problem than any analysis.

                An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

                by mightymouse on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 01:11:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  We, as a collective, have used and abused (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Steven D

                our Mother Earth, Gia, for so long, and now we feel guilty and are worried that we have left a mess by the picnic tables.

                Sadly, it will be our grandchildren that inherit the biosphere long after we are dust, that will suffer the results of our piss-poor decisions.

                Can't we do better than that apocalyptic nightmare for them?

                It is not certain that everything is uncertain. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

                by BusyinCA on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 11:34:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  you have to recognize that (0+ / 0-)

                  it has taken over 40 years to get that message out to the point where it is an actual topic in "mainstream" discourse.  Back then only us wierdo DFH types and some scientists were raising alarms and altering their lifestyles to the extent they could.

                  Seen from that perspective, there has been progress but enormous private (anti-social) interests push back hard against that progress. We may or may not make enough progress in time to make any difference in how bad it can get.

                  don't always believe what you think...

                  by claude on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 10:08:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  That's my point (5+ / 0-)

        I'm not attributing a "single" event to AGW.  However, taken in the aggregate, and considering that the climate scientists did predict that we would see more intense precipitation events as a result of climate change, it becomes impossible to ignore the fact that the climate modellers were correct in the aggregate regarding more severe weather events, and as the years have gone on their warnings and predictions have been evermore spot on.

        We are seeing a clear trend of more intense storms, floods, monsoons, hurricanes and cyclones, and more intense El Nino and La Nina oscillation cycles.  Are we at the point where we can predict when a single severe weather event event will occur?  No, but I'd say we have certainly reached the point where to dismiss the findings of climate science as "controversial" and start taking it very seriously.

        "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

        by Steven D on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 12:26:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and what does "single event" mean, anyway? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vacantlook, Steven D, RunawayRose

          a single tornado?

          a single tornado outbreak?

          a single week of tornado outbreaks?

          a single raindrop?

          a single month with above average rainfall?

          I have a problem with that "single weather event" argument.

          An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

          by mightymouse on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 01:14:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  All I know is, (5+ / 0-)

            before my father died, he claimed we NEVER had tornadoes here in south-central PA...where he was born & raised and spent almost his entire adult life.

            I think we did.  But I was just a kid at the time.  So let's assume I'm wrong: we are now a part of tornado alley, and Dad would contend that this part of the country never was before.

            Dad was born on the cusp of WWI, btw.  He passed away just short of his 88th birthday.  So he got to see more weather here than I ever did.

            Over the past 30-odd years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital. --Bill Maher

            by Youffraita on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 02:45:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  How many times are people going to (5+ / 0-)

        repeat that argument? It sounds great but it makes no sense whatsoever. The climate is changing fast. Extreme weather is clearly here, documented, and proven. It's simply mindless to dismiss actual, extreme weather with this argument.

    •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We have already seriously altered the climate and are well on the way to an earth unlike the one in which man evolved.

      At this point, the whole reference to "no single event "  is nonsense. The climate we are experiencing is the result of all that we have done.

    •  It's important to make this connection, (10+ / 0-)

      because saying that "no single event" can be attributed to global warming gives people an out for saying that no events can be attributed to GW.

      I think the default assumption out there is that global warming would simply mean warmer, sunnier weather all around, with Boston feeling more like North Carolina, and North Carolina feeling more like the Caribbean. In this fantasy, global warming is just a straightforward upwards twist on the thermostat, with tropical beach weather for everyone.

      Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

      by Dale on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 01:06:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am certainly seeing this here (16+ / 0-)

    in northern Iowa, where last spring we had one drenching rain after another and I didn't use the hose on the garden all summer.  In the early 2000 I used it a lot.  We had the 2008 flood in June, long after the ground had unfrozen because there was so much rain and the ground was saturated.  The winter has seen a lot of snow, but it seems like less bone-chilling cold in the minus 30s.

    Take the pledge on Social Security

    by 2laneIA on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 07:14:54 AM PDT

    •  And major ice storms (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D, RunawayRose

      in Dec-Jan '09-'10. As a kid, I remember the ice-storm belt was in northern Missouri, not central Iowa, and if there was an ice storm in Iowa, it was in March or April, not January.

