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A rec-listed diary connects our most recent tornado outbreak to climate change and implies its severity must be related to climate change, because a warmer Gulf of Mexico means more water vapor, or something. This diary fails to recognize that climate is a long-term measurement of atmpospheric conditions and behavior. A single severe tornado outbreak does not climate change make, nor can we measure climate change from one such single event. That doesn't mean it's not horrifying, and that doesn't mean climate change is not occurring -- but if we are going to beat science deniers on the merits of science, we have to be right on the science.

Climate is measured in decades and centuries. To declare it changed requires an accumulation of a lengthy data record. This is something that climate scientists have done through meticulous data collection during recent decades as well as research into sediment and ice cores in lakes, oceans, glaciers, and ice caps. These lengthy data records help us understand what is happening in the LONG term - again, decades, centuries - and it very strongly suggests major climate change.

For the data gathered from this single tornado outbreak to be useful, it must be considered in a context of tornado statistics from a much longer period than just last week. If such severe outbreaks suddenly became commonplace across years and decades, THAT would be a serious climate change flag. If they suddenly began regularly occurring in places where we hadn't seem them before -- if, for example, over the past ten to fifteen years we began seeing an uptick in reported tornadoes in Anchorage, Alaska, where such weather is rare -- THAT would be a major climate change flag.

We have had an exceptionally active spring in terms of tornadoes. With 871 preliminary tornado reports for the month of April alone, it's clear a record may be set once meteorologists survey the damage and report the data. According to the NOAA National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC), this far outstrips numbers from previous years, which are in the 100-200 range (3 year average is 185 tornadoes in April). If the average starts to rise because year after year we're seeing more tornadoes, that begins to raise a question about climate change, because year after year, decade on decade, what the averages helped us come to expect the weather to be no longer occurs. THIS would be data to watch for climate change.

We are seeing warmer temperatures earlier in spring further north - and that has been noted now as a continuous process across decades as flowering times of certain plants and emergences of hibernating creatures and breakups of ice along rivers occur earlier and earlier. THAT is climate change in action. But a single warm March? That's a weather anomaly.

Sometimes, the record is thin. Some phenomena are better or more frequently observed or reported than they once were because we are a more densely populated nation with better communication systems and better instrumentation for observing these phenomena than what once was the case. For example, we only began observing hurricanes by satellite in 1966. Before we had that remote sensing instrumentation, we often missed many storms which formed over, and stayed over, open ocean. Tropical Storm Zeta, for example, would likely never have been discovered and named without the satellites we have in orbit today. The freak hurricane which struck Brazil in spring, 2004 might never have been realized to be the phenomenon it was. So with a thin record, we have to try to gather more evidence before making a claim. For example, many would have leapt to claim Hurricane Katrina or the exceptionally active hurricane season of that year as evidence of climate change. And many did. However, those are short-term occurrences. One hurricane is weather. One hurricane season is a weather phenomenon. So researchers must dig up - literally - a greater data stream in order to first learn the climatology of hurricanes from the past, and then see has changed over the longer course of time. That is a study called paleometeorology. Paleometeorologists are the dedicated men and women who take sediment cores and ice cores and study the composition of trapped gases and sediments to let the atmosphere's past speak to us.

If we are to discuss climate change in a way that truly covers the issue appropriately - without being sensationalist, and without jumping to conclusions before we have data to prove them - we must discuss climate change in terms of CLIMATE. We have to get the science right. Again, it is a longer-term measure than last week, or last month, or last fall. This tornado outbreak cannot prove or disprove climate change. It is a horrific disaster, and vivid example of extreme weather - not extreme climate.

What we CAN do with this outbreak is use it as evidence for two things.

1. Government agencies can be critically necessary to save lives and protect property. This is incontrovertible evidence that a government agency used taxpayer dollars to the BEST of the public's interest. That needs to be trumpeted loudly. Government did good for the people.

2. Following on, agencies like this need to be funded fully to have the instruments and staff to properly respond to disasters of such magnitude. In the wake of such a disaster, what legislator could stand up and say that the National Weather Service is a bloated and unnecessary agency full of useless bureaucrats? None. And if he did, voters would ridicule her or him all the way to the ballot box. A recent diary noted that the Ryan budget cuts funding to NOAA and to the National Weather Service -- just when these critical events are happening.

Such WEATHER events can be useful in marketing good government and securing funding to make sure that agencies which are critical to protecting the pubic continue to be fully funded to do their lifesaving work. In the process, funding can also be secured to continue to study the longer-term change in our CLIMATE, because we can point out that the more we understand about CLIMATE, the better we are able to forecast and prepare for WEATHER events like this catastrophic tornado outbreak.

Let's discuss the issue conversantly. Let's talk about weather when we have short-term weather events, and climate when we have longer-term data at hand. And let's use both sets of data to press our elected representatives to properly fund research and response to both.

Updated by ElsieElsie at Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:03 PM CDT

To respond to commenters below, I am fully on board with the clarity that human activities are causing climate change. It's not debatable, to my view.

Commenter Deward Hastings, below, said so much better and more succinctly what I mean to say:

"We rightly laugh when climate change sceptics point to a snowdrift and say 'what global warming' . . . it is . . . unfortunate . . . when some people here turn around and do exactly the same thing (in reverse) with a tornado.  Being right does not excuse one from properly making the case and properly presenting the argument."

Thank you.

Originally posted to ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by State of the Skies.

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Comment Preferences

    •  good grief! (6+ / 0-)

      leaving this diary now.... absurdity is blowing in the wind here...

      MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

      by edrie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 06:22:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  To all you folks you tip/rec'd this diary (11+ / 0-)

      You might want to reconsider. In the diarist's own words

      We will have to see if models continue to verify

      That's right. This is a climate change denier in disguise (a very good one though). They think there are measurable changes to the climate but want to wait for more models and information to decide that it has any impact.

      As soon as you have people telling other people how to live/think/behave because "god gave them authority" you effectively get dictators in funny looking hats.

      by ontheleftcoast on Sun May 01, 2011 at 06:38:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope, not a denier. (0+ / 0-)

        As I have repeatedly said.

        But I do stick to science, and I do always leave room for unexpected change to occur. Science rarely lives in definite terms.

        I'd be surprised if models didn't continue to verify, but it's still an "if" until it occurs.

        Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

        by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 09:05:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And thus you are a denier (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ivote2004

          You try to dress it up as "we need more info" but that's just a denier of a different stripe. Folks like you try to call yourselves "skeptics" but you're just trying to spread FUD into the science. Twenty years ago you would've been reasonable, but not any longer. How many mountains of data and research do you need? There will never be enough for you. As I said, keep whistling past the graveyard if it makes you feel better.

          As soon as you have people telling other people how to live/think/behave because "god gave them authority" you effectively get dictators in funny looking hats.

          by ontheleftcoast on Sun May 01, 2011 at 09:10:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  If tornadoes are weather, (0+ / 0-)

      why doesn't Europe and Africa have tornadoes?

      Do you even know what the word climate means?

  •  A single tornado, even a series of storms (15+ / 0-)

    is weather. However, they can be CAUSED by climate. And the climate is changing and causing more, and more severe, tornados. And in case you haven't been paying attention

    Climate is measured in decades and centuries.

    The climate has been steadily getting warmer for about a century. Have a nice (if somewhat hotter due to climate change) day.

    As soon as you have people telling other people how to live/think/behave because "god gave them authority" you effectively get dictators in funny looking hats.

    by ontheleftcoast on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:50:27 PM PDT

    •  No, weather is not caused by climate. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LynneK, anna shane, grsplane

      Climate is the long term trend described in observation of behavior of the atmosphere.

      Weather is caused by a variety of forces - heating, changes in surface cover, composition of the atmosphere - but it is not caused by climate.

      As I pointed out, obviously the climate is changing. But we may or may not have a long enough data stream to prove that we are changing to a paradigm of more and stronger tornadoes. That would be borne out looking at the data from the past ten to thirty years, at least.

      You missed my point. One very severe outbreak does not a climate change make or break.

      Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

      by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:56:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Huh? (14+ / 0-)

        Weather is definitely influenced by climate. I live in a temperate rain forest. The climate there influences my weather. Or are you telling me the 80+ inches of rain I get is just a lot of weather?

        And you missed a bigger point. This isn't the first serious weather problem caused by climate change. The hurricane season is stretching out. Weather cycles like La Niña and El Niño are more frequent and of greater intensity. Precipitation patterns are changing.

        But keep on whistling past the graveyard if you want. I'm sure it'll make you feel better.

        As soon as you have people telling other people how to live/think/behave because "god gave them authority" you effectively get dictators in funny looking hats.

        by ontheleftcoast on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:03:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, weather is also not influenced by climate. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neuroptimalian, LynneK, anna shane

          Think of it as analogous to distance measurement.

          If weather is the millimeter or centimeter, then climate is the meter or kilometer.

          The centimeter is not changed by the meter. It MAKES UP PART OF the meter.

          Weather is what makes up climate. It isn't caused or influenced by climate. It is the tiny bits of data that create the overall trend. The former is the moment. The latter is the lifetime.

          CLIMATE CHANGE is caused by a lot of factors, among them the terrible amounts of crud we're pumping into the atmosphere. A weather event can be a manifestation of climate change, but we can't say that without data to prove it - and typically data that proves it is gathered across a lot longer term than a week or month.

          I'm not whistling past any graveyard or denying that climate change can and probably will lead to extreme weather. I'm saying that constantly saying THIS or THAT weather event is climate change gets the science wrong - and makes us no better than the people who deny the science in the first place.

          We can use individual weather events for good purposes, and I described those ideas at the end of the diary.

          Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

          by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:12:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ooh, I like this analogy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Little, assemblyline

            The problem is you're still not getting it. Let's re-examine your measurement idea. A metre is 100 centimetres. Now say the centimetres all get a little bit different, some wider, some narrower. The metre could change length. For the last hundred years or so the cenitmetres have been changing, mostly getting longer (hotter) and making the metre larger (hotter).

            Every single weather event, every single one, contributes to the measurement of "climate". And, this the hard part for you to grasp, if the climate is changing then so is the weather.

            Now, as I initially stated. You are right, in the narrow definition of one storm cell you can not with 100% accuracy say "climate change caused that storm". But that's a bunch of weasel words. The truth you don't want to accept is climate change was a factor in that storm's severity.

            As soon as you have people telling other people how to live/think/behave because "god gave them authority" you effectively get dictators in funny looking hats.

            by ontheleftcoast on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:19:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you can point to me the data... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Neuroptimalian, LynneK

              ...that draw a straight line between climate change and this particular storm's intensity, I will happily accept it.

              A more intense outbreak occurred 37 years ago. It, too, was a one-time event, and at the time people were concerned about global COOLING.

              It's not that I do or don't want to accept. It's that I can't propone something that there is no data to support.

