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A few people have asked, and I'm going to tell you why I try to stay quiet and leave climate change alone. It's because people call me a denier, even though I'm not. I don't say what people want to hear, so they shut down and don't want to listen.

I'm tired of the fearmongering, I'm tired of the gigantic leaps of logic, I'm tired of people on both sides of the issue shutting down and not listening. I ask that you listen to what I have to say, and then I'll listen to you.

I believe that climate change is real. It is happening every day, but not as rapidly as The Day After Tomorrow. I believe that storms will gradually get more intense as the years go by. People have used the recent tornado outbreaks to say that climate change is here, it's real and we'd better get used to EF-5 tornadoes wiping out our cities. I don't buy that. Tornado outbreaks happen. It sounds stupid of me to say that, but they just happen. 1920, 1925, 1932, 1965, 1974, 1992, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2008 again, and then the tornadoes this year. These outbreaks aren't some new fad, they're just there. This year happened to be really bad.

Edit 8:17PM Eastern: The above list has caused much confusion for some. It is not an exhaustive list of tornado outbreaks, it's anything but. The above info was off the top of my head. For a complete list of tornado outbreaks, visit this link.

I've said it a few times (much to the dismay of many), but the tornadoes this year do not indicate a growing trend. If we have numerous tornado oubreaks of this intensity in the decade, THEN it's a worrying trend. Until then, stop with the talking point positioning. We know climate change is happening, but to say that the tornadoes were a direct result without the trend of tornado outbreaks with this intensity to back it up is a really big freakin' leap.

If this shit happens again next year, and the year after that, I'll go into full mea culpa mode. But until then, stop it. It weakens our argument to scream "CLIMATE CHANGE ZOMG!" every time something bad happens. It takes trends over years to make this argument. Trends equal climate, events equal weather.

Earlier today someone posted a diary saying that the heat burst in Wichita, KS this week was "the beginning" of some more nefarious climate stuff happening. No it's not! As I said in the diary's comments, heat bursts are a well documented natural phenomenon that's happened ever since thunderstorms started. The tl;dr explanation is that dry air got into the thunderstorm as it collapsed (all the rain/hail upstairs falls down at once because the storm can't support it anymore), and the rain evaporated and made the dry air cooler. As it got cooler, it got denser, and fell to the ground. As it fell, it compressed and heated up, hit the ground, made the temperatures rise in a hurry and created 50-60 MPH winds.

That's it. That's what happened. It didn't happen because the oceans are warming or the ice caps are melting or because BP fucking sucks. It happened because the updraft could no longer support a column of precipitation, it fell, heated up and dispersed at ground level. It's not climate change and it weakens our argument to call it climate change, so stop it. Just because you don't understand why something is happening doesn't mean you should run to the nearest public forum and shout the first thing that comes to your mind.

Think before you speak. Please, for the love of FSM, stop trying to link every extreme to climate change. The ice caps are melting, the oceans are rising, and all sorts of other scary shit is happening, but not every single event is due to the climate's change. If all of this stuff is happening due to climate change, we don't yet have the trends to back it up. Wait until we do. Until then, warn about the dangers of climate change, don't say everything happened because of it.

The floor is yours. Falme away, discuss away, just be civil.

12:39 PM PT: Sam Wise Gingy sums it up in the comments below: "Are you saying we should be reasonable rather than reactionary?" That's exactly what I'm saying.


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  •  Tip Jar (289+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Actuary4Change, Snud, Sam Wise Gingy, LivesInAShoe, fou, jayden, KelleyRN2, JamesGG, nom de plume, terabthia2, commonmass, Christy1947, luckydog, MartyM, cap76, jadt65, Azazello, allensl, CJB, dougymi, billlaurelMD, stegro, Lorikeet, ms scarlett leadpipe, Sneelock, soros, Patric Juillet, docmidwest, Ebby, BlueberryTomatoSoup, LynChi, Empty Vessel, matching mole, not4morewars, UTvoter, madmsf, missliberties, nextstep, lissablack, tomasyn, jwinIL14, coffeetalk, Im a frayed knot, FishOutofWater, susan in sc, jeanette0605, RhymesWithUrple, NMDad, Alumbrados, sebastianguy99, agrenadier, myboo, kestrel9000, Maori, houyhnhnm, hulagirl, penguins4peace, janmtairy, marketgeek, The Harry, janislav, badscience, mapamp, Tinfoil Hat, political mutt, eigenlambda, ltsply2, psnyder, doroma, fladem, kerflooey, MaryinHammondsport, mconvente, Quicklund, Captain Marty, RunawayRose, Louisiana 1976, DRo, punditician, ursoklevar, 2020adam, shaktidurga, VA02 femocrat, liz dexic, Chaoslillith, cyncynical, pat of butter in a sea of grits, jethrock, 2liberal, cpresley, bythesea, coquiero, LHB, ATinNM, Joieau, Huginn and Muninn, Swill to Power, Leftcandid, ninkasi23, ms badger, billder99, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, hyper, Mnemosyne, maggiejean, Crashing Vor, ItsSimpleSimon, sydneyluv, jjblazer, rage, The Walrus, Druggy Bear, Gator Keyfitz, Alice Venturi, beetsnotbeats, janinsanfran, dmh44, andydoubtless, Tempus Figits, sow hat, Khun David, janemas, voracious, trs, Bluesee, davidinmaine, VaBreeze, VClib, Euroliberal, asterkitty, chimene, teresahill, leu2500, badger, Nulwee, the mom in the middle, Matisyahu, old wobbly, Vega, also mom of 5, GATXER, zqxj, Lorinda Pike, Miniaussiefan, Its a New Day, Nowhere Man, Doctor Who, EAColeInEmporia, jds1978, nonnie9999, TexasTom, ATFILLINOIS, Superskepticalman, elektra, tb92, eeff, lexington1, brouski, 1864 House, pixxer, gecko, sordiddetails, Klaus, HiKa, billmosby, Medium Head Boy, jmknapp, Fishgrease, BigVegan, gizmo59, GollyMissMolly, ChocolateChris, envwq, dinotrac, dfe, LiberalMegan, limae, zaka1, auapplemac, gramofsam1, funmerlin, pat208, Louise, cevad, ehrenfeucht games, coolbreeze, chicating, BYw, mr crabby, Via Chicago, Cassandra Waites, Bob Duck, Sabazinus, mango, PSzymeczek, koNko, belinda ridgewood, SadieSue, frisco, Simian, peregrinus, fiddlingnero, Only Needs a Beat, Pam from Calif, millwood, Catte Nappe, BoxNDox, thegoodstraw, Quilldriver, pat bunny, evergreen2, ladybug53, oklacoma dem, zerelda, DollyMadison, SingerInTheChoir, Yosef 52, DontTaseMeBro, boriquasi, 5x5, sawgrass727, science nerd, Clytemnestra, sanglug, CayceP, Matilda, pico, greycat, Cali Techie, GoldnI, edrie, ToeJamFootball, JD SoOR, nirbama, mofembot, GrumpyOldGeek, Floande, cville townie, GreyHawk, DiegoUK, Creosote, raines, CarolinNJ, rb608, Dumbo, skohayes, elengul, think blue, Liberalindependent28, bigjacbigjacbigjac, bluesweatergirl, teabaggerssuckbalz, DavidHW, bumbi, xgy2, Cedwyn, possum, roadbear, Sarbec, grannyhelen, vets74, jobobo, doe, MKinTN, jiffypop, nswalls, kamarvt, DBunn, One bite at a time, twigg, cocinero, triciawyse, birdbrain64, Organic Mechanic, BobBlueMass, OllieGarkey, Oh Mary Oh, terrypinder, Imhotepsings, rick, fizziks, John Barleycorn, avsp, BachFan, TexDemAtty, mikeconwell, psilocynic, TravelerDiogenes, tnproud2b

    Another thing that I didn't want to include in the diary (since it's not technically linked to this), but wanted to touch on, is why tornadoes are hitting more populated areas. Well, to put it bluntly, humans are screwing like rabbits and densely populating areas that used to be sparsely populated. Now, when even a moderate tornado hits these areas, the results are catastrophic. They're not aiming for us, we're just encroaching into what used to be open fields.

    If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

    by weatherdude on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 12:31:55 PM PDT

    •  See Joe Romm's post today (95+ / 0-)

      Fires in the west have been shown to be related to climate change.

      http://thinkprogress.org/...

      You would never know from the NYT that this standard right-wing talking point has actually been examined in the scientific literature and found wanting.  Back in 2006, Science magazine published a major article analyzing whether the recent soaring wildfire trend was due to a change in forest management practices or to climate change. The study, led by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, concluded:

          Robust statistical associations between wildfire and hydroclimate in western forests indicate that increased wildfire activity over recent decades reflects sub-regional responses to changes in climate. Historical wildfire observations exhibit an abrupt transition in the mid-1980s from a regime of infrequent large wildfires of short (average of 1 week) duration to one with much more frequent and longer burning (5 weeks) fires. This transition was marked by a shift toward unusually warm springs, longer summer dry seasons, drier vegetation (which provoked more and longer burning large wildfires), and longer fire seasons. Reduced winter precipitation and an early spring snowmelt played a role in this shift.

      That 2006 study noted global warming (from human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide) will further accelerate all of these trends during this century.

      The tornado record is so chaotic that no one has backed out a statistical correlation, but tornadoes don't "just happen". They happen in certain weather patterns that correlate with certain sea surface temperature patterns.

      Tornado outbreaks correlate positively with la Nina events.

      Yes, we should be careful in are attribution. Citing peer reviewed articles supporting our positions is more than helpful. It's educational.

      But we should think long and hard when weather gets as crazy as it has this year. It might be a sign of change.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:08:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  global weirding (53+ / 0-)

        it's happening. and more and more scientists are attributing it to climate change. we can't say each particular event was caused by climate change, but we can say that the accumulation of so many particular events is exactly what we expect from climate change. and more and more scientists are saying so.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:50:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Weather Underground dude (21+ / 0-)

          agrees with our Weather Dude. He's gotten the question and answered.

          Basically, interesting and worth watching but so far too few years of data to indicate a trend, as scientists define trend.

          He said exactly what our Weatherdude said. And he's someone many of us have turned to over the years for respected weather info. on hurricanes and during the gulf oil spill.

          •  But there does seem to be a trend here (7+ / 0-)

            in the information from the diary:  

            1920, 1925, 1932, 1965, 1974, 1992, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2008 again, and then the tornadoes this year.
          •  that's one opinion (5+ / 0-)

            but as i said, more and more scientists are noting the trend.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 08:23:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Does he? (16+ / 0-)

            Jeff Masters -- from a quotation below in the comments ...