    •  California, too (3+ / 0-)

      We're not used to weather fluctuations, since it's very temperate and stable from San Diego up to the Bay Area. But there have been unusually severe rainstorms in both the Bay Area and San Diego, and of longer duration than normal. Enough that our years-long drought is officially over (at least as far as San Diego is concerned)

      •  Seattle as well. This is the winter that will (5+ / 0-)

        never end. Seriously. We've broken records this spring for it being the coldest since record keeping began.

        I shit you not, they're calling for rain, possible SNOW!, and hail tomorrow here.

        Frickin' snow? Tomorrow? IN SEATTLE?

        You've got to be kidding me. This relentless winter for us has been blamed on an abnormally strong La Nina.

        Hmmm. And abnormally strong La Ninas are going to be our future as a result of climate change?


        Every election either the democrats lose or the republicans lose. But in every election there is always the same winner. And he drives a Mercedes.

        by Methinks They Lie on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 01:42:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Want to slow down the war on science? (21+ / 0-)

    I've written to my representatives and the WH about rescinding the Data Quality Act (Section 515 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2001).  

    This act allows industry to pre-censor scientific analysis and inference before it is published or used as a basis for regulation.  In my mind, it is the single most damaging process for promoting the denial of science in governmental procedure.

    If you want to promote the communication and consideration of good scientific thought, then I'd urge you to ask our Democrats to remove this odious act.

    Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

    by Fossil on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 08:20:11 AM PDT

  •  Wind (10+ / 0-)

    The wind has been constant here in Central Texas. And I'm not talking just gentle breezes. It has been gusty as hell at times which has been an ongoing problem for the crews battling all the wildfires.

    Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

    by jayden on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 08:20:15 AM PDT

  •  I might note that this is the 'wettest April on (10+ / 0-)

    record' for the Cincinnati-Dayton area, and still has a chance to become the wettest month ever for the area.

    My trash can was sitting empty out back this morning - I turned it over to see what sort of rain I got since it was bucketing down.  I've got over a foot of water in there now.

  •  It seems extremely unlikely.. (17+ / 0-)

    that anything can be done, at this point, to prevent extreme damage from the climate change we (humans in general) have caused.  The right-wing anti-science deniers have been successful in both preventing meaningful action in the U.S. and in ensuring that the future damage will be far worse then it had to be.  
         It will be many years before the deniers are fully discredited and meaningful, strong climate action is out in place in U.S. policy.  At that point, we will be debating mitigation actions and how to identify the least costly ways to contain the damage.

  •  trend lines (6+ / 0-)

    help distinguish anamolies from new patterns.   We are seeing more records of extreme weather spaced closer together.

    One single event doesn't prove much of anything, several years of events in growing numbers is  pretty much the definition of proof.   Unfortunately, most people aren't watching for records, routinely reading reports that have collated this information and certainly aren't reading scientific papers.    

    I think the inability of people to remember much of what they hear and read, which is pretty well established, means that each occurrence is new information and they never see the patterns as they go from day to day.  It takes a concerted effort, actually performing research or seeking it out deliberately before most people see even obvious patterns.  It is human nature.  And why we are suprised one day after only thirty years of growing evidence.

    •  Actually, no. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      janislav, engine17, Matt Z

      It takes substantially more than "several" years to demonstrate a statistically-significant shift in climate patterns. The finest time scale on which you can see climate is decadal. Anything shorter is just weather.

      As of right now, all we can say about anthropogenic climate change is that we've seen a significant increase in temperature and some loss of sea ice and alpine glaciers. The apparent increase in severe storm activity hasn't been around long enough for us to be able to say anything about it with confidence.

      •  Are you a statistician? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Not being flippant - really!

        I think someone way better at it than I can (and probably has already) examine the records for severe events (for which we have centuries of records) and calculate the likelihood of the (apparent, anecdotal) dense cluster of events we have seen in say, the  last 5 years happening by chance.

        When that likelihood gets really low, the likelihood of a causative factor gets really high

        I have not seen anything published on this, but I have not looked.

        •  I'm not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but I'm a senior in geophysics doing research on paleoclimate, with a certain amount of competence in statistics as it applies to climatology.

          •  Please consider... (0+ / 0-)

            ...and respond; I graduated last year in biology, and was working with the concepts of separating signal from noise in quantified data from lab experiments.

            One of the common exercises performed with lab data determines the percentage chance of your experimental system generating your data set (which of course contrasts somehow with your control data set) purely by chance, rather than in response to whatever variable you manipulated.