              Data strongly, conclusively shows that the climate is changing and that these change are strongly correlated with human activities. I wouldn't dream of disputing that. I also would not dispute that these changes can, will, and surely have led to more intense weather events.

              What you are trying to get me to agree to is that it caused THIS weather event, and there hasn't even been time for a study that would attempt to draw that line.

              Could it have? Yes. Is it good science to say it has the week after it happened without the data to support it? No. It just can't be accurately said. There's not even data to infer it, especially if a more intense event occurred significantly far in the past, as is the case here.

              Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

              by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:29:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  How many times do I have to say it (5+ / 0-)
                ...that draw a straight line between climate change and this particular storm's intensity, I will happily accept it.

                I agree with you. I've said that multiple times. There is no way to 100% prove that climate change caused this storm. So what? If I go to a rigged roulette wheel I can't determine what number will come up. But I can still know the game is rigged.

                What you don't want to accept is that climate change had an impact on that storm. The wheel is rigged and 00 is coming up more often than it should. The overall humidity and temperatures in that part of the country have been changed. Changed in such a way that it promotes the formation of thunderstorms and tornados.

                And we're going to see more (and probably worse) ones in the months and years to come. That's what is important. Not one storm, not one hot/cold summer. But that this impact is real and it is going to get worse.

                As soon as you have people telling other people how to live/think/behave because "god gave them authority" you effectively get dictators in funny looking hats.

                by ontheleftcoast on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:42:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We will have to see... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LynneK, anna shane, Paulie200

                  ...if models continue to verify.

                  I accept that climate change COULD have impacted the storm's formation and may have in some level. But we have no data to suggest HOW or indeed that it DID. It's not about what I want to do or don't want to do. Why make this so personal? It's about science.

                  Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

                  by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:49:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Actually we do have data on the how (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Little, pelagicray, assemblyline

                    We know the temperature and humidity have changed. That's the how. And because they changed we know there was some impact. What we don't know is how much that impact was. It could've been tiny, say 1%. It could've been a lot more. But it was there.

                    And personal? What I take personally are people trying to say, "we don't know enough" or "the data isn't 100%". It'll never be good enough for people like that because there will always be some missing piece of data. That "We will have to see if models continue to verify." is climate denialism at it's worst.

                    And that isn't science. Science keeps testing, forming new theories. But just because we can't find every piece of data on evolution doesn't mean we ignore it until "more data becomes available" we might change our understanding of it, but we know it's there.

                    As soon as you have people telling other people how to live/think/behave because "god gave them authority" you effectively get dictators in funny looking hats.

                    by ontheleftcoast on Sun May 01, 2011 at 06:03:41 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Obviously nothing. (6+ / 0-)

        You haven't been reading what many top-notch climate scientists have to say about extreme rainfall events, sea surface temperatures, and tornadoes in the past month.

        Short version:
        This is not one event, it is very likely directly related to high sea surface temperatures in the Gulf, and you don't know what you are talking about.

        Michael Mann:
        "Climate change is present in every single meteorological event, in that these events are occurring within a baseline atmospheric environment that has shifted in favor of more intense weather events."

        Read:
        http://climateprogress.org/...

        http://climateprogress.org/...

        Look (20+ inches of rain in one week!):
        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/...

      •  You are dense, goofy, you don't know (0+ / 0-)

        what you are talking about, yet you have some kind of an agenda.

        Thunderstorms and tornados as a weather condition occurs in climates conducive to thunderstorms and tornadoes.

        Just as rainly weather occurs in climates conducive to precipitation.

        Just as dry weather occurs commonly in arid climates.

  •  I think I see the point you try (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Little, LookingUp, IndieGuy, anna shane

    to make but what you skipped over is the fact that changes in climate favor different weather phenomena and science can predict these changes. You're right that every time it rains you can't blame global warming without coming off like a wingnut but we can make scientifically sound statements relating weather trends to climate data predictions.

    •  only if we have data to support that (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, changes in climate favor different phenomena. But do the data support that they caused this one? I don't think we have that data yet.

      Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

      by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:53:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do we have data to negate it? n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IndieGuy

        It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

        by muddy boots on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:57:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neuroptimalian, jdsnebraska

          But if we don't have data to negate a statement, we cannot automatically suppose the statement to be correct if we also fail to have data to support it.

          That would be, well, bad science.

          Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

          by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:00:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Weather data builds climate data. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bush Bites, oldpunk, Old Gardener

            If we have a large tornado season would that data suggest the climate is getting warmer or cooler or staying the same?

            It would suggest, but is not conclusive, that the weather is getting warmer.

            Even climate change deniers rarely deny the climate is getting warmer. What they deny is the role of mankind in influencing that change. They claim it is just a normal upswing as we have seen in the past caused by non human influence and we should not change how we go about our business.

            It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

            by muddy boots on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:08:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You clearly get the point of my diary. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              oldpunk, Old Gardener

              Thank you.

              Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

              by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:13:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So we should wait for the conclusions? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                South Dem, dewley notid

                We have to react a lot faster than that if we want to survive. Ask the climate change deniers. They want their business to survive so they deny the indications and ask for the conclusive proof.

                We have to speak up and acknowledge that a bad tornado season most emphatically falls on the side of climate warming and suggests that change is accelerating.

                It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

                by muddy boots on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:20:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Wrong question. Scientific method doesn't (4+ / 0-)

          say to assume a hypothesis is right until proven wrong; it says to state the hypothesis and then go out and collect the data that will prove it either write or wrong.