            The Washington Post highlighted a portion of the call where I said, “there’s a huge amount of natural variability in the climate system”, not enough years of measurements to know exactly what’s going on, and “Unfortunately we don’t have that data so we are forced to make decisions based on inadequate data.” The article said that my statements shot down the statement by Joe Romm that “the overwhelming weight of the scientific literature” points to human-caused warming and that doubters “don’t understand the science.” Let me clarify that there will always be considerable uncertainty in our understanding of a chaotic system like the atmosphere. We should not demand certainty where it cannot exist, always using uncertainty as an excuse for taking no action. Keep in mind that the uncertainty goes both ways–climate change could be far worse than the IPCC is predicting, and it would be wise to buy an intelligent amount of insurance to protect ourselves.

            I agree with Dr. Romm’s statement, and the offical Statement on Climate Change from the American Meteorological Society, “Despite the uncertainties…there is adequate evidence from observations and interpretations of climate simulations to conclude that the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; that humans have significantly contributed to this change; and that further climate change will continue to have important impacts on human societies, on economies, on ecosystems, and on wildlife through the 21st century and beyond.”

            Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

            by A Siegel on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 08:24:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  and nobody mentions the corollary (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              A Siegel, Imhotepsings

              that insufficient data is also a man made phenomenon.

              Governments and energy producers and others with money to lose have done their best to cut funding and opportunity for climate scientists to collect data and publish the results.    Look at the attacks on the science, manipulating data, inflating results, etc, everything to discredit the scientists.  And then the whole, they only say this to get money, it is a scam line of argument.

              Strangle the data before they are collected and one can proudly announce, "there's no data to prove this".

              I do agree that not every storm or drought is automatic proof of warming.    Georgia has cyclical droughts, much affected by La Nina, El Nino years and the Bermuda high.

              But we have seen two of the worst droughts in record keeping in the last 25 years, and consistently increasing days of high temperature early in the year.  We've also seen some of the most atypical flood years ever in the last 25 years.   Weirder and wider are the fluctuations.   Farmers tell you plant earlier by at least two weeks, etc.   People who live off the crops, they notice weather.   And the weather, it is a'changin'.

          •  yeah, but (9+ / 0-)

            The whole point of this Lord-of-Slate-like diary is to correct all of our grammar as if that will somehow make a difference to the deniers.

            Look, I refuse to play this game. As fas as I'm concerned, all abnormal extreme weather is prima facie related to global warming, and, if it can be demonstrated that it's not fine.

            But to say "we can't prove it yet so you can't say it" is for 1990. In 2011, we are not dirty hippies to presume that freak weather is related to global warming. If you can show me something isn't related to it, fine.

            All I've got is an orange blog, three paragraphs, and the truth.

            by Attorney at Arms on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 12:47:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  A variation ... (6+ / 0-)

              which is that it has now become impossible to seriously discuss weather patterns and events without putting it in the context of climate change / climate disruption.  

              Absolutely true -- it is impossible to say "X" even occurred "because of" global warming.  But, global warming is now a factor (among many other factors) that impact weather.

              Clearly, the earth still orbits around the sun, January and July have different temperatures, etc ... There are many, many factors that coalesce.

              For example, re tonadoes and damage, let's just talk about direct human activity (without getting into the complexity of global warming):

              1.  More population, more spread out -- greater likelihood that someone gets hurt/killed even with zero change in the number and strength of tornadoes.

              2.  Related to above -- ever more physical footprint (buildings, roads, transmissions lines, etc) means increased likelihood of fiscal damage.

              3.  Better scientific instruments (and more spread out population) means that we should, writ large, be better at data collection and will have -- therefore -- more reported tornados.

              4.  FAR LESS CERTAIN and light hypothesis -- human land use could impact local weather conditions / patterns enough to influence (in some cases .. maybe) tonados formation (think urban heat islands ... and whether several degrees would matter within larger weather pattern)

              Etc ...

              There are many factors that influence weather events -- we are now, however, in a situation where failure to discuss whether and climate change / global warming / climate disruption could be a contributing factor would be, well, gross negligence.

              To me, this diary is a travesty because it contributes to a 'don't discuss it because you don't have 100% proof of 100% causality'-type argument favored by those seeking to forestall action no matter that weatherdude comments within a belief in climate change and humanity's having an impact on the climate.

              Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

              by A Siegel on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 05:49:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  yes weatherdude and meteor blades too might (46+ / 0-)

        want to reconsider their positions on that subject.

        I suppose it depends on what information a person has come across.

        I dug into a book I wrote 17 years ago to find this info just now:

         Climate science had predicted increases in extreme weather events for many years, and yet one continually surfacing argument against was that there was no historical data to support that assertion.  

        It does take time to gather that much data, but even the formerly reluctant and certainly unbiased National Climatic Data Center released this in a study in 1995. Remember this was 1995:

        " ... it can be concluded that late century changes recorded in U.S. climate are consistent with the general trends anticipated from a greenhouse enhanced atmosphere.'  

        " ... a U.S. Greenhouse Climate Response Index, composed of indicators that measure the changes that are expected to follow increased emissions of greenhouse gases, reflects in recent years the very changes that are predicted."

        There was more of that, even way back then, and the trend has continued in all that data since. It seems clear to me that the reason there are still a significant portion of scientists in related fields who are unconvinced is that they simply have not seen the data. They are simply hearing and weighing arguments, making ( more educated) guesses like the undecided man in the street.

        And since very few people ever will go over all that data ... well you can see where that is going.  

        Absolute proof?  Never. Not ever.

        But weatherdude, although I never in my life have said "everything is because of climate change " :-) it is more than reasonable to connect the steady global increase in extreme weather events to climate change - if not definitively, well within the range of probabilities.

        Just my 2 cents - not an attack - I enjoy your diaries, btw.

        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/...
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        wherin we share a community blog for common goals for humanity. http://www.worldforallpeople.org

        by worldforallpeopleorg on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:54:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely. Crediting every weather event to (25+ / 0-)

        climate change is stupid, but pretending that they're unrelated when there have been peer-reviewed papers linking them is even dumber.  A breakdown:

        1) Floods: Solidly linked.   Atmospheric water vapor has increased in accordance with models, and extreme rainfall events have correspondingly increased, leading to a corresponding increase of major flood events.  It's a direct A-B-C.  This also applies to heavy snow events.

        2) Tornados: Poorly linked.  There is a lot of suspicion that they're linked (note to diarist: just because a year had a tornado outbreak doesn't mean that all outbreaks are equal.  This year's outbreaks were very unusual).  The reason for this is that the warming arctic has been strongly linked to an increase in extreme negative NAO events and "kinks" in the jet stream, which in turn are linked with tornadic events.  But as for specific papers on existing tornado outbreaks and climate change, there's little out there.  I wouldn't be surprised if we get a number within a year or two.

        3) Heat waves / Cold waves: These are likewise correlated with jet stream patterns, and are more firmly backed up by the research than tornadoes.

        4) Droughts: While they've been forecast in a warming world, the research on an increase in US or worldwide droughts does not yet back them up.  Not much would be expected so far, however.

        5) Hurricanes: Most people focus on Atlantic-basin hurricanes.  This has long been a source of dispute, as a warming world both leads to more "fuel" in the Atlantic basin (warmer waters), but also more wind shear (a hurricane's natural enemy).  There's been a lot of back and forth (hurricane forecasts are extremely difficult in any circumstance, and the Atlantic basin is extremely variable on its own), but in general there seems to be general support for an increase in the most extreme hurricanes and in rapid hurricane genesis/destruction events.

        •  Really? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul, moira977, Cedwyn, forgore

          As far as I understand it, the atmosphere is one big connected system so global warming literally will affect everything.

          It may or may not cause a specific weather event, but that's not the point.

          All I've got is an orange blog, three paragraphs, and the truth.

          by Attorney at Arms on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 12:50:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's one big connected system (0+ / 0-)

            so EVERYTHING affects everything. Global climate change is not the only input to the system.

            "Woke up this mornin', another building torn down / not by a plane, by a parking lot!" - Mustard Plug

            by jobobo on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 05:52:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, there's the old "butterfly wings" (0+ / 0-)

              narrative. Never put much stock in it, but this tornado, humidity, melting glacier stiff is a bit bigger than that.

              Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

              by murasaki on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 08:08:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I studied Atmospheric Physics. (0+ / 0-)

                Believe me, the atmosphere is complicated! I just think that if we make claims about severe weather being due to global warming, we muddy the debate. Let's stick to what we know.

                Global warming is happening. There are plenty of bad enough after-effects, we don't need the drama of tornado outbreaks to make our case.

                "Woke up this mornin', another building torn down / not by a plane, by a parking lot!" - Mustard Plug

                by jobobo on Thu Jun 16, 2011 at 10:22:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  That's probably based on the 2006 paper by (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HiKa

        Westerling, et al, which is largely bunk IMO. I went into some of the reasons I think that in this diary a while ago.

        We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. - John F Kennedy

        by badger on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 04:24:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Climate change has become climate collapse (5+ / 0-)

        Weatherdude is a denier. I'm 65. I have never before this year seen a tornado in Maine, now they have become a weekly occurance. Everywhere you look you see observed phenomena described as evidencing a surprising accelleration. What that basically means is that due to a variety of synergystic effects, climate change consequences are going exponential.

        In real world terms it is very "Day After Tomorrow", extremely sudden and catastrophic in that its already too late to mediate the change in a meaningful way.

        The release of methane hydrates is alarming.

        The increase in the rate of sea level rise is alarming.

        The increase in the rate of polar melting is alarming.

        The damage to the oceans due to more people trying to harvest more fish to make Popeyes fast dried food, and rain forrests due to more people trying to raise more cattle to make more McDonald's hamburgers to feed increased populations around the world is alarming

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 03:22:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There are lots of things related to CC... (0+ / 0-)

        But tornadoes ain't one of them.  Harold Brooks, one of the foremost tornado researchers in the country says that the historical record just does not show a trend either up or down.  Modeling studies do not show that we will have more or more severe tornadoes.  That is the state of the evidence which we have right now.  I have had several conversations with Brooks about this, and he seems like a smart guy who understands the limitations of the data he has to work with.  The historical data is a mess and has resisted all attempts at homogenizing it up to this point.  He is currently working on a project to try and bring some sanity to this and perhaps in few years we will have a better picture of what is happening, but right now we just don't know what is going on, but theory says there should be no effect.