            If I recall, you get to claim positive results when you get to 95%.

            I'm wondering what that number is if one used records from pre-1950 as the control and since 1950 as the experimental data set. A number or 95 or higher would indicate that there is causation by something happening in this really big experiment we are running.

            •  Well, it depends on exactly which model you run (0+ / 0-)

              and what you're looking at.

              The temperature increase we've seen is definitely significant at the 95% confidence level, as is the Arctic sea ice loss. Glaciers are a bit more complicated - what I'm working on right now is essentially trying to establish how much mass loss we need to see on an individual glacier to call it significant, and it's a really complicated problem because glaciers have decadal-scale fluctuations on a large spatial scale just in response to high-frequency white noise forcing. But if you take enough glaciers from enough sites worldwide, you can establish that there's been significant alpine glacier loss. Antarctica is messy, but (if I recall correctly from the last time I talked to my dad about it) West Antarctic ice sheet loss is significant but East Antarctica doesn't seem to be doing very much.

              As for precipitation - the diarist linked some work downthread that people are doing and apparently they're finding significant changes in various local systems. Which is good to know. I don't know if we've gone outside the range of expectations of the global models, and will have to find that out.

      •  yeah (0+ / 0-)

        and its one of the many drawbacks that science has.

        Often its conclusions come to late.

        Bad is never good until worse happens

        by dark daze on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 12:16:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Did you see the link in my diary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to the study that showed an increase in precipitation in New England over the last 60 years?  That's a pretty definite trend and the scientists that conducted the study attributed that trend to AGW.

        "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

        by Steven D on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 12:32:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there are others (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steven D

          studies of 100 year floods over the 20th century etc. that was published a few years back.  Some recent stuff on monsoons.

          There are plenty of 20th century records that can be examined and the problem is the deliberate efforts to kill this research, look at what has happened at NASA.

          Since the early warnings of severe consequences, we have 30 years or more of data.  No doubt the data will be more plentiful in the future as temperatures continue to rise, ice melts, desertification continues, etc.   But we have long term evidence available to us now.

        •  I did a brief search (0+ / 0-)

          and couldn't find the original paper - got the impression it wasn't peer-reviewed research. They've got one (relatively well-regarded, but still just one) scientist in a relevant field providing a qualified endorsement of the science in the report. That's a start, but it's going to take more than that.

          •  Well have at it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I found these studies with one google search.

            Probably not all of them are on point but I suspect many are, and that they show AGW is having a decades long effect on precipitation patterns across the globe.

            "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

            by Steven D on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 02:44:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Here's one study on AGW and precipitation (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, RunawayRose


            We show that anthropogenic forcing has had a detectable influence on observed changes in average precipitation within latitudinal bands, and that these changes cannot be explained by internal climate variability or natural forcing. We estimate that anthropogenic forcing contributed significantly to observed increases in precipitation in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, drying in the Northern Hemisphere subtropics and tropics, and moistening in the Southern Hemisphere subtropics and deep tropics. The observed changes, which are larger than estimated from model simulations, may have already had significant effects on ecosystems, agriculture and human health in regions that are sensitive to changes in precipitation, such as the Sahel.

            "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

            by Steven D on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 02:46:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Not a birther diary- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, RunawayRose


    I call signal v bullshit in the myriad of bullshit news stories game...

    Signal always wins with me...

    Thank you...


    Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

    by RF on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 09:47:22 AM PDT

  •  Heh. I've got a daughter (7+ / 0-)

    that knows the climate is changing; it fits right in to her rapture story.  She is overly fond of telling me how right the Bible is (especially when "taught" to her by the fundies).

    •  My daughter is the opposite (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, kyril, RunawayRose

      She loves science (honors student) but when I bring up these stories about climate change they scare her and she doesn't want to talk about it.  She feels helpless to stop what's coming.  I tell her you have to face your fears and do something about them.  Some days I get through, some days not.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 12:36:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Heat is energy (12+ / 0-)

    More energy leads to more evaporation of water, bigger rainstorms (and snowstorms), stronger winds, bigger tornados and hurricanes.

    "One man's Mede is another man's Persian." - George S. Kaufman

    by Dbug on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 09:56:39 AM PDT

    •  Yes. Heat-temperature confusion (8+ / 0-)

      is a problem with public understanding of global warming.