          •  The hypothesis is not proved right (0+ / 0-)

            It is only disproved. We only know what is false and that is why we must make a theory which makes testable predictions.

            In the case of weather vis a vis climate if the weather had LESS tornado's we would think the theory of a warming climate disproved. Because we have more just supports it. It does not prove it until we have a century of data or so.

            Meanwhile if the theory is correct, particularly rearding the influence of mankind on the climate, we should change our behavior immediately.

            It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

            by muddy boots on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:33:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think we all agree the behavior should change. (0+ / 0-)

              However, if we had fewer tornadoes, that wouldn't even necessarily mean the climate wasn't warming. It might just mean that the anticipated effect of a warming climate didn't verity. We would need to build a record of data to demonstrate which of these is the case.

              Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

              by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:42:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I certainly agree with your closing statement! (0+ / 0-)

              It's well past time for us to change our behavior.

      •  You don't think? Are you a climate scientists? nt (0+ / 0-)
      •  yes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldpunk, Old Gardener

        we know the seas are rising, and that the ice caps are melting, and that it's getting hotter, overall, not everywhere, and that leads to changes, but if we overreach and call everything that happens is caused by global warming, then we skip collecting data. I mean, it's possible that global warming would make for fewer tornadoes in some places, and we'd expect tornadoes in unusual places because of wind patterns shifting. Hotter and drier, but what it does to specific weather isn't known.  

        It is best to stick to science, because there are always those who'll claim they're right only cause we make stuff up and that's distracting.  Global warming is real, ice caps melting is real, species going extinct cause their habitate has changed is real.  Weather is real, and patterns of extreme weather are shifting, but calling the tornadoe an effect of global warming isn't yet provable.  

        She's not a denier, she's someone who wants to use language accurately.  

        Just say it: Medicare for All

        by anna shane on Sun May 01, 2011 at 06:48:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Both sides may be slipping into semantics-- (0+ / 0-)

      assuming the diarist is not a closet and clever denier.

      The Atacama is an extreme of the arid climatic regime typical of southern hemisphere western coasts lying next to a cold current (Namib for example) that is a physical ocean feature. It also has the geologic contribution of the Andes to cast a rain shadow. Another physical factor creating the arid climatic regime (both in reality and label) is the global temperature that, with geophysical forces, have an effect on ocean currents. Temperatures, even so far away as the far west Pacific as evidenced by El Niño/La Niña, cause effects on that coast and all the way to Brazil and us. There is both a physical "climate regime" caused by those and other physical factors--causing the Atacama and its "weather" to show certain long term averages--and thus it gets a "climate" label attached. The long term average conditions thus are the determinant of our climate label.

      The Humbolt current, a geostrophic current, is the physical manifestation of physical effects on a fluid flowing from an oceanic high (Yeah, cross the center of the Atlantic gyre and you climb "uphill" and then down.) that include gravity, spin of the planet, long term temperatures (For a real horror consider the hypothesized disruption of those currents when if one of the contributors, sinking cold water at the poles, stops.), prevailing winds and such. The rain shadow is the geologic fact of the Andes. Stop the current, replace it with a warm current, drop the Andes flat and both the physical climate regime and the necessary descriptor will change pretty damn fast.

      What we are seeing, and despite the diarist's claim there is a damn pile of evidence except to deniers, is a change in one of the other the physical conditions-global temperatures. Crank up the heat and the Pacific acts differently, evaporation increases and then you have both physical climate regimes and the attached climate descriptors changing. Not as fast and dramatic as if you planed off the Andes and stopped currents, but climate changes as a new long term or, worse perhaps, a long term moving average engages. It may take a century to figure out what, but it is changing and that indeed means weather within that climate regime is riding right along.

      If this is just some chicken and egg semantic difference it is one thing. If the diarist, factually correct in that no one storm or even year of storms can be tied to climate change in the physical sense, is not just mistaken in that aspect then they don't know what they are talking about--or they do and are sowing bullshit.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sun May 01, 2011 at 08:00:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You think that climate scientist doesn't (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ontheleftcoast, jan4insight, IndieGuy

    know the difference between climate and weather?

  •  What would you say if we had a worse than normal.. (0+ / 0-)

    ...Hurricane season in the fall?

    Just curious, really. because it seems like "warm soupy" air from the gulf could lead to a pretty bad hurricane season if it persists.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:56:51 PM PDT

    •  That is one hurricane season. (3+ / 0-)

      If I wanted to talk about how bad the weather has been, then I would talk about that one hurricane season.

      If I wanted to talk about climate, I would ask about the trend from a larger number of seasons than one.

      I repeat, if we want to beat science deniers on the merits of science, we have got to get the science right.

      Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

      by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:59:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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

        It's just one data point, but it could be meaningful if it continues.

        Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

        by Bush Bites on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:02:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "It could be meaningful if it continues..." (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldpunk

          ...this means you precisely get my point!

          It is not meaningful in terms of climate now, but if it continues..........then it's a climate issue.

          Thanks for discussing that. This is my point. Again - we cannot declaim science deniers if we are failing to get the science right ourselves. If we fail at the science ourselves, no one benefits.

          Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

          by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:21:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  If it continues... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        myboo

        Like the monster wildfires, devastating floods, freak freezes and even national snowstorms, etc  that we've been having year in and year out for at least a decade or so now?

        You know some people who think these isolated weather events add up to climate change? The insurance industry. But they're coughing up real dollars (and lots of them) while others are discussing "trends."  

        http://evanmills.lbl.gov/...