        There are lots of things that can probably be blamed on climate change, such as the increasing trend to drought in the southwest, and increased acreage burned in wildfires in the west.  These effects are easily seen in the models and observational data appears to be showing them to be correct.  However, the detection and attribution problems here are vast and it is very difficult to say we are 100% certain that CC is causing it.

    •  Another example (11+ / 0-)

      Katrina.

      According to Jeff Masters,  the blogger at weather underground, and a climate change believer, the maximum effect global warming could have had on Katrina was bewteen 2 - 3 MPH in wind speed. This is based on his analysis of the water temperature in tghe Gulf in 2005 versus the water temperature in a typical year.

      Climate Change is very real.

      BUt Katrina wasn't the monster it was because of it.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:33:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's waaay more complicated than that (37+ / 0-)

        There are many factors affecting hurricane intensity. For most of the largest hurricanes, sea surface temperature is not the limiting factor. The largest hurricanes are usually associated with deep pools of warm water.

        Katrina, Rita and Wilma passed over large deep pools of warm water in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

        AOML is studying rapid intensification events. Frequently they happen when a tropical storm passes over a deep warm pool of water.

        Last year the water was very warm but the Atlantic hurricane season developed slowly because the intense Asian monsoon apparently caused hot dry air to sink over the Atlantic Basin. This hot dry air killed the development of tropical waves spinning off of Africa.

        In El Nino years, frequent Pacific hurricanes help develop strong westerly winds aloft over the tropical Atlantic which shear developing systems into oblivion.

        I think the extreme hurricane season of 2005 was associated with climate change but it's a subject that is still under debate by experts.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:45:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Masters is an expert (6+ / 0-)

          and when he says something like that, I take it seriously. Masters based his observation on a comparison of the water temperature of the water Katrina went over, and I assume that includes the Eddy that forms every year south of Louisianna.

          Hurricanes and global warming appear on the surface to be simple (warmer water, more Hurricanes), and when you study it it gets more complicated. Certainly it is over my head at a certain point.  Example: would global warming change the way the Gulf water flows into the Atlantic?

          Hurricane intensity is largely a function of the warmth of the water they are over.  However, their strength is also a function of how much wind shear exists.  One theory I have read about recently predicts that there will be fewer Hurricanes because global warming will increase wind shear.  Jeff Masters reviewed two studies last year and said this:

          Could global warming increase wind shear over the Atlantic, potentially leading to a decrease in the frequency of Atlantic hurricanes? There is a growing consensus among hurricane scientists that this is indeed quite possible. Two recent studies, by Zhao et al. (2009), "Simulations of Global Hurricane Climatology, Interannual Variability, and Response to Global Warming Using a 50-km Resolution GCM," and by Knutson et al. (2008), "Simulated reduction in Atlantic hurricane frequency under twenty-first-century warming conditions," found that global warming might increase wind shear over the Atlantic by the end of the century, resulting in a decrease in the number of Atlantic hurricanes. For example, the second study took 18 relatively coarse (>60 km grid size) models used to formulate the 2007 IPCC climate report, and "downscaled" them using a higher-resolution (18 km grid size) model called ZETAC that was able to successfully simulate the frequencies of hurricanes over the past 50 years. When the 18 km ZETAC model was driven using the climate conditions we expect in 2100, as output by the 18 IPCC models, the authors found that a reduction of Atlantic tropical storms by 27% and hurricanes by 18% by the end of the century resulted. An important reason that their model predicted a decrease in the frequency of Atlantic hurricanes was due to a predicted increase in wind shear. As I explain in my wind shear tutorial, a large change of wind speed with height over a hurricane creates a shearing force that tends to tear the storm apart. The amount of wind shear is critical in determining whether a hurricane can form or survive.

          I have read another study suggesting that the intensity of Hurricanes will increase, and that is in part based on the observatation that Hurricanes have increased by about half a category (5 mph).

          So global warming might predict we should see FEWER Hurricanes, but more intense ones.

          Again, the point is Katrina itself wasn't primarily caused by global warming.

          The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

          by fladem on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 02:19:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mentioned Jeff Masters above. (4+ / 0-)

            Someone asked him on his blog recently if recent extreme weather is evidence of global warming.

            He said not enough years of data yet to constitute a trend.

            •  A more complete (8+ / 0-)

              statement from him:

              The Washington Post highlighted a portion of the call where I said, “there’s a huge amount of natural variability in the climate system”, not enough years of measurements to know exactly what’s going on, and “Unfortunately we don’t have that data so we are forced to make decisions based on inadequate data.” The article said that my statements shot down the statement by Joe Romm that “the overwhelming weight of the scientific literature” points to human-caused warming and that doubters “don’t understand the science.” Let me clarify that there will always be considerable uncertainty in our understanding of a chaotic system like the atmosphere. We should not demand certainty where it cannot exist, always using uncertainty as an excuse for taking no action. Keep in mind that the uncertainty goes both ways–climate change could be far worse than the IPCC is predicting, and it would be wise to buy an intelligent amount of insurance to protect ourselves.

              I agree with Dr. Romm’s statement, and the offical Statement on Climate Change from the American Meteorological Society, “Despite the uncertainties…there is adequate evidence from observations and interpretations of climate simulations to conclude that the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; that humans have significantly contributed to this change; and that further climate change will continue to have important impacts on human societies, on economies, on ecosystems, and on wildlife through the 21st century and beyond.”

              The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

              by fladem on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:41:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

              Even if that's correct--there's not enough data to conclude there is a trend--there is enough data to show that the earth is heating up.

              That is literally affecting everything; there are no hermetically sealed areas of the atmosphere.

              For that reason, to me anyway, even if we can't say with certainty that all of these things are "caused" by global warming, we aren't idiots to at least presume so.

              The question at this point is: prove to me it's not connected then.

              All I've got is an orange blog, three paragraphs, and the truth.

              by Attorney at Arms on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 12:52:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Uh, but Katrina itself wasn't that bad of a storm. (5+ / 0-)

            It was the aftermath and the stuff that was ignored for a bizillion.5 years that was at issue. So to evaluate Katrina in terms of what it does or doesn't say about global warming is an emotion-based red herring. Yes, we get that, but you and Masters are responsible for that diverting of attention as well.

            And, please, "Masters is an expert, so..." I'm not going to think critically anymore. That's just sad.

            •  Katrina (0+ / 0-)

              was a unique storm: huge and the storm surge has been estimates as comparable to a cat 5 even though it hit as a cat 3.

              To say it wasn't is very wrong.

              Masters is an expert: reasonably well recognized.  

              The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

              by fladem on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:07:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                murasaki, Imhotepsings

                Which, if I'm remembering right, was a Cat 3, was also disproportionately destructive, in large part because of the ways Galveston at the time was constructed. It could be argued that Katrina's destructive power had more to do with localized human effects - i.e., what's been done to the barrier islands of the region, how natural waterways have been rerouted or channelled - than the broader impact of climate change.

                "The problem with Internet quotations is that many are not genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

                by Jaxpagan on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 07:54:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  To quote Wikipedia, (0+ / 0-)

        [[citation needed]]

        I read Masters pretty regularly, and I think I'd remember a post that made a claim like that.  The waters in the Gulf weren't just a little warm in 2005; they were extremely warm.  2-3mph?  I seriously doubt that.

        •  From (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cedwyn, Imhotepsings

          a longer article Jeff Masters wrote on Katrina:

          Global warming in the past century has increased ocean temperatures about 1�F (0.5�C) which should correspond at most to about a 2.5% increase in hurricane wind speeds. If this theory is correct, an upper-end Category 3 hurricane with wind speeds of 130 mph--like Hurricane Katrina at landfall--owes 2-3 mph of its sustained winds to global warming. Hurricane wind speeds are estimated to the nearest 5 knots (5.8 mph), and one can get a general idea of what percent increase we've seen in Category 4 and 5 hurricanes due to global warming by looking at the number of high end Category 3 hurricanes (winds of 130 mph) and low end Category 4 hurricanes (135 mph winds). If we assume a 2-3 mph increase in winds of these storms is due to global warming over the past 35 years, one would expect to see a 5% increase at most in Category 4 and 5 hurricanes. An increase this small is not detectable given the current accuracy of estimating hurricane winds, and the relatively few number of of these storms that occur each year. This expected maximum 5% increase is quite a disagreement with the 80% increase found by Webster et al.! So, either the measurements are wrong, or the theory is wrong--or a combination of the two. I believe it may well be a combination of the two. The fact that the originator of the intensity theory (Kerry Emanuel) is one of the scientists who is advocating that the theory may be in error, is reason enough to doubt the theory. The formation and intensification of hurricanes are not well understood, and it would be no surprise if major revisions to intensity theory are made in the future. However, such a wide difference between the theory and the reported trends should make us suspicious of the observed data, as well.

          This article is 5 years old.  I don't know if he has updated his view.

          The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

          by fladem on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:35:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Several issues. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            caul

            1) Gulf temperatures weren't 0.5C hotter than normal.  If I recall  tcorrectly, they were more like 1.5C hotter than normal.  The temperature of water in, say, the South Pacific has no impact on hurricane formation.  It's the MDR's heat anomaly that matters, and how it's affected by warming.

            2) 2.5% increase to 130mph is not "2-3 mph"; it's 3.25%.

            3) "Like hurricane Katrina" does not mean he was making a specific argument about Katrina itself.  It was just used as an example of windspeeds.

            4) A 2.5% increase in windspeeds is a 5% increase in wind force and an even greater increase in damage.

            5) Most global warming that we've already "paid for" in terms of carbon emissions has not yet occurred to the oceans.  0.5C is nothing compared to what we're going to be facing.

            6) Linking an increase to windspeeds to an increase in the percent number of storms with a minimum intensity of X is impossible wistandardthout first giving a number of storms which would not have met that standard before but now will versus the number which currently exist.  It could be a 0.0001% increase in windspeed, but if tons of storms were even less than that below the cutoff, that would yield a major increase in the number that are now above the cutoff.

            7) Hurricanes are not steady-state systems, where the only factor is SSTs.  They're constantly being attempted to be ripped apart from a variety of other factors (dry air, shear, terrain, etc).  The stronger the storm, the better it can resist these factors.  So you have a compounding affect; anything that can help it strengthen faster helps prevent it from weakening as well.  Any beneficial effect will be multiplied several times over.

            8) An extreme example of #7 is presented in reductio ad absurdam: hurricanes generally don't develop at all at below 26C.  So you're not just talking about a multiplicative factor during the life of a storm, but for the very act of cyclogenesis itself.