      70% of the earth is covered with water. When the oceans absorb extra heat, much of that heat is used to change water from liquid to vapor, not to raise the ocean's temperature. That latent heat of vaporization in water vapor is released when the water vapor condenses in a rain storm, adding energy to the storm.

      The same thing applies to the melting of sea ice and glaciers, although the latent heat of fusion is a lot less than vaporization.

      This is an example of why the general public needs a better understanding of basic science (especially when they happen to get elected to office).

      •  Good (0+ / 0-)

        pass a law that any aspirant to high political office must pass a sciences test. If one needs to have a birth certificate then one might also need a brains certificate, not? Neither brains nor birth can be assumed if unproven, apparently. Nothing could stop the people´s representatives from putting up such a law, save the lack of brains in the current crop.

        Acorda Maria Bonita / Levanta vai fazer o café / Que o dia já vem raiando / E a polícia já está de pé

        by marsanges on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 02:20:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  b leh (7+ / 0-)

    In Kentucky it snowed like..twice this year. And then nothing reallty. but this week, my god. last night was one of those "Why the hell is it so loud" lightning storms. as in, i was afraid of being near the window. I grew up in lightning storm country (okay theres no physical definition of that so youll need to take my word for it.) and nothing was quite as..horrific as this was.

    "May whatever power they believe in show the rightwingers mercy. They have been led astray by devils with chalkboards."

    by kamrom on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 10:41:33 AM PDT

  •  Believing the sun moved about the (13+ / 0-)

    earth didn't kill anyone.

    Tobacco killed millions.

    So will climate change, and it will kill millions who never did anything to bring it about.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 10:53:14 AM PDT

    •  true (5+ / 0-)

      and what we are witnessing, no doubt humans have seen similar events in our history on this planet ( although this time we are likely the cause).

      It caused great migration and die offs but individual societies continued on.
      . Now with 8 billion people, mostly along coast, in a "small" world", what happens in every corner of this world now effects the whole world.

      100's of millions of people migrating?  Resources we ALL depend on becoming scarce? a phony currency system tying all economies together? Entire countries being rocked by events ( Japan)? the existence of nuclear/chemical/biological weapons?

      this all doesnt seem to lead to a good conclusion.  

      The old saying may be, when the going get tough, the tough get going.  What if fails to mention is that when the tough get going it means WAR.

      Bad is never good until worse happens

      by dark daze on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 11:31:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The ability to adapt will be critical (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dauphin, dark daze, Steven D

        Money will aid adaptation.

        Therefore, the north will cause the problem, and the north will spend the money to ameliorate the problem in their own countries, and the south will suffer.

        As Bono says, "Why should a child live or die based on an accident of latitude?"


        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 11:41:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  a pentagon study predicted resource wars... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steven D, claude, forgore, mightymouse

        as a likely outcome of global warming a few years ago. So, not only are "they" ignoring scientists, they are ignoring people that we usually think of as their tools: the pentagon. It's downright eerie.

        The problem with trying to maximize economic efficiency or  current material wealth is that you can only maximize one variable at a time. Stability is not maximized, and while getting "better" and "better" the system also gets less and less likely to be around in its present form for more than a few years.

        Don't blame the evil corporations. By basing our buying and investing decisions (those of you lucky enough to have retirement savings, that is) on price/return above all, you and I have shaped this system and driven its short-sighted focus on tomorrow's profit. It's not an evil conspiracy at work; it's simply the emergant properties of a complex system self-organizing out of the simple rule-driven behavior of individuals. As long as OUR rule is to demand the best price for the value of a product to me as an individual now, the system will continue to steer, not deliberately towards, but sadly, not away from, catastrophe.

      •  Japan was terrible (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but earthquakes have absolutely, positively nothing to do with human activity, at all, ever, under any circumstances.

        •  overstated? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dark daze

          Can't shifting loads as ice caps melt/form cause earthquakes? Wouldn't that be a possible mechanism for some long-term effect? And can't various fracking activities trigger local quakes? I'm not sure, but it sounds like you've exaggerated this one. I'm not saying people had anything at all to do with the Japan earthquake.

          Michael Weissman UID 197542

          by docmidwest on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 03:31:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes very small localized quakes have been... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            associated with melting ice sheets (Greenland, if I recall correctly) as well as with underground injection of liquids - the Rocky Flats Arsenal had some of that (Again IIRC). Fracking should be expected to have similar effects sooner or later.