        Of course climate and weather aren't the same thing. But we have lots of data points if we look backward too. We just need to look in the rear view mirror... Or ask citizens of the states who have been affected for a while. When you live in the west and southwest and every summer is progressively hotter, when you live in the west and the forests burn longer and hotter every year-- year after year-- we recognize what this is. Maybe that's why climate change denial is less prevalent out this way.

        It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... - C Dickens.

        by grover on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:28:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you're accusing either of us... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldpunk, Old Gardener

          ...of climate change denial, you're misreading.

          We are talking about getting the science right, and talking about it correctly and conversantly, so as to not shoot ourselves in the foot when dealing with policy matters regarding climate and weather (and any science).

          Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

          by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:33:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't look now, but your foot is bleeding. (0+ / 0-)

            If you find yourself agreeing with Roger Pielke Jr., your foot had already been shot.

          •  I didn't say you were denying. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            myboo

            but I wonder when you think enough data points will be sufficient?

            The warm weather at the North Pole, after all, is just weather. But while we chat about that, polar bears are struggling for survival.

            I'm tired of letting fear of the vitriolic ignorant (and the moneyed special interests) keep us from having reasonable discussions.

            We can dance around "climate vs weather"  but polar bears and our brothers and sisters down south aren't benefitting form such nuanced purity.   This seems to be part of the larger pattern; why not say so? Lives are literally at stake every day we don't make the issue accessible and relevant to average Americans.

            It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... - C Dickens.

            by grover on Sun May 01, 2011 at 06:50:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You are technically correct but you may be letting (0+ / 0-)

        semantics confuse things. Climate is the long term physical pattern of average weather. No argument. Climate is a human statistical construct. The physical reality that creates the long term pattern is the climate regime that we describe and to which we assign a label. I went into that elsewhere perhaps in a rambling way.

        There is no real doubt the physical conditions are changing. Multiple models have been and are predicting certain "weather" effects. One effect, even laymen should know, is that when you turn up the temperature there is more "action" and many, if not most, of those models predict increased atmospheric and oceanographic action. Those models have been checking out reasonably well.

        No, one or several bad hurricane or tornado or torrential and unusual rains or droughts can be tied particularly to climate change locally or globally. The increased frequency of such events has been predicted and we are observing some increase over decades. Sea and lake sediments and ice cores are also showing an unusual cycle and not blowing those models to pieces.

        Now I'll bring in risk analysis 101. You can ignore very high risk things when they have very low "cost" in money or physical damage. You had damn well better pay attention and mitigate even risks that seem improbable having devastating consequences. Ignoring the risk that we and our ancestors' massive burning of fossil carbon, once locked up in coal and oil, since the industrial revolution is driving at least some of a change that will almost certainly have deathly consequences for whole species and many of ours is pure foolishness.

        By the way, my climatology and oceanography professors in the early 1960s speculated on that "greenhouse effect" and some others were studying what we now call "global warming" and more properly climate change. I've watched their "speculative" predictions show up on sea surface temperature records and other data. We have indicators of a high consequence event looming and had better get damned serious about mitigation. It will be too late when we know it because we see it here and now in all its consequences.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Sun May 01, 2011 at 08:24:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another question. (0+ / 0-)

    How do you feel about colder than normal temperatures in Great Britain?

    Technically, that could be explained as "weather" but, as I understand it, it might be because air currents are shifting due to warming in the arctic.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:59:59 PM PDT

    •  Colder temperatures... (0+ / 0-)

      ...this week, month, or winter?

      Or colder temperatures observed over a decade or longer of winters?

      Again, weather vs. climate.

      Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

      by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:02:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This winter. (0+ / 0-)

        I see what you're saying and I generally agree with you, but I wouldn't close the door to it being a sign of something more serious than the weather, especially if you see a variety of seemingly unrelated things  -- such as tornadoes in the South and colder than normal temps in GB, melting glaciers in the arctic, and melting permafrost in Siberia -- that fit together when climate change is considered.

        Nobody's saying it's a main piece of evidence, just that it might be another piece of the puzzle with is being observed in different places throughout the world.

        Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

        by Bush Bites on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:10:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Record cold during a single year (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ElsieElsie, Old Gardener

      wouldn't say anything about climate change.  Several years of unusually cold weather would be more telling.  The best evidence would be a long-term record that shows a statistically significant trend of a decrease in the average temperature during the last couple of decades.

      One data point is weather - there have always been isolated extraordinary weather events.  Many data points begins to describe climate.

  •  You state the case very well. However, it is (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover, Quicklund, Bush Bites, LookingUp

    accurate to say that increased atmospheric moisture provides greater opportunity for more powerful storms, and that a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture.

    Not everyone will draw the line correctly, but as long as we accept that climate change is occurring as a result of human activity, it remains accurate to say that a changing climate means changing weather.  It's impossible to have it any other way.

    •  Makes the case well? It's like a pasta chef (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leftcandid, South Dem, Knarfc

      arguing string theory with Stephen Hawking. "Climate isn't weather!" Oy. Long term rises in global temperature - climate - affect weather. Does any scientist argue against that?

      •  Climate doesn't affect weather. (0+ / 0-)

        Climate is made up of weather.

        Long term rises in temperature are caused by changes to the system - for example huge influxes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. That is what affects both climate and weather.

        Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

        by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:18:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cumulative change can't affect (0+ / 0-)

          short term weather? That's just logical rubbish.