            9) We haven't even talked about the other critical factor for major hurricanes, the depth of the isotherm, which should also be increasing in a warming world.

            To put a 0.5C increase (which, again, is not the MDR increase, which is what really matters) into perspective, ~29C is a pretty typical mid-season gulf SST.  26C is the minimum.  A 0.5C increase would be a 17% increase in temperature from the minimum.  Hardly insignificant.

            Now, to be fair, working against that are a number of factors that reduce hurricane risk along with the warming trend -- shear, upper tropospheric temperatures, etc.  But that's a major playing down of the link between SSTs and storm strength, and in any circucmstance, he was not saying "This increased Katrina by 2-3 mph".  Katrina was only mentioned in order to provide the figure of 130mph for a strong storm.

      •  and his peer reviewed paper (0+ / 0-)

        was published where?  Where does this blogger work?  Is he a professor?  an government researcher? dilletante?

        -7.79, -7.75 http://www.politicalcompass.org/ Gosh!

        by Mindful Nature on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 08:15:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  to answer those (0+ / 0-)

          Ph.D. is from michigan, and he founded a very good meteorology website.  However, he is not primarily a hurricane researcher.  So, almost an expert, with a reasonable back of the envelope calculation.

          -7.79, -7.75 http://www.politicalcompass.org/ Gosh!

          by Mindful Nature on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 08:18:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bull (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Imhotepsings, evergreen2

            see above for his analysis of peer reviewed work.

            He IS primarily a Hurricane researcher.  Hell, he did part of his thesis work flying into Hurricanes with the Air Force.

            The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

            by fladem on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 08:48:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  There are a lot of questions in the thread about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weatherdude

      local impacts of climate change.  What climate change means for your region is talked about a little in IPCC's AR4, though I forget which section.  Beyond that, the Union of Concerned Scientists has a state-by-state analysis on their climatechoices.org website, but only for California and the Northeast.

      Do you know of any other resources so people can know what to expect?

      •  I don't know of any resources, no. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eigenlambda, Van Buren, Imhotepsings

        I only know of the Climate Prediction Center's site that gives predictions a few months out.

        If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

        by weatherdude on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 02:03:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  these are rare (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        because the models do not have local levels of resolution, or rather the error bounds on cell-level predictions are too high to be more than dim crystal ball readings.

        These predictions are rare, becauase they are technically difficult.

        -7.79, -7.75 http://www.politicalcompass.org/ Gosh!

        by Mindful Nature on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 08:19:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This diary scares me.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hopeful Skeptic

        ....because it's telling me to wait for more evidence...again.

        I was thinking about the local issue earlier and wondered what, if people hadn't ever heard of manmade global climate change, would people be saying about the weather today judging purely on their own local experiences?

        Personally, I believe I'd be wondering what's up with the weather these days. I've experienced fifty seven years of it and these last ten or so have been quite different. Every summer has been hotter, I see more, bigger, storms every year. I see different plants and animals in my area....and I don't see some that I used to. Things are definitely different.

        I believe climate change is accelerating right now and it's time to wake everyone up to the fact. It's easy to sit in our air conditioned spaces and ponder whether or not the earth is warming but, imagine dealing with it without your A/C. I remember a time before A/C and it was tough occasionally getting through the hot days but now, I don't think a lot of us could handle it.

        It's time to face it and try to fix it....even if it is too late.

        "The flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag".....magnus47

        by suspiciousmind on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 05:47:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Quite a bit of modeling in New Mexico (0+ / 0-)

        Has been done by various groups, including the New Mexico Climate Change Advisory Group.  

        Many articles, both technical and for popular education, have been done by Dr. David Gutzler, a professor of meteorology and climatology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. His research is focused on interannual and decadal variability and predictability of climate in the Southwest.

        Here's just one of his articles:
        Change and Water Resources in New Mexico

        The NM Climate Change Advisory Group was established was established by Gov. Bill Richardson in 2005.  My now deceased father, a meteorologist very concerned about Global Warming, was on it.  Most of what he predicted would happen is happening, just sooner than he predicted.

    •  Yes tornado outbreaks happen... (13+ / 0-)

      ...but they (and other catastrophic weather events) are happening more frequently, as your list clearly demonstrates, and more severely.  That is the problem.  The norm is shifting.  It's like watching an unbalanced load start to slowly shift.  How long can it go before it topples?  I don't know.  But once you see it shifting it's already too late to stop it.  

      It took decades to throw that much carbon into the atmospehere.  If we did a complete 180 it would probably take centuries to extract it.   But no one is really talking about extracting and sequestering carbon (not on a wide scale).  They're talking about slowing the rate it's being introduced into the atmosphere or ceasing it entirely, becoming "carbon neutral".

      There is a problem and yes, it is going to get worse.  The norms are changing (not just in climate matters) but people are just doing the same old things, contributing to the same old problems.  It's not "the end of the world as we know it", but it's going to get pretty uncomfortable for a lot of people worldwide.

      It's unfortunate that people think they can counter the "crazy" arguments for the status quo with equally crazy arguments for complete energy revolution.  But there you have it.

      Let there be balance in all things.

      by DawnG on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 02:17:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well put (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HiKa, ozsea1, blueoasis

      At this stage, global warming simply loads the dice, as far as what we perceive in human terms: certain events are more likely to happen, but no one event is sufficiently unprecedented that we can say it's that far out of the ordinary.  The individual tornado outbreaks this year all have precedent, and being a La Nina year, the odds of severe tornado outbreaks are greater than usual, regardless of global climate change.

      I figure that when warming hits 3-5 degrees F, it will be clearly noticeable to people living in mid-latitudes.  That would be the equivalent of moving from Boston to NY or DC.  Put that way, it doesn't sound so bad, unless you realize that that means that a lot of vegetation will be in climate zones that it isn't well adapted for, and a lot of it will die (which isn't good news from a food standpoint).  The problem is that by the time we reach that point, we're not going to be able to prevent a lot more warming from taking place, since the atmosphere won't be in equilibrium for the CO2 level (whatever it is at that point) yet.  And another 10 degrees of warming on top of that -- so that we're now moving from Boston to Atlanta, say -- will create a far worse immediate situation.  We may well be into additional positive forcing regimes at that point (rapid methane and CO2 release from permafrost, maybe even starting to see clathrates release) that will have us signing up for an even greater magnitude of warming beyond that.

      (It's not even clear to me that more tornadoes would even be an outcome of global warming.  The conditions for tornadoes include large thermal contrasts and atmospheric turning caused in part by strong jet stream winds.  Note that tornadoes occur most often during spring and fall, not during summer when the atmosphere is warmer everywhere in the hemisphere but particularly at high latitudes.  High latitudes are expected to warm more than low latitudes as a result of global warming, which would reduce temperature contrasts.  I wouldn't be surprised to see more tornadoes earlier in the spring and later in the fall, since there will still be strong temperature contrasts but more heat and moisture, but not necessarily more tornadoes overall.)

    •  Seems to me shape of the Bell Curve is changing (5+ / 0-)

      gradually, with the margins of the bell creeping towards the extremes. Is the Bell curve getting wider with less of a peak in the middle?

      Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ Bill Moyers

      by Lefty Coaster on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 02:57:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But isn't the reverse also true, oh weatherdude? (7+ / 0-)

      Just as one cannot say with certainty that any particular event is the result of global warming, is it also not the case that you cannot entirely rule out global warming for that event either?

      http://twitter.com/#!/Impolitics

      by Impolitics on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:08:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HiKa

        because weather events in aggregate form climate, and climate is changing.

        The sun is shining in my office window right now. Is that caused by climate change, is it part of the local climate, or is it just today's weather?

        The same physics that makes this a sunny day where I live creates hurricanes, tornadoes and heat bursts in other places. So if climate change is blamed for tornadoes, why isn't it blamed for the nice, sunny day we're having here? Because today's weather here doesn't make good disaster porn?

        We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. - John F Kennedy

        by badger on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:34:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  wrong (9+ / 0-)

          we are talking about these weather extremes, and if anyone says they havent seen these extremes is full of shit.

          Here in Philly we have been spared any real disasters but even without disasters in the last year alone, we have had more 90 degrees days then every before, and the most snow accumulation ever.

          Hell its not even summer yet and right now we have already had two heats waves, and it was 99 just a few days ago.

          Climates change may well be here, and these extremes may be a symptom, to say otherwise is foolishness.

          Bad is never good until worse happens

          by dark daze on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:23:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dumb, dumber, and dumbest (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pot, Steve Bloom, Attorney at Arms, caul

          ... starting with the thoroughly unscientific and indeed rather infantile use of the word "blame."  I don't "blame" climate change for anything, any more than I blame gravity for airplane crashes.  Very little children DO think that way, of course, blaming the table for bumping their knee, even to the extent of striking it with their tiny fists... and apparently so do you.

          No anthropogenic climate change scenario says that every day everywhere is going to suck from now on --merely that more days will suck in more places.  So there is nothing the least bit inconsistent with suggesting that the Joplin tornado was connected to climate change even if the sun is not only shining through YOUR office window at Koch Industries, but smiling and wearing sunglasses the way it does in TV weather forecasts.

          But then, if you take the trouble to read my comment (or indeed have the ability to do so), I specifically do NOT "blame" climate change for the tornado activity of this year, but merely raise the possibility that perhaps it cannot be ruled out completely.  Such nuances apparently elude you now, but I have great faith you will begin to understand them by the time you graduate from junior high.

          http://twitter.com/#!/Impolitics

          by Impolitics on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:52:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Also, EF rating is based on damage. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      libnewsie, weatherdude, HiKa

      When a tornado goes through open fields there is little to be damaged.  When that field has been turned into a subdivision you have brick houses that can be blown away, earning EF 4/5 rating.  

      Republicans: if they only had a heart.

      by leu2500 on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:18:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's authoritarian behavior (6+ / 0-)

      couched behind the disguise of not having an official leader. It's mobocracy.

      I've been accused of "not getting" homophobia not weeks after being called a "faggot" and getting threatened with shooting on a public bus because I disagreed over the significance of a homophobic story. Cause clearly, that means I don't get it at all.

      I've been accused of being a corporatist and a right-wing Democrat because I disagreed with some progressives about how to do things.  Because obviously, anti-authoritarians would only have one progressive way of doing things.

      I'm a fucking biracial faggot conservationist with a science major, so the holier-than-thous can just STFU. I've been there, trying to help conservative people who are resigned to going down with the ship. I've been attacked and ostracized and suffered because of ethicity, race, gender, orientation, ability and age AND OF COURSE class in the real world.  And if I have to get over being sick and fucking tired, at least the bastards could do is have so honesty. Some integrity.