            Major quakes mentioned in this thread are quite another matter. Japan lies on a major subduction zone and the quakes there are triggered by a plate sinking into the mantle. It is a stretch to claim any man-made processes played roles in the Japan quake.


            •  agreed (0+ / 0-)

              But I dimly remember hearing about more major seismic effects associated with load changes as the last ice age ended. Even if that memory is correct, it would only become relevant if there were much  bigger changes in the ice sheets. And of course as you say it has nothing to do with subduction.

              Michael Weissman UID 197542

              by docmidwest on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 06:44:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  huh? (0+ / 0-)

          fracking just caused a bunch in PA just this month.  try again

          Bad is never good until worse happens

          by dark daze on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 04:53:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  If Someone Were to Ask Me (6+ / 0-)

    my opinion on the scientific explanation for the perturbations in the precession of the perihelion of Mercury, I would have to say that I do not have enough knowledge of the subject to be able to form an opinion, and I therfore would not offer one.

    Unfortunately, there are too many who are utterly unknowledgeable about climate science, but who are nevertheless more than willing to offer up opinions (formed no doubt from propaganda issuing from the Koch brothers) on the topic.

    It is my belief that no one should be giving out opinions in opposition to the reality of global warming unless they can answer -- accurately -- these three questions:

    1. What is the difference between climate and weather?

    2. Describe the process by which warmer air can produce greater snowfall.

    3. Describe the process by which the melting of the Greenland ice cap can result in England and northern Europe being covered in a permanent, year-round blanket of snow and ice.

    Anyone unable to answer those three questions should not, in my opinion, be offering up criticisms of the science of global warming.

    •  The third... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      janislav, docmidwest

      is a dubious hypothesis, not a commonly-accepted theory. While disruption of the thermohaline circulation would lead to some climate changes in Europe, it's highly unlikely to cause even a localized 'ice age' - we don't have evidence of that happening in the past, and it takes some seriously odd parameters to get the models to generate anything like it.

      The so-called Holocene 'Little Ice Ages' which may conceivably have been a result of ocean current shifts weren't ice ages at all, just a number of 2-5 century periods when the climate in Europe and possibly a few other places was ~0.5 degrees colder than the Holocene average, possibly causing some weakly-correlated advances of alpine glaciers.

      Real ice ages of the sort that actually do cover whole continents in 'permanent year-round blankets of snow and ice' are quite well-linked to Milankovitch orbital cycles.

  •  I just had to take (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, mightymouse, RunawayRose

    shelter because of a tornado warning. I even let the dogs in and we all huddled up together. Dark wind and hail- very exciting.
    Now I'm worried because I can't the Grand Babies' mother on the phone.
    April showers indeed.

  •  I hope (4+ / 0-)

    that people affected by these extreme weather events (and everyone else for that matter) will be open to at least having a rational discussion about climate change, untainted by politics. Is that asking too much?

  •  Put very simply, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dark daze, Steven D, forgore, RunawayRose

    Warmer oceans evaporate more water. What goes up must come down, either as rain or as snow.

    Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.

    by Leo in NJ on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 11:57:57 AM PDT

    •  It's somewhat more complicated than that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leo in NJ

      because a warmer atmosphere can also hold more water.

      •  Kyril (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        May I suggest you take your conversation over to Real Climate?  If as you claim, you have a background in climate studies, you would be best served arguing your points with some of the top experts in the field such as these folks:

            Gavin Schmidt
            Michael Mann
            Caspar Ammann
            Rasmus Benestad
            Ray Bradley
            Stefan Rahmstorf
            Eric Steig
            David Archer
            Ray Pierrehumbert
            Thibault de Garidel
            Jim Bouldin

        Michael Mann I suppose you know.   Gavin Schmidt is:

        ... a climate modeller at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and is interested in modeling past, present and future climate. He works on developing and improving coupled climate models and, in particular, is interested in how their results can be compared to paleoclimatic proxy data. He has worked on assessing the climate response to multiple forcings, including solar irradiance, atmospheric chemistry, aerosols, and greenhouse gases.

        He received a BA (Hons) in Mathematics from Oxford University, a PhD in Applied Mathematics from University College London and was a NOAA Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate and Global Change Research. He is a co-chair of the CLIVAR/PAGES Intersection Panel and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Climate.

        The other contributors to the blog are just as distinguished and qualified in the field of climate studies.