          •  Cumulative change does affect an end point. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm trying to point out to you that it's change in factors that makes up change in weather (and in time, climate).

            A change in atmospheric composition causes changes in weather events which add up to being a change in climate.

            The change in climate is made up of changes in weather. Change in climate does not cause changes in weather.

            Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

            by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:35:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That you haven't ansswered whether you're (0+ / 0-)

              a climate scientist, or something else that would  make your challenge to that diary make sense, I find just weird.

              Climate scientist Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, explains further that “climate change is present in every single meteorological event”:
              The fact remains that there is 4 percent more water vapor–and associated additional moist energy–available both to power individual storms and to produce intense rainfall from them. Climate change is present in every single meteorological event, in that these events are occurring within a baseline atmospheric environment that has shifted in favor of more intense weather events.

              You seem to be completely stuck on "Weather is not climate!" and think it means that you can refute actual sceintists who use data to show how climate change mat affect the earth.

        •  Michael Mann (0+ / 0-)

          Climate scientist Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, explains further that “climate change is present in every single meteorological event”:

          The fact remains that there is 4 percent more water vapor–and associated additional moist energy–available both to power individual storms and to produce intense rainfall from them. Climate change is present in every single meteorological event, in that these events are occurring within a baseline atmospheric environment that has shifted in favor of more intense weather events.

          http://thinkprogress.org/...

        •  If climate doesn't affect weather (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Knarfc

          can I rightly assume that the weather in Phoenix AZ and Antartica very well  * could * be the same tomorrow?

          No, that's ridiculous - climate totally affects weather,  kinda like an animal's diet will affect what they'll eat for their next meal . .. . ..

        •  Weather is short term; (0+ / 0-)

          climate is long term.  If weather changes over the long term, it changes the climate.  While I understand the point you make, it's a worthless argument.  The simple answer is, we don't know what's going on.  We can think we do, but we don't.  However, those "scientists" who claim that there is no evidence whatsoever of climate change should have their scientist badges revoked.  

          President Barack Obama; I helped make this happen!

          by PittsburghPete on Sun May 01, 2011 at 06:24:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  She describes weather & climate properly, but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Little, Red Bean

        goes overboard in trying to maintain a definitional distinctness that poorly represents Nature.

        As we define them, Climate and Weather are not exactly the same thing.  Weather is what is happening now or happened recently; Climate is aggregate Weather over some distance & more time.

        It'd be really more accurate for us to refer to Increased Atmospheric Heat-Retaining Gases Altering Conditions Which Affects Weather And Thus Climate, The Measure Of Which Is Most Apparent In Climatology, or

        IAHRGACWAWATH,TMOWIMAIC.

        Fear it.

  •  Parts of this country that have (0+ / 0-)

    never experienced tornadoes have been hit with them.  I have to conclude that the climate change has something to do with that.  


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:06:39 PM PDT

  •  All right, I give, mebbe it's not climate, BUT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ElsieElsie

    couldn't we do a better job as stewards of this planet and STOP polluting air, water, land, and atmosphere ... just IN CASE???????

    "If we work in unity, we will achieve our goal." ~ Aung San Suu Kyi

    by jan4insight on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:06:59 PM PDT

    •  I completely, utterly agree. EOM (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight

      Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

      by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:15:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Other negative impacts definitely are climate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight

      related.  Climate change is very real, and very serious.  We can't be sure that this particular cluster of tornadoes was the result of climate change (although they certainly are consistent with the predictions of climate change models) but there's plenty of other evidence that clearly demonstrates that we're in deep trouble.  Yes, absolutely let's do a better job!  And pray that there's still time to at least avoid the worst case scenarios.  (It's way too late to avoid serious negative impacts.)

      The deniers will jump on any overstatement, and use it against us.  That's why we need to be careful.

  •  Heat is a measure of energy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ElsieElsie, kkbDIA

    Warmer atmosphere means a more energetic atmosphere.

    More energy in the air means more energy in atmospheric events.

    Weather is an atmospheric event.

    So goes the thought processes for the past 15 years, when every summer seemed to bring at least a few days of 50 MPH winds.

    I know weather is a chaotic system and one cannot scientifically draw the straight line between climate change and bigger tornadoes.

    But still...

    Stop. Stand up. Make a sign. Walk around in public. Be polite and orderly and the rest takes care of itself. Want to shake up the Plutocrats? Demonstrate your attention to politics.

    by Quicklund on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:09:16 PM PDT

    •  You understand my point. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, kkbDIA

      Thank you.

      I agree, we want to draw a straight line.

      ...but we can't scream at science deniers and then fail on the science, or we screw ourselves in the end.

      Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

      by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:16:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are different concepts at work (0+ / 0-)

        I have not studied this specific issue but I do know the scientific method and statistics.  

        It is impossible to say that Global Warming caused a specific tornado, or made a specific tornado stronger.  Or  that is caused this specific cluster of tornadoes.

        But,in the theoretical sense it is entirely valid to conclude, after proper study, that global warming directly effects more/stronger tornadoes.  At least is can be concluded that way on a frequency/probability basis.

        I do not know if someone has already done such a study. It is just that one has to be careful of the language.   Climate is not weather, but it is entirely possible that a valid scientific study has (or someday will) give strong indication that the ongoing climate change includes with it increased tornado activity.

        Sorry if I am preaching to the choir.  I just want to be careful here.