      What's more remarkable to me is the fact that critically thinking, wise, wonderful kossacks who don't exhibit that sort of knee-jerk, ignorant behavior ignore or empower those who do.  At atmosphere of that garbage stiffles creativity and turns places like the US into the sort of gutless, visionless mediocrity we witness every day now.

      This may seem like an enormous tangent but your diary touches on something broader: a hostility to stepping back and questioning, a self-assuredness in many that gives me pause. It manifests in manifold ways on here.

      I notice that many recommends are given to the person who has a good answer, with hardly any given to the person who asks the right question. That is backwards to me; without that question, the good answer might never have come.

      by Nulwee on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:37:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (5+ / 0-)

        I'm really sorry your feefees got hurted and we all don't recognize your awesomeness.

        This diary isn't about "stepping back and questioning" at all. It's some kind of half-baked blogger strategy to correct our grammar. I think the diarist honestly believes if we're just super forthright about all of the "possibilities" the deniers won't deny.

        That's just sad.

        It's also decently condescending to suggest that everyone who worries these events might be connected to climate change is just some left-wing version of uniformed right-wingers. Not so.

        No one here is suggesting that we fudge science. This is merely a question about what people presume. I don't think it's unreasonable to presume more extreme weather events are connected to global warming. This does not believe I will not listen to any evidence to the contrary; it's that being told I am ignorant for presuming so is ridiculous.

        All I've got is an orange blog, three paragraphs, and the truth.

        by Attorney at Arms on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 01:01:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  with all due respect (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, kafkananda, kamarvt, forgore

      you just like all the rest of us, havent a clue as to what we are really in for.  This may be once a million years type shit.

      So be humble and admit it.

      All any of us can do is watch and wait, and in some cases die.

      Bad is never good until worse happens

      by dark daze on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:18:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We Don't Take Weather Seriously Enough (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HiKa, BoxNDox, blueoasis, evergreen2

      Irregardless of whether or one believes Global Warming is real or not, it is hard to dispute that we as species, and Americans specifically don't take the destructive power of weather seriously. There have always been terrifc storms that do massive damage to property and life and yet somehow we keep acting as if it is a big surprise that nobody could have anticipated.

      We still insist in building communites in historic flood planes that have a good chance of flooding. We still build communites in areas prone to tornados without  saferooms. We still build communites up against areas prone to wildfire without any safety buffer. The list goes on and on. We keep reproducing and spreading out into areas that are at high risk to weather related events with little to no effort spent to mitate potential damage and then we act all surprised when bad things happen.

      Even if there is zero effect from Global Warming, we already know from just the brief modern record of disasters in the US that we grossly under-estimate the costs associated with weather related damage and fail to budget realistically for these events. Instead of seeing this incidents as inevitable over time, although unpredicable in the near term we keep pretending that are one of kind events never to be repeated.

    •  There is a significant flaw in your argument (3+ / 0-)

      Climate change is part of the system.

      This does not mean any particular extreme weather event is the direct result of climates change, nor, as you (potential crow eater) and others suggest that a string of such events would necessarally be directly attributable to climate change as the primary driving factor, but it is certianly one significant factor affecting weather systems and quite a few distinguished weather scientists attribute the global trends of more extreme storms, droughts and high temperature excursions in summers to global warming, suggesting the severity and number is greater because of this.

      For example, one indicator is the rapidly melting polar ice caps and temperate zone glaciers. Are you suggesting this has no effect on weather?

      I suppose location, and the manifistations affect our thinking. If you lived in some parts of Africa that have a definate trend of dessertification that has been correlated to AGW and had to struggle to find water to drink or food to eat it might register; or if you live in East Asia where the severity of storms in costal regions is coupled with inland drought and the decline of glaciers that are the aquifiers for nearly 2 billion people that might register.

      Those are not emotional arguements to pull people's heartstrings or bolster a retorical arguement, they are facts you can research and study to draw your own conclusions.

      T+R for raising an importiant issue: weak, unsupported arguements are not helpful.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:21:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

        I agree with your point about climate change being part of the system. Given that, how can it be the case that we shouldn't presume abnormal events are being influenced this way?

        Maybe in certain cases it's wrong. So what?

        All I've got is an orange blog, three paragraphs, and the truth.

        by Attorney at Arms on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 01:04:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Also, the Great Recession has led to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Flaming Liberal for Jesus

      a large increase in people housed in mobile homes...

      Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left.

      by Simian on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:34:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is reality, and there is politics (9+ / 0-)

      I am incredibly torn by this diary, because I respect your work, and I know scientifically, we can't demonstrate that these are "caused" by or contributed to by climate change except in retrospect, by then it will be too late.

      Second, I am not sure that we have to wait for the entire trend, simply because so many other predictions have proven correct (or too conservative), that we must take a look at predictions of greater storm intensity and take those as fact, politically even if the science won't catch up for ten years.

      In effect, we are left with a political paradox:  If we wait until we have a solid case, political action will be far far too late.  Politics, as you may have noticed, does not deal in the same standards of proof that science does.  Thus, we should be making the case these events are "climate change" events, because even if these aren't, other ones certainly are.

      After all, politically, one can invade other countries with a 1% chance of threat, but if we hold the scientific community to a vastly higher standard than we hold any other corner of the polity then we are absolutely screwed whenever we are presented with a scientific problem

      We need at least at level playing field for science.

      -7.79, -7.75 http://www.politicalcompass.org/ Gosh!

      by Mindful Nature on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 08:14:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  these are good observations (3+ / 0-)

        and probably better and more equitably stated than in any other comments...

        however, there IS a lot of data that we CAN use without resorting to hyperbolic use of the tenuous data.  Because when we do that, we end up weakening the case...

        •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis

          I'm not suggesting lying or even crafty messaging, but you are naive beyond correction if you think not "resorting to hyperbolic use of the tenuous data" will make anyone suddenly believe in the reality of climate change.

          And--who exactly is saying this, anyway? Is this a "some say" routine? Aren't people just wondering?

          All I've got is an orange blog, three paragraphs, and the truth.

          by Attorney at Arms on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 01:06:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This diary is greatly troubling ... (17+ / 0-)

      want to do a post stating (truthfully) that the linkage -- if it exists (although my understanding would suggest it does) -- between tornadoes and climate change is uncertain and certainly not proven. Okay.

      This diary, however, boils down to a 'stop making linkages between extreme weather events and climate change until the science is proven ... which means never discuss it until we are far past too late'.  

      And, it is a diatribe -- in my opinion and perspective -- arguing that there is exaggeration of the threats and risks of climate disruption and its (too likely) impacts.

      Your message feeds into, in my opinion, the create confusion about climate science and climate risks rather than contributing to more rational and more robust discussion of climate disruption, its risks, and the necessity for (and possibility) of actions to mitigate the risks.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 08:22:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's consistant with climate change theory (5+ / 0-)

      That's as far as I'll go in disagreeing with you, and it's not really a disagreement. Now, I'm not a meteorologist, but I am a scientist and I have been following climate science for 20+ years.  

      First, let's put these tornado outbreaks in perspective. There were two big outbreaks in 2011, one of them a record. Around the same time as the outbreak that hit Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, wave after wave after wave of severe thunderstorms rolled across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas over a full week, every day. Over a four day period that week, three quarters of the state of Arkansas saw 15 to 18 inches total rainfall. That's a lot of water dude.

      Earlier in the year, here in Oklahoma, we had two feet of snow, then 25F below zero, then another foot of snow, then 75F weather and I went golfing. Seriously, thats a swing of 100F in a week. And then the east coast got hammered with succesive huge snowstorms.

      Dublin, Ireland had snow, multiple times, as did Galway on the other side of the island. And across the Irish sea, Wales and England got dumped on too. These are truly rare events. Now, as I understand it, these events in the island nations of the north Atlantic can't be positively attributed to climate change, but they can be attributed to changes in the polar ice cap and ocean curerents there.

      Fires and drought in Texas, a heat wave last summer in Moscow, and I'll stop heare because I would have to start researching the rest of the past 12 month in review rather than rely on memory alone. Ok, one more, I don't want to forget the floods in Australia.

      No, we can't say that any single weather event is due to climate change, and we probably will never be able to say that. We have to rely on long term averages, and spikes...and the spikes above the noise level are probably worth watching moreso than the averages. That said, it's not just this year, but in the past 10 years, not just in the US, but wordwide, there have been a lot of spikes above the noise level...and that is totally consistant with climate change theory.

      We have a nominal <1C rise in temperature over the last 50 years is resulting in a 3 to 4% increase in water vapor in the atmosphere. Again, that's a lot of water dude, and the increase in water is exponential with temperature, as is just about every other temperature dependant phenomenon under the sun. It's a known that the planet is getting warmer. Wingnuts can argue that it's not, or argue that it's not caused by burning fossil fuel, or any of an assortment of unhinged non-scientific prattle, but you and I know better.

      It's also a known that energy must be conserved,  Add energy to a system and it must be manifested within that system, as work, temperature or another form of energy. Wind, lightning and rainfall are good examples.  There has been a huge expenditure of effort in warming science to find some kind of natural sink that would either absorb greenhouse gases or the additional energy due to their presence. In short, these searches have failed to turn up anything. In the absence of a sink, there are two ways for the increase in energy to be manifested, these are elevated temperature, and weather events...and we are seeing both.

      •  same thinking (5+ / 0-)

        I buried the following comment in a snark above:

        Weatherdude's excessive pseudoscientific fastidiousness results in denial of the statistical significance of multiple anomalous events.  You destroy meaning by discounting each event separately.  There's no reason not to do the same with lung cancers; no single cancer can be proven caused by any one thing,  except you end up denying the connection to smoking.

        If you are going to make the statement that an event is not significant you must at the same time make the point that the multitude of events is significant or you lie by omission.

        I'm guessing (possibly foolishly) that weatherdude is a meteorologist rather than a climate scientist. The two live in different worlds. The meteorologist sees everything in terms of repeated patterns and local effects. The climate scientist starts at the spherical-cow and looks purely at energy flows and physical principles.

        As a (non-climate) physicist, I've never found meteorological explanations to be very enlightening - so a blocking zone or a swing of the jet stream is stopping the motion of cold fronts, well, why is the blocking zone there? Why does it sit and why does it change? Well, the details of flow and moisture content and topography  and albedo in the big climate models go this way or that. The meteorologists then make up some words to characterize what happens, sort of like Linnaean taxonomy. The global picture gets lost, as does the understanding that if the energy flow is changed, everything is different.