        I am not a climate scientist, but I do consider myself to be a fairly well educated lay person when it comes to climatology.  Most of what I have picked up comes from reading the log posts and comments of these folks.  I don;t doubt that you are being cautious based on what you know, but I also know that these scientists have a far greater background in the ongoing research regarding the impact and consequences of climate change than either you, I or anyone else commenting on this thread.  

        Making your points as you are in this diary may make it appear to some that you do not accept the dangers inherent in AGW and may com across as condescension to many here who are not climate scientists.  I am not saying that is your intention, only that if you feel this diary overstates the case, it would be best to take that matter up with people more expert than either of us and than report back on your discussions with them.

        I for one have enough confidence that the upward trend in extreme weather events are a result of AGW, but as I said, my conclusion is based on information I have gleaned from the scientists at Real Climate and other climate science oriented blogs.

        "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

        by Steven D on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 03:09:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Eric Steig (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steven D, Nina Katarina

          is one of my professors, and I've had the privilege of learning quite a lot from him - I'm in a climate seminar right now that he's co-teaching with my research mentor. Much of what I'm saying comes from conversations with those two and my dad, who also does climate-related work on sea ice modeling.

          I'm not trying to be condescending. Honestly, I'm not. I'm just a student right now, and I'm too intimidated to engage over at Real Climate - I just read. DKos is more at my level of dialogue.

  •  Denial effecting Next Generation of Leaders (6+ / 0-)

    In my 17 year daughter's IB(International Baccalaureate) Physics class they are prepping for the IB Physics test. Before starting a film that reviews key concepts of Global Warming,  the teacher felt the need to announce to the class that she didn't care whether they personally believed in Global Warming but the Physics IB test considers it real and they need to silently watch and accept as fact what the film showed them because 15% of the offical test was based on the presented infomation.

    These are the top students in the school all of whom have big plans for their furture, (less then 25 kids a year are in the program out of a graduating class of 750) in an affluent area. But this is also Republican Orange County CA where political orientation trumps fact.

    My daughter an Athiest was having trouble understanding how religioun got mixed up with Global Warming. Many of her friends are devout Christians and she can understand why they defend Creationism and don't want to accept Evolution because it conflicts with their religious beliefs. But why would religion care about as she puts it "a bunch of facts about the current condition of the earth".  That of course led to a discussion on those who stand to loose  - the dirty energy industry's - if we accept Global Warming and how they spend lots of money to get Republicans to convince people being a good Christian means being a Republican and that anything that Democrats believe in such as Global Warming must be wrong. It didn't make much sense to her, and it when you think about it shouldn't to anybody, but somehow it works really well for them.

  •  A Point You Make (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, dougymi, kyril, madmsf
    "God's will" some might say

    Only when it's in someone else's county. But when the tornados hit the bible belt it's never because they have sinned. Perhaps they should attend to the scriptural injunction about not casting stones when they have not yet resolved all of their own sins.

    "Without LOVE in the dream it will never come true..." -Hunter/Garcia

    by US Blues on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 12:19:39 PM PDT

  •  Well I, for one, am convinced that God is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, kyril

    punishing our southern neighbors for denying their gay citizens the rights and privileges of marriage.

    How could it be otherwise?

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 12:32:41 PM PDT

  •  Super Bowl in Dallas (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forgore, kyril, Steven D

    that damn freak ice storm ruined our Super Bowl!

    my neighborhood was under a sheet of ice for a week!

  •  The "problem" with science and climate change (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, mightymouse, Steven D

    is that the mechanisms that cause extreme weather patterns aren't able to be easily explained in sound bites. It's so frustrating to see all of these events, knowing that people refuse to acknowledge or learn about the causes, simply because they're not that exciting to talk about on the evening news.

  •  Studies show that there has been no increase (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in storm activity in the East Coast.  

    From the American Journal of Climate

    Finally, although there is no significant long-term
    trend of storm activity along the East Coast during this
    century, the effect of sea level rise over the last century
    has exacerbated the flooding from modern storms that
    would have been less damaging a century ago. Thus the
    intensive coastal development that has taken place over
    the last half century becomes more subject to flood damage from coastal storms even though the trend in the number and severity of storms has remained unchanged.

    •  This study is from 1999 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      forgore, mightymouse

      Isn't most of the severe weather clustering we've been seeing from the past 5 years?