        Stop. Stand up. Make a sign. Walk around in public. Be polite and orderly and the rest takes care of itself. Want to shake up the Plutocrats? Demonstrate your attention to politics.

        by Quicklund on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:48:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for emphasizing the distinction. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ElsieElsie

    As tempting as it is to blame climate change, you are right that we can't demonstrate a direct causal link.  One data point does not demonstrate a trend.  Yes, the models predict that we'll see more and more energetic storms as a result of climate change.  However, we can't say for sure that climate change contributed significantly to this year's tornadoes unless and until we go through a few more unusually bad years.

    I absolutely believe that climate change driven by human activities is already having serious impacts, and that the evidence suggests that those impacts are going to be worse than even the more pessimistic of the scientific community predicted just a few years back.  However, ElsieElsie, I totally agree with you that we need to be very careful to stick to supportable scientific findings to avoid losing credibility.  The supportable scientific findings are terrifying enough!

    •  Total agreement. (0+ / 0-)

      The proven science is horrifying. I don't see how it's deniable in the face of already-provided evidence that climate change is dramatic, it's in progress, and its effects are and will have major impact on society and nature.

      The correlation between human activities and these impacts is also massive. Hard to miss, unless one is viewing her or his intestines.

      Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

      by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:23:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Scientists make predictions. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Little

    The predictions are made on the basis of the science as they understand it or on the basis of newly introduced hypotheses that they hope to test.

    Where the science is very well tested, as in the thermodynamics of water vapor in the atmosphere as a function of temperature, the predictions tend to match what happens very closely.

    In the case of tornadoes the predictions are based on a combination of thermodynamics and hypotheses about wind patterns.  Such hypotheses are not sure to be matched well against what happens, but good matches give greater confidence in the hypotheses.  The predictions made by climate scientists were that they couldn't make a good judgement about tornado frequency but that there were very good reasons to expect the average severity of tornadoes to increase.

    The events of April are consistent with the predictions.  This doesn't mean that the scientific basis of the predictions is completely correct, but it does provide greater confidence that the science is on the right track.

    If you were arguing from a purely statistical basis, you would be completely correct.  But in this case there are predictions made on the basis of cause and effect, and the effects cannot be taken as irrelevant.

    Yes, weather is not climate.  But when predictions of extreme weather events are well matched by real weather events, we can talk about evidence in support of the climate science used in the predications.

    In fact the predictions of higher atmospheric moisture have been well confirmed and are consistent with the clear trends in increased flooding world wide as well as increases in severity of storms that depend on atmospheric moisture.

    "Trust only those who doubt" Lu Xun

    by LookingUp on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:24:32 PM PDT

    •  The important word in your comment (0+ / 0-)

      is "average".  Yes, this season is suggestive, but it's still just one data point.  The fact that there have been many powerful tornadoes results from a particular atmospheric configuration, which is the proper level of observation to connect with long-term climate.  The individual tornadoes are local instabilities arising within that larger, longer lasting atmospheric configuration.  The predictions are about trends, not about single extreme events.

      It may well be that this outbreak has been, at least in part, tied to climate change.  Or it may just be an extraordinary tornado year, as has been observed before (although not recently).  The point of this diary is that we don't have enough data to tell one way or another.  If we have a few more really bad tornado seasons during the next decade, that would begin to answer the question.

    •  I agree that... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kkbDIA, jdsnebraska

      ...there are predictions. And there are models. And there is data from which conclusions can be drawn. You and I are completely on the same page.

      I'm not taking a POTENTIAL effect as irrelevant. I'm saying we cannot draw a straight line, or scream "CLIMATE CHANGE" at every single significant weather event. We have to get the science right.

      And as far as measurement of flooding and storm severity, while I am inclined to agree that it is likely we are seeing those effects, we are also still improving our methods of measurement and observation. Weather radar, for example, is leaps and bounds ahead of what it was 20 years ago. We are still building a data record. Flooding in remote regions was not known to the extent it is now, both because of increases in population and communications capacity, and improvements in remote sensing of such conditions.

      This is why paleometeorologists are so important. The work they do builds the longer record to support the case you are proposing.

      Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

      by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:40:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The flooding trend has bee demonstrated. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mike101

        In a recent paper in the journal Nature, the abstract finishes with:

        Here we show that human-induced increases in greenhouse gases have contributed to the observed intensification of heavy precipitation events found over approximately two-thirds of data-covered parts of Northern Hemisphere land areas. These results are based on a comparison of observed and multi-model simulated changes in extreme precipitation over the latter half of the twentieth century analysed with an optimal fingerprinting technique. Changes in extreme precipitation projected by models, and thus the impacts of future changes in extreme precipitation, may be underestimated because models seem to underestimate the observed increase in heavy precipitation with warming

        This is no big surprise as a series of papers starting with one in 2005 in the journal Science, showed that the simplest thermodynamics prediction of increases in atmospheric water vapor with increases in average world temperature fits within a few percent of measurements.  This along with the average residence time of 9 days for a water molecule in the atmosphere guarantees increases in precipitation with increases in temperature.

        The paper in Nature indicated that flooding went up 7% while atmospheric water vapor went up 4% to 5%.

        The recent tornado outbreaks are attributed to unusually warm moist air in the southern states this spring interacting with cold air from the north.  Even if this unusual degree of warm moist air had nothing to do with an increase in greenhouse gases, we just got a look of what is to come as "unusually" warm moist air is predicted to become more and more common in the south.

        It is time to do something that has some hope of reducing the frequency of such tragedies in the future.