        You have to aggregate the data for the meaning of what happens is in the aggregate, the rest is just noise that kills people. I understand the importance of the noise part but meteorologists need to start understanding the importance of the first part to the second.

        •  My dad was a meteorologist. (0+ / 0-)

          He started writing and speaking out about the dangers of the greenhouse effect in the 1960's.

          Dr Dave Gutzler at the University of New Mexico is both a meterologist and a climatoligist who writes prolifically about climate change and the weather.  Maybe, instead of assuming comparmentalism, we should look around for those who are looking at both the big patterns and the effects on the ground.

    •  we saw this in the Denver Metro area when (2+ / 0-)

      shazam!, all of a sudden we were having to worry about tornadoes in the late 1970s . . . it wasn't because the tornadoes weren't there, they were, we had just moved more out into the plains

      The restrooms at Denver International Airport (which is located on the plains) are tornado shelters . . . something that in Denver proper, Stapleton International Airport never needed.

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

      by Clytemnestra on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 09:22:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  tipped/recced. (0+ / 0-)

      "I don't want to live on this planet anymore" -Prof. Farnsworth

      by terrypinder on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 08:34:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It should (28+ / 0-)

    only be attributed to climate change if it is part of a larger pattern, yes?  Because then, it is part of a change in climate rather than just WEATHER!

    That's what people seem to forget.  

    It's about pointing out a pattern that is a long term change to a climate situation.

    When do those weather changes become significant to warrant an overall change in climate?

    There are many people here who do, however, post important diaries on the overall change in weather patterns, a pattern of changes in temperature, etc.

    That is significant.  It's also why I listen to climate scientists not weather people when it comes to my understanding of CLIMATE change.

    Some days are diamonds, some days are rocks...Tom Petty

    by Ellinorianne on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 12:40:53 PM PDT

  •  Climate is in essence cumulative weather (15+ / 0-)

    so the two things are intimately linked and really can't be separated in a meaningful way.

    •  You're right on the technical term, but (20+ / 0-)

      saying one year's weather is the new trend is bogus until you have an actual trend. Temperatures are changing, the oceans are changing, we have the trends to back it up, but we don't have the trends to back up much else. I've lost track of what's been blamed on climate change so far this year. I think everything short of the sunrise and sunset, so far.

      If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

      by weatherdude on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 12:43:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  a decade of "unprecedented" weather, OTOH (7+ / 0-)

        on a global scale, is not bogus, and does in fact make an actual trend.

        •  Diarist should ask 3 questions (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wu ming, blueoasis, Roadbed Guy

          Is weather a chaotic system?

          Is global warming part of the system?

          Do I have the data to prove the trend is NOT affected by global warming?

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:53:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  sorry...you can't do that. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            weatherdude, catfood

            onus is on the scientist to prove correlation...hence the whole idea of rejecting the null hypothesis.

            You can't, as a scientist, say 'well, I see a larger pattern here--so I'm going to assume by default that these individual events are part of that pattern and you have to prove me wrong'

            that's a fundamental misapplication of both scientific method and statistics.

            •  We disagree (5+ / 0-)

              If the anwser to the first two questions is yes, and one posits that AGW is not a factor one must prove that.

              And lets be frank about this diary: it is a rant, does not present a scientific arguement or even a reasonably logical one, uses the same bullshit annecdotal methods to draw conclusions the diarist is complaining about, and now we see the diarist doing retorical backflips up and down the thread to bolster his own flawed reasoning.

              If we take some of his assertions to be correct at face value, then ther is no usable data because measurement methods and frequency have changed.

              LOL. Do you accept that?

              Please take it up with weatherdude, he is the one bandlying-about psuedo-science here.

              Funny he thought his own cherry-picked data would make a convincing arguement against AGW.

              Please discuss that with him.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 07:42:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  nonsense. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                weatherdude, Sarbec

                weatherdude is suggesting that we proceed with caution in attributing specifics to a general model that WE KNOW HARDLY ANYTHING ABOUT.

                No where does he say AGW is false...nowhere does he deny anything, and the fact that you called him (or came close) to calling him a 'denier' when he's perhaps the most authoritative source on weather--or one of them--on this blog greatly diminishes your credibility.

                HE's the one cherrypicking?  Wow.  If you think that, you have a LOT to learn about science.  In any case, if you go to Wikipedia you'll note that the strongest tornadoes have not registered any significant increase in intensity, and that tornadoes prior to the 1950s generally have only the strongest individual events in the outbreak recorded.  It's not a usable dataset...weatherdude was just demonstrating that these things aren't new.  

                •  um .... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  caul, Roadbed Guy, Joieau

                  He makes some general arguement such events cannot be correlated to AGW and that is mistaken. I doubt he actually believes that, but in the heat of arguement he makes such suggestions. Hence my susggestion he step back, slow down and make better arguements.

                  Yes he cherry picked. In the main diary, he wished to argue one could not take this year's event to be a positive indicator and to support that he chose some other years data presumably as a retorical device, but doing the same.

                  And then he took it a step further. When others pointed wout that the data he selected did, in fact, demonstrate a trend, he argues DATA IS USELESS because of changes to measurement methods and sampling, and - DAMN - we keep building in the path of tornados.

                  Gesh! Let's dig our holes deeper.

                  The point is this: he presented a narrow arguement of his own chosing and has painted himself into a corner defending it.

                  I'm going to assume he has not yet completed his dissertation and prepared for his orals, so could benifit from an old fart suggesting he step back look for the flaws and hone the arguements. My philosophy is to crack his head on this here and now so he can do better.

                  "He is just demonstrating that these things are not new."

                  Nope, he should have stopped there and maybe you stopped reading there.

                  And even if he had, it would still not prove AGW is or is not a significant contributor to these events, including and specifically the recent tornados.

                  Just because he, you or I have not done the work does not mean it is not possible, and some that have do support the thesis that AGW is a significant factor in these events.

                  That does not justify junk arguments in either direction. Again, I agree with that basic point of the diary.

                  What about my Daughter's future?

                  by koNko on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 10:56:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Almighty Science has been (0+ / 0-)

                  harping on AGW for many years now, hyping to the public every chance it gets that we must do something about it or suffer dire consequences. Of course, they were doing the same thing back in the '70s, but then it was all about global cooling instead of global warming.

                  It could have always been about the funding (more money gets poured into research when there is a perceived danger), naturally. Or it could be real, and they've decided to just call it "Global Climate Change" since what's happening involves record snowfall and cold weather too, in spite of steady melting of the ice caps and glaciers.

                  It's the climate scientists who put this issue before the public and have been making dire pronouncements about it regularly for years. So it sure seems odd that anyone would now try to cut off questioning of possible AGW effects when discussing increasingly severe weather events.

                  I'd ask the diarist to justify his admonition that we not question severe weather's connection to global climate change in light of the urgency climate and earth science spokespersons have been hyping for so long. ESPECIALLY in light of the list of particularly 'bad' tornado seasons he gave in supposed support of that argument. Because on that list of the most damaging and deadly years for tornados, half of them fall within the past decade.

                  Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

                  by Joieau on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 07:49:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Neither do you (3+ / 0-)

        To deny it. If you have those historical models, please present them.

        Got to say, your cherry picking to bolster your flawed argement is so weak it is embarrasing to anyone claiming to have the superior position based on science or reason.

        I like you weatherdude, and so please read my other comments, step back from your keyboard and cool down, and then re-read your own words and some of the criticisms made here.

        Hormones are not doing you a favor at this point.

        Your arguement is just a flawed and the evidence you present just as weak.

        As a rant you make a good point: emotional arguements don't help.

        Don't be so damned sure of your own position. Friendly advice.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:41:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  sure. but the point is there is too much (13+ / 0-)

      phony extrapolation from individual samples.  One tornado season doens't tell you much, statistically.  More substantial to work with the trends for which legitimate empirical data exists.  i.e. glacier melt.

  •  I love your diaries. (17+ / 0-)

    I just love that you write about the weather.  This country is so fixated on ego fantasy, the "individual" and all that, but I've come to believe that what we eat and our atmosphere determine a large part of what we experience as our consciousness.  After all, we're what 90% water?  We are what goes in us and what's around us IMHO.

    Thanks for another great post.  

    All I see is these fake fucks with no fangs tryin' to draw blood from my ice-cold veins. - Jay-Z

    by fou on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 12:41:56 PM PDT

  •  thank god. A voice of reason on dkos. (16+ / 0-)

    Your severe weather coverage has been fantastic, too--thanks!

  •  All good points (21+ / 0-)

    No one weather event is "linked" to global warming.  All events like this are based on conditions that vary from year to year and place to place.  It will only be by looking at a number of years that we will be able to see patterns.

     OTOH, when I look at the years that you refer to with Tornado outbreaks

    1920, 1925, 1932, 1965, 1974, 1992, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2008 again, and then the tornadoes this year.
    and I see 5 in the 70 years before 1990, 2 in the next decade, 4 in the decade after that, and one more at the beginning of this new decade, it makes me think that global warming is increasing the frequency with which these will happen.  

    So, while I am driven as batty as you are when someone claims that this or that event is evidence for climate change, I think that using this year's tornado outbreak, in the proper context, as a way to call attention to the issue, is not misplaced.

    Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

    by Actuary4Change on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 12:42:52 PM PDT

    •  You have to remember, too, that our ability (28+ / 0-)

      to detect, report and document tornadoes has increased exponentially since the development of weather radar (70s), and the proliferation of video cameras (80s) and wireless communication (90s and now). The Tuscaloosa tornado was the most documented tornado in history in terms of individual videos/pictures, IIRC.

      If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

      by weatherdude on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 12:46:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weatherdude, Caj, middleagedhousewife

        Any "increase" may be reporting changes.

        Of course that argument would still mean that what we are experiencing now is essentially "normal."

        Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

        by Actuary4Change on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 12:58:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  in terms of numbers, it's abnormal... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          weatherdude, Actuary4Change

          then again, if those two tornadoes (Tuscaloosa and Joplin) had hit unpopulated areas, there really wouldn't be much of a story...

          there may be legitimate relatinoships between AGW and these specific weather patterns,  .but a lot of this is perceptual too.

        •  No it would not. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis

          It would only mean we have less data for previous years, hence, greater uncertianty.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:56:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The number of (0+ / 0-)

            undocumented tornados in any given year (those that don't cause human death and massive destruction thus aren't noticed) are just data points we don't have. Tornados happen every year. Some years they cause way, way more death and destruction than others. Making the undocumented tornados merely the background 'noise' in all years.

            The uncertainty is constant background, no greater in 1920 than today.

            Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

            by Joieau on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 07:57:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You have no idea (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weatherdude

        how much it has improved!  lol

        You're sleeping on a featherbed of lies - Scott McKenzie

        by Im a frayed knot on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:12:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think you're spot on here, WD (6+ / 0-)

        ... in this particular case, global warming would result in two conflicting trends:

        1. Increasing potential instability (the "juice" for severe weather) because of increased moisture and sensible heat in the near-surface, and
        2. Decreasing temperature gradients because more warming is taking place at high latitudes. Strong temperature gradients between large air masses generating strong "baroclinic" (i.e. temperature contrast driven) disturbances is the best forcing for large-scale severe weather like we've seen this past spring.

        There are likely other secondary effects, for example related to what are called "elevated mixed layers" which, if present, will either

        1. Cap any thunderstorm development or, if the cap is eroded through what is called synoptic-scale upward motion,
        2. can result in EXPLOSIVE development because of the amount of energy that can get pent up below the cap before it's released.

        To make a long story short, it would take a long time series corrected for changes in the population density and the "skill" of the observing network (doppler radar, trained observers, etc.) to be able to make a definitive statement about tornado frequency, strength, and global warming.

        "Without viable unions to serve as a counterweight to corporate power, America's working people and their families are at the mercy of the largest and most powerful economic organizations on the planet."

        by billlaurelMD on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:28:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yep (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis

          and by that time half the world will be under water or desert.

          Sometimes science doesnt have all the answers in the needed time frame.

          Bad is never good until worse happens

          by dark daze on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:35:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  there are plenty of other examples (0+ / 0-)

            to cite regarding global warming without resorting to the "one incident" thing.  Now the collective record and trends tell us all we need to know.  Don't need to attribute any ONE event, season, or weather in one location to global warming ... there is plenty of evidence that is 99% unequivocal, such as sea ice and the increasing heat content of the oceans.

            "Without viable unions to serve as a counterweight to corporate power, America's working people and their families are at the mercy of the largest and most powerful economic organizations on the planet."

            by billlaurelMD on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 01:38:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  If the old data is no good why are you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming

        including it?

        •  Weatherdude included the data to make his point (6+ / 0-)

          Which was that Tornado clusters are not a new phenomenon.

          I tried to turn this around to show that the data could be taken as signs of an increasing trend.

          He is countering by saying that the apparent increase is due to better observation.

          It isn't that the old data is bad.  It is that all data is incomplete, and changes in the way that data is incomplete can cause us to see effects that aren't really there.

          Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

          by Actuary4Change on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 02:53:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The data was fine when it made (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, caul

            his argument but when it is shown to portray the opposite of his claim it was collected poorly. As his claim is that there is no evidence of a pattern of change it makes his argument void to claim that they didn't collect everything in his supporting data. If it is apples and oranges it is apples and oranges don't use the data.

            •  No. The data really is useful but flawed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              weatherdude

              The point is that there are certain years where we know that Tornado clusters happened.

              There are other years where tornado clusters have not been observed, but we cannot say that they did not happen.

              If you want to make the point that Tornado clusters have happened for at least 90 years, in some years, so the existence of Tornado clusters cannot be caused by Global Warming, then weatherdude's data are sufficient.

              If you want to make the point that Tornado clusters are increasing in frequency as I wanted to do, then the data are insufficient.

              Weatherdude is making a simpler point, so the data suffice.  My point would require data that are collected uniformly accross time, or are somehow corrected for the changes in observational ability over time.

              Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

              by Actuary4Change on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:45:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  by your standards there can be no use of data (0+ / 0-)

                from the past to prove anything. If the only claim is that something has happened in the past so if it happens now it isn't a result to climate change then the argument is specious as this period in time is nowhere near the extremes of historical temps hot or cold.  

                •  No. I'm not arguing in general (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sarbec

                  I'm talking about this specific fact pattern.

                  I think it is true, though, that climate change cannot be proven by any event.  It can only be shown by looking at a pattern of events.

                  Any one hot summer is potentially a fluke.  The fact that so many of the hottest summers have been recent is, almost cerainly not a fluke.

                  I was trying to make a similar argument wrt Tornado clusters, and weatherdude pointed out a flaw in my argument.  There's nothing more than that going on here.

                  Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

                  by Actuary4Change on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:15:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  You are misreading (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              weatherdude, middleagedhousewife

              He's not saying the old data was collected poorly, just that less stuff was documented in the past.

              Thus the data can be relied upon to show that extreme events did happen in the past, but it can't be relied upon to show that the rate of extreme events is increasing or decreasing.  

              You may regard this as some kind of double standard, but it's really just a matter of reading what the data says.

              Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

              by Caj on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 04:17:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  But ... (0+ / 0-)

            He is doing exactly what he his complaining others are doing; drawing conclusions on disconnected data cherry picked to bolster a flawed arguement.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:58:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That would only be true if (0+ / 0-)

              he were arguing against global warming, which he is not.

              He is using limited data to make the limited point that one event is not sufficient evidence for a trend.

              Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

              by Actuary4Change on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 07:06:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not quite the case. (0+ / 0-)

                He is arguing that we cannot atribute the trends on global warming but a significant number of climate scientist with more experience a greater body of research and more objective and fact based arguements disagree.

                Certianly one event is not a trend, but we are not discussing one event.

                Strawman arguement. And, I must repeat, he is using the same approach to the arguement he criticizers others for including cherry picking to support his assertions and casting doubts on data simply because the measurement accuracy and frequency on measurement has increased, suggesting that is responsible for the trends.

                And that last is a classic denniers position.

                Go up and down the thread and read more.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 09:29:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I read the diary as arguing against (0+ / 0-)

                  One event being proof.  I didn't read him as denying global warming.

                  Not going to re-read right now because I don't have time.

                  Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

                  by Actuary4Change on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 05:04:39 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  no. that's patently false. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              weatherdude

              you cannot make an a priori assumption that extreme weather events in any given period are necessarily the result of a grand-scale model that, to be honest, we really know extraordinarily little about.

              You've got it backwards, KonKo--no offense, but every comment you make applies the scientific method the wrong way 'round...

              •  Sorry (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blueoasis, Hopeful Skeptic

                But weatherdude is the one who dragged out the a priori assumptions.

                Let me repeat: AGW is part of the system and effects the system and is one significant fator at work.

                Weatherdue may not have the data, done the analysis or reached the same conclusions, but many others have who have more scientific standing.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 09:32:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  By the way .. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hopeful Skeptic

                  Have I argued anywhere that any single event is proof of AGW? Show me.

                  What I have consistently noted is the systematic nature of weather and the difficulty of analysis due to the complexity and chaotic nature of the system, but also the fact AGW is affecting the system in demonstrable ways, some obvious (ice melts) some less obvious but now scientifically acepted such as the trends of increased dessetification and severe storms, the latter a point of contention here but not so much elsewhere.

                  And I have consistently supported the basic assertion wetherdude makes that irrational and emotional arguements are not helpul.

                  Including when he makes them. Or you.

                  Disagree with this if you wish:

                  :: Global temperatures are increasing.

                  :: Increases in temperatures are significantly affecting the system

                  :: The general effects on the the system have been modeled and the models found to generally correlate to observable effects

                  :: The system is chaotic and difficult to precisely model or predict

                  :: The system is dynami and relatively small systematic changes combine with local conditions can have significant and/or disruptive effects

                  :: Chosing one or a very limited or deterministically selected group of events proves nothing including when the diarist does so to advance his own assertions

                  Your thoughts?

                  What about my Daughter's future?

                  by koNko on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 09:47:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  you're not really disagreeing with the diarist. (0+ / 0-)

                    who also acknowledges climate change and the human component of it.

                    He's not referring to more tenable observations such as glacier melt, carbon increases in the atmosphere, etc.  He's cautioning against applying the model anywhere and everywhere and asserting that anything that seems out of the ordinary in a given year is a strong enough dataset to support or refute anything.

                    Your argument that climate is chaotic doesn't do anything to tell me whether or not I should just assume that tornados or wildfires fit into the mix.  If I'm going to include them as evidence I need a demonstrable reason why.  A sample size of one, or a few, is not much of a reason.

                    •  Goggle it. (0+ / 0-)

                      Some comments posted here cite authorities on the issue of recent weather events in the US. I have not followed these links but they may prove fruitful.

                      Diarist has disputed this suggesting the reason there appears to be more frequent and sever storms is:

                      :: Data collection methods have improved so more events are captured

                      :: The method of ranking severity is based on damage and since there are now more buildings this distorts the date verses older historical data

                      He does not cite to support his assertions. He does not consider or is not aware of other data (eg, wind velocity etc). Perhaps he can provide better information to support his claims but at this point it is word angainst word.

                      I am not and have not argued against points of agreement with the diarist; I have noted them.

                      When his basic thesis is against using unsubstatiated casual arguments and then he proceeds to do the same it is fair game for criticism.

                      Agrguing he does not have to prove a negative is misleading and disingenous when there have been numerous correlated studies to substantiate the general trends at which point one disputing the conslusions bears the burden to disprove.

                      I don't have to limit my arguements to the diarists scope hence I mention other well proven indicators of the systematic effects, which are accelerating.

                      Is tornado A the direct results of AGW? Damned hard to prove. Is it the result or a weather system affected by AGW? Yes, unless you are ignorant of or deny a large body of evidence and a fairly conclusive scientific concensus.

                      Does the fact that there was a tornado 50 years ago as severe as tornado A prove or disprove a trend? No, particularly if you are the one asserting the data cannot be correlated because the measurement technology has changed.

                      I mention that weather is chaotic for a reason; the fact of this makes it difficult to make certian and precise correlations and preditive models. Anyone remotely acquinted with the study of weather, or the study of chaos for that matter since weather has been the classic example since the field was founded should be familliar with the basic problem so I should not have to elaborate. Suffice it to say the most powerful computers in the world are now put on this task and it is still daunting because of the complexity - if you are going to demand an absolute bullet-proof model you will be wating until the sea floods up to your neck.

                      We have other indicators and other useful data the proves the trend. If you look for it you should have no problem finiding it.

                      Or you can kick-back and continue to make retorical arguements.

                      Your argument that climate is chaotic doesn't do anything to tell me whether or not I should just assume that tornados or wildfires fit into the mix.  If I'm going to include them as evidence I need a demonstrable reason why. A sample size of one, or a few, is not much of a reason.

                      Bold - your imagination at work never my assertion.

                      What about my Daughter's future?

                      by koNko on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 09:06:09 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  jeez man...you're using the same points and not (0+ / 0-)

                        getting anywhere.