      •  We have seen severe weather (0+ / 0-)

        over the past 30 years in my view, and in particular more intense El Nino and La Nina Pacific Ocean oscillation cycles, which have a lot to do with the recent extreme weather events.  More extreme El Ninos and La Ninas are one prediction of current climate science models.  The more intense oscillation patterns were predicted to result from   increasing temperatures from the release of greenhouse gases by human activity.

        "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

        by Steven D on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 03:20:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This study is based only on tide gauge readings (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D, RunawayRose, Nowhere Man

      from 10 locations on the East coast. Several other potential measures of storm activity are discussed and discarded for a variety of reasons.  Tide gauges are one tool - but probably not the best tool - for evaluating storm activity.

      So really, this study should be described as "One study of tide records from 10 East Coast locations fails to reveal any increase in storm activity on the East Coast."

      How many times in the intervening 12 years has this paper been cited in other journals? Sorry, I don't think a single paper that uses only one form of measurement to evaluate complex systems should be presented as evidence of much of anything.

    •  A more recent study (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, KMc, Nowhere Man

      Nature 448, 461-465 (26 July 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature06025; Received 21 February 2007; Accepted 14 June 2007; Published online 23 July 2007

      Detection of human influence on twentieth-century precipitation trends

      Here we compare observed changes in land precipitation during the twentieth century averaged over latitudinal bands with changes simulated by fourteen climate models. We show that anthropogenic forcing has had a detectable influence on observed changes in average precipitation within latitudinal bands, and that these changes cannot be explained by internal climate variability or natural forcing. We estimate that anthropogenic forcing contributed significantly to observed increases in precipitation in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, drying in the Northern Hemisphere subtropics and tropics, and moistening in the Southern Hemisphere subtropics and deep tropics. The observed changes, which are larger than estimated from model simulations, may have already had significant effects on ecosystems, agriculture and human health in regions that are sensitive to changes in precipitation, such as the Sahel.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 03:13:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  are you sure g-d isn't just pissed off (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I mean weren't these the states that voted for people that want to beat up on the poor and give to the rich.

  •  I like the rain and all.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, Youffraita

    But its getting rather ridiculous. I live on a hill thankfully, but i think the ohio river has started to eat places. The lightning storms were rather spectacular and downright terrifying; a lightning bolt did one of those harsh cracks as it landed somewhere abysmally close.

    What really bugs me is the way storms here tend to rapidly increase in intensity, where you can hear it happening. Nerve wracking!

    Im pretty sure a lot of people are going to need help. Im not sure who people who wish to do so can go see, but im sure there are a lot of agencies needing a hand in the Ohio River valley.

    "May whatever power they believe in show the rightwingers mercy. They have been led astray by devils with chalkboards."

    by kamrom on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 01:51:23 PM PDT

  •  In the last week (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, Youffraita, RunawayRose

    I've heard new levels of intensity in the normally dry Weather Service language. I live in St. Louis, which was pounded by an EF4 tornado on Friday. Since then, twice I've seen warnings about especially severe, life-threatening, significant tornado conditions. Not just a tornado warning, extra-scary language.

    We get tornadoes in the Midwest in the springtime, that's a fact. Never heard all these extra adjectives in the warnings before this week.

  •  Thank You - N/T (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 01:59:17 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Steven D, Youffraita

    I believe climate change is the single most important issue on our table, and will be for some time to come.  

    Life is good. Injustice? Not so much.

    by westyny on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 02:17:06 PM PDT

  •  link to another great post on this topic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, Youffraita, RunawayRose

    Masters: Midwest deluge enhanced by near-record Gulf of Mexico sea surface temperatures


    with another great Trenberth quote therein:

    Back in August, Trenberth told the NY Times, “It’s not the right question to ask if this storm or that storm is due to global warming, or is it natural variability. Nowadays, there’s always an element of both.”

    (Kevin Trenberth - head of the Climate Analysis Section of the National Center for Atmospheric Research)

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 02:20:12 PM PDT

  •  This is the new "NORMAL" because of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    climate change

    your "100 year storms" are now hitting you every year or two ... these aren't anomalies any more

    It's only a matter of time before more and more people will stop believing the lies of the Climate Denialist Industry and start believing their own eyes.  It's only a question of when, for these extreme storms and weather events are not going away.  We are watching them worsen with each passing decade.