        "Trust only those who doubt" Lu Xun

        by LookingUp on Sun May 01, 2011 at 06:11:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Scientists haven't predicted severity to increase (0+ / 0-)

      Nowhere in the scientific literature has it been predicted that the average severity of tornadoes is expected to increase.  If you relate intensity to large-scale variables, it's almost entirely a function of vertical wind shear, which is expected to decrease.  If you take that at face value, the average severity would decrease.

  •  According to television meteorologists... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy

    ...earthquakes and volcanoes are also "weather", as well as pollen count and eclipses.

  •  Republished to State of the Skies. (7+ / 0-)

    Good opposing viewpoint to the other diary. Personally, I dislike the fact that folks immediately jumped to calling this a result of climate change. As I've said a few times before, tornado outbreaks like this have happened at least every 20-30 years since we started keeping records in the late 1800s, and there are more (less scientific/precise, obviously) reports of tornado outbreaks well before this. It's just something that happens. As you said in the diary, if this turns into a "it-happens-every-few-years" event instead of a "once in a generation" event, there's something to worry about.

    Other than that, it was just the tragic continuance of a pattern. These storms were very intense, and they happened to strike an area in which humans keep populating and building.

    •  It's smart to dislike that viewpoint, but this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weatherdude, Miggles

      is a completely differnt argument. The "weather is not climate" argument aganst that climate scientist is 1) just weird, and 2) twists a few important points. Most importantly, the idea that climate can't affect weather because climate is a measurement of weather just seems silly. Higher ocean temperatures over long periods of time - a "climate change" - can affect local weather phenomena. Am I wrong about that?

      •  No, you're not wrong about that at all. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Little

        What I (among others) are arguing is that this sort of tornado outbreak is uncommon, but not completely unheard of. If this specific tornado outbreak is because of (or at least driven by) climate change, what happened in 1992, 1974, 1965, 1932 and 1925?

        •  Again, a different argument than what's (0+ / 0-)

          being made in this diary. If that were it - I'd be behind it. She's basically saying the opposite of what you just agreed with:

          Higher ocean temperatures over long periods of time - a "climate change" - cannot affect local weather phenomena.

          Or, because it's a bit convoluted, she ends up saying that without meaning to, I think.

      •  I fear you are getting the point... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weatherdude

        ...yet tripping on the vocabulary.

        The heat change is what cause a change in weather year on year, building up to demonstrate a climate change.

        Therefore, the climate did not change, affecting the weather.

        The heat content of the ocean caused differences in weather, which over time built a record to show that the climate is changing.

        Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

        by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:46:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ai yai yai. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          myboo

          You want us to be precise about language, but you want us to  not link climate change to weather change, while acknowledging that the effects of climate change can cahnge wether.

          Oy. Do you realize how petty that is? If you want "the effects of" added to "climate  change" every time it's discussed in regards to weather?  It's like that FactChecker thing saying "They should have said Medicare 'as we know it!"

          You act like it's not important that CC could affect weather.

    •  It's not... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weatherdude, LynneK

      ...really even an opposing viewpoint.

      It's just a plea to get the science right when we talk about the issues so that we can be clear and correct and truly defeat the deniers of science on the merits of real and correct science.

      Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

      by ElsieElsie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:47:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The point that the diarist is making, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ElsieElsie, weatherdude

      and I'm relieved to see you agree, is that this particular bit of weather no more proves "global warming" than an unusually cold Winter in Edmonton (just passed) proves "not global warming".

      We rightly laugh when climate change sceptics point to a snowdrift and say "what global warming" . . . it is . . . unfortunate . . . when some people here turn around and do exactly the same thing (in reverse) with a tornado.  Being right does not excuse one from properly making the case and properly presenting the argument.

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sun May 01, 2011 at 08:12:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "That doesn't mean it's not horrifying..." (0+ / 0-)

    What's horrifying about it?

  •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynneK, Deward Hastings

    There's way too much hand-waving argumentation about the relation of tornadoes and hurricanes to climate change.

  •  Tipped and recced. (5+ / 0-)

    I'm a meteorology graduate student.  I'm not an expert on climate change, but I think I'm well informed enough to make a comment.  Your point is well taken.  It is quite the knee-jerk to immediately connect the recent tornado outbreaks to climate change.

    This bad month might be just that--a bad month.  The peak month for tornadoes is usually in May, and we'll soon see if May is equally bad.  Once this becomes a long term trend, then we might be able to speculate in climate change's role in tornado outbreaks.

    Since weather is a nonlinear dynamic system, predictability is limited.  Sometimes we just get unlucky.

  •  Tornadoes are weather **AND** climate. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevej

    Sure, one single tornado is not statistically significant enough to point the finger back at climate change, but the point of the other diary and the science quoted therein is that global warming is leading to weather conditions that can favor larger numbers of and more severe tornadoes.

    Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

    by Miggles on Sun May 01, 2011 at 08:59:09 PM PDT

  •  TORNADOES (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Knarfc

    form in Tornado Alley because of the geography and the CLIMATE. Your argument is lame. Any weather phenomenon is based on geography and climatic conditions. If the climate becomes more conducive to the formation of tornadoes, more will form--as a statistical consequence more will be intense. Tornadoes don't form in high, dry deserts because the climate doesn't support the weather that forms them. Warm the climate, the weather will change. It's that simple.

  •  It's hilarious (0+ / 0-)

    ...that a "weather is not equal to climate" diary goes over like a lead balloon in the context of hyping a tornado connection, but is treated as received wisdom in the context of Inhofe looking outside his window and crowing about last winter's snowstorms.

    Reports of a reality-based community are unconfirmed.

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