                        first off, the comments you're questioning early on are well-known--you can find links in wikipedia if you want to--but as with pretty much any climatic/environmental/geologic events, recording is much better post-doppler era, so you'll pick up more.

                        secondly, you're basing a LOT on the diarist's simple list--he's said time and again that it's not exhaustive, and has provided links to much more exhaustive datasets.  You're welcome to look through them as he is, or I am.

                        thirdly, you're cherry-picking in the extreme.  Why pick tornados?  If you 're talking about a chaotic system, then examine the system as a whole.  So you can also assume that if there's 3 seasons of balmy 60 degree weather in Russia that's also because of global warming.  You can do anything you like.  Climate data, ice melt, consistent temperature rises, consistent carbon increases....those are much more substantiated.  But to go and paint all of this as a 'chaotic system in which lots of tornados may show up' which is kind of what you're doing....is, I repeat, awful science.

                        NOWHERE does the diarist say that tornadoes have nothing to do with it.  He's asking us to not extrapolate ill-founded conclusions based on small samples.

                        Lastly, what I said about 'one or a few' data points was not disingenuous....these ARE a few data points, and if you look at this tornado season, it's a data point.  I meant EXACTLY what I said...and that wasn't misleading either.

                        ciao--

                        •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

                          Gesh, man, you are missing the fact that I am staying on topic and responding to the examples and arguements the Diarist presented. His choice of cherries, not mine.

                          Where I agree with him, I have consistently stated so; likewise where I disagree. I appologize for being so boring.

                          And you are cherry-picking in the extreme weak which arguements to excuse or dismiss on the basis they were poorly framed, so I will take that as agreement.

                          I think the general topic of the diary is "Don't make weak, illogical arguements".

                          I agree.

                          BTW, I think the diarist picked tornados because they are probably the most difficult weather event to correlate to AGW and chose the economic effect of them as the parameter because it gave him, hypothetically, the best chance of arguing the data can't correlate.

                          But other weather events and trends measured by other parameters do correlate very well and he has stumbled badly arguing against that.

                          Let's be clear: AGW is affecting the climate and weather. Yes or No?

                          What about my Daughter's future?

                          by koNko on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 05:59:58 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  Seriously? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          weatherdude, middleagedhousewife

          The point is that tornado outbreaks have happened before, the old data is certainly good enough to make that point.

          The parent poster is not saying that the old data is wrong, just that we document a lot more now, so it can be misleading to spot an increase in documented cases.

          Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

          by Caj on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 04:08:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  If you count the decade from 2003 to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden

      this year, we've had five in this ten-year period.

      A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. -Greek proverb

      by marleycat on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:04:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But this is a logical fallacy (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weatherdude, Bluesee, jds1978, NYFM

      If this was an exhaustive list of tornado outbreaks, it would matter if recent decades dominated the list. But this is just an off-the-top-of-the-head remark in a blog post.  This isn't amenable to analysis because it is not a meaningful dataset.

      It is silly to spot trends in a list of numbers like this. It's like trying to deduce G from timing the coyote in a Road Runner cartoon.

      Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

      by Caj on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 02:38:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What He Said (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matisyahu, weatherdude, NYFM

        This is what we have to work with.

        This disparity between tornado records of the past and current records contributes a great deal of uncertainty regarding questions about the long-term behavior or patterns of tornado occurrence.

        The NOAA goes on...

        To better understand the true variability and trend in tornado frequency in the US, the total number of strong to violent tornadoes (EF3 to EF5 category on the Enhanced Fujita scale) can be analyzed. These are the tornadoes that would have likely been reported even during the decades before Dopplar radar use became widespread and practices resulted in increasing tornado reports. The bar chart below indicates there has been little trend in the frequency of the strongest tornadoes over the past 55 years.
      •  that's a good point as well. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weatherdude
  •  To me... (19+ / 0-)

    To me we are already in the midst of global warming...the opening of the Northwest Passage and the turning of the permafrost into tempafrost are two examples of why I say that.

    But I agree with you that no particular event is directly CAUSED by global warming. Someone pointed out that EVERYthing is because all climate events are influenced by temperature. I would modify that. I would say all climate events are INFLUENCED, but not CAUSED by global warming...and it is an important distinction.

    Increasingly global warming is a factor in all climate events, but the absolute cause of none. Climate is always based in probability. Extreme events happen rarely but they do happen. As things warm we will see an increase in their frequency but they are still caused by a mix of interacting factors, not just temperature.

    However, I think the point some are trying to make is that we can't be talking like global warming is still in our future or something that might miss us. It is happening now. But it is happening just as much when the day is nice as when a hundred tornadoes are lining up to pick up your mobile home and deposit it somewhere where news cameras are waiting.

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. Read the PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT Newsletter

    by mole333 on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 12:43:05 PM PDT

  •  it is irresponsible not to mention climate change (23+ / 0-)

    Dr. Kevin Trenberth, one of the world’s top climate scientists, who has been exploring for years how greenhouse pollution influences extreme weather, said he believes that it is “irresponsible not to mention climate change” in the context of these extreme tornadoes.

     "   It is irresponsible not to mention climate change. … The environment in which all of these storms and the tornadoes are occurring has changed from human influences (global warming)."

    http://thinkprogress.org/...

    The world wide floods, storms, droughts and heat waves are all entirely consistent with the predictions. We need to be focused on that.

    •  my gawds yes (12+ / 0-)

      The last thing we'd want to do is point to evidence everyone is living through as background to an argument about the urgency of saving the planet. Why, that would be like asking people to look at how banks are destroying their neighborhoods as background to an argument about the urgency of reforming the financial sector. No one repossessed home, or neighborhood of them, can prove that our banking system is shot through with corruption. So let's not inflame people's minds with the notion that they should work forward from the things they witness themselves to any conclusions about necessary political action.

      Why that would be, like, rhetorical or something. Heaven save us from in any way using rhetoric in political action. We have a scientific duty to put things in dry terms which have no direct, visceral, personal appeal. We must bend over backwards to avoid making any point in a way which might compel people to act.

      •  Sarcastic tangential comment? Check. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sneelock, Empty Vessel, ms badger, Matt Z

        First one of the night, congrats. :)

        If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

        by weatherdude on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:12:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sarcastic but on point (14+ / 0-)

          As much as I enjoy your diaries, in this one you miss the forest for the trees.

          Extremes are increasing as predicted, there is no hiding from that

        •  no one can say that any ONE foreclosure (7+ / 0-)

          is due to the systematic fraud by the banks; why loan defaults have always happened. Sounds just like weatherdude.

          Weatherdude's excessive pseudoscientific fastidiousness results in denial of the statistical significance of multiple anomalous events.  You destroy meaning by discounting each event separately.  There's no reason not to do the same with lung cancers; no single cancer can be proven caused by any one thing,  except you end up denying the connection to smoking.

          If you are going to make the statement that an event is not significant you must at the same time make the point that the multitude of events is significant or you lie by omission.

          I'm guessing (possibly foolishly) that weatherdude is a meteorologist rather than a climate scientist. The two live in different worlds. The meteorologist sees everything in terms of repeated patterns and local effects. The climate scientist starts at the spherical-cow and looks purely at energy flows and physical principles.

          As a (non-climate) physicist, I've never found meteorological explanations to be very enlightening - so a blocking zone or a swing of the jet stream is stopping the motion of cold fronts, well, why is the blocking zone there? Why does it sit and why does it change? Well, the details of flow and moisture content and topography  and albedo in the big climate models go this way or that. The meteorologists then make up some words to characterize what happens, sort of like Linnaean taxonomy. The global picture gets lost, as does the understanding that if the energy flow is changed, everything is different.

          You have to aggregate the data for the meaning of what happens is in the aggregate, the rest is just noise that kills people. I understand the importance of the noise part but meteorologists need to start understanding the importance of the first part to the second.

    •  It's how you say it (3+ / 0-)

      I agree that the Tornados are a good platform and should be used for discussing global warming, but we have to be careful to avoid saying that any one event is caused by it.

      Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

      by Actuary4Change on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:12:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But a statement suggesting an individual event... (0+ / 0-)

      is a direct consequence of climate change is an opinion at best. Whe considering complex systems, such as climate, it is scientifically irresponsible to suggest a direct connection between any one individual event and one specific explanation. In complex systems, nearly any observation can have more than one explanation. That's the point of this excellent diary.

      When scientists make such statements, they step beyond the role of the scientist. The people who hear their words still see them as scientists.

    •  Climate change is about the climate (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weatherdude, koNko, blueoasis, caul

      not particular weather events.  The IPCC said that my region would get wetter in the summer.  We didn't use to get this much rain every year around now.

      Gardeners are told in seed catalogs what region they're in and what kinds of plants they can expect to grow.  Those regions are shifting.

      As has been noted elsewhere in the thread, the opening of the Northwest Passage is unprecedented.

      There are real signs of climate change in your neighborhood.  If you think about long-term what the seasons in your area are like, you may discover them.  I suggest you skim parts of the IPCC report to find out about them.

    •  By Trenberth's logic (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      janislav, Rick Aucoin, Matt Z, Caj, Southside

      it would also be irresponsible to not credit climate change for the perfectly normal partly cloudy day that I am experiencing right now.

      But somehow, those diaries never get written.  Global warming effects, to some limited degree, all weather.  But the particulars are unknown for each event.

      Global warming has no more or less impact on a day with tornados than any other day.

      That's why pointing only to extreme weather is a mistake.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:45:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lets be reasonable and collect data for anothe (5+ / 0-)

      50 to 100 years. Then surely there will be enough to convince people to stop burning coal, driving fuel suckers and fracking. Yes, by all means let's be reasonable.

      I agree there is too much 'hair afire'  and hyperbolic comments and diaries. But in the end ignoring what is happening or minimizing it or refering to what is occurring as within historical norms over 100s of years ( now happening more frequently) will change no ones aims or beliefs. My son who is a devout Limbaugh fan finally has admitted it is occurring but he refeuses to believe man can have that effect. THis is the lates argument he uses ... not enough data to stop him consuming as much hydrocarbons as he can afford.

      So we have methane releases off of Africa, whirl pools of plastics & plastic murdered birds, pustulant reservoirs of toxins and pesticides at the poles but there is no clear evidence that will convince everyone until we start dying off by the millions like our victims in other species. Then they will probably blame it on gays and feminists and the mud people.

      I like facts not other peoples interpretation of the facts because they are too often bound up with needs, greeds and fears. So the  ' hair on fire' interpretations  could stop but I still want to see the data and the ideas  and the logical trains of