    No, the only real question is when will we begin to act on what the scientists have told us. When will our governments act to reduce the human activities that drive climate change and thus increase the risk of death and catastrophic destruction about which the climate scientists have been warning us for many, many years. The longer we and our political leaders wait, the longer we ignore the problem staring us in the face, he more suffering and misery and death we, our descendants and the rest of the living species who call this planet earth their home will have to endure.

    Just wait they are going to say these are acts of God because he's mad at us for [insert insane reason here]

    my question has always been that if God is so angry with us of [insert insane reason here, like say GAY MARRIAGE] why is God's aim so bad .. not hitting the places that actually have GAY MARRIAGE but the Bible belt.

    As you can see I don't really think that the deniers are going to face up to what we've done and help us demand change.

    They need to have their Hummer's  and all.

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 04:25:02 PM PDT

  •  here's what has to happen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    I see top climate scientists, asked about Severe weather, hurricanes, and events like the 'snowpocalypse', asked on new shows "Was this storm caused by Global Warming", at which point they hedge, and stick with a scientifically accurate statement that they cannot say any one weather event was caused by global warming, which sounds in the eyes of the public like prevaricating.

    When asked 'Was this horrible weather event caused by global warming?' they should start saying "Yes, it was. We warned 10, 15, 20 years ago that horrible weather would be a result of global warming."  Even if thats not fully defensible in peer-reviewed journals, they have to start saying this. Repeatedly.  With every severe tornado outbreak, massive hurricane, record-setting snowfall and massive flooding.  

    Just start saying "YES IT WAS" and it'll start to get through to the public.  

    We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

    by ScrewySquirrel on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 04:25:54 PM PDT

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      The truth is that these storms would not be so severe if climate change wasn't occurring.

      Sometimes you have to be blunt and not so respectful of the scientific niceties.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 04:35:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Been expecting this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    Nice job putting pieces together. This really shouldn't be that surprising: if greenhouse gasses are trapping more of the sun's energy in the atmosphere, it has to go somewhere. Increased storm activity seems a likely consequence among others.

    New Scientist has a report on new work showing that warming oceans release CO2 even faster than previously thought, not good news to say the least.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 04:35:14 PM PDT

    •  If an idiot like me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      can pull this together, imagine what a motivated mainstream journalist could do.

      Oh wait, I forgot.  When it comes to climate change the news media isn't highly motivated to tell the real story, are they?

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 04:46:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Frequency of F4 tornadoes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For about the last 60 years:

    It's a similar picture for F2, F3 and F5 (decreasing trend).

  •  We've got 2 seasons now here (0+ / 0-)

    in Maryland. We go from Snowpocalyspe/how much did we spend on oil?!?! to: Oh it's April, it's time to open the pool!!!

    Are you kidding me? Easter Sunday we had buds, today, Wednesday, we are in full leaf. I have a shady lot and the hostas weren't even out of the ground on Sunday, today they are like 10 inches tall.

    And tornadoes do happen. They've happened here. I had one hit my other house in '96 and it tore the chimney bricks off and swept them 20 feet from the house among other heinous things. But the insurance companies are in bed with "weather reporting". It's not enough to witness these things, insurance sees to that. "Even though you live on a hill, clearly this was a flood and your house was falling down anyway......claim denied." Some weather "person" somewhere has to validate the event. The game is rigged by insurance not wanting to pay claims.

    Back in '96 it was obvious that the weather events were cyclical, happening on Tuesdays like clockwork. Although this is anecdotal it can be easily verified. I thought at the time it was due to regular traffic/emissions due to commuters and the overall weather system within el nino.

    Right now a super cell is on top of's Wednesday evening and it's 73 degrees.

  •  I was on the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    and someone mentioned in a comment about the severity of the recent flooding and storms, and a bunch of global warming deniers were saying that the earth goes through cycles and this is just one of them and that the earth has no idea humans even exist. I was just enraged, these idiots would never think to pick up a journal article or read a science blog about climate and weather, yet they think they know how everything works. I've done a fair amount of research on the matter and scientist agree that climate change is making for more intense storms. Although no one single weather event can be attributed to climate change, trends are becoming apparent.

    •  I'm still convinced (0+ / 0-)

      this is g-d's punishment for mistreating the least among us and that people elected the tea party to that end. I mean did you notice over the first two years of the Obama adm how calm the weather was  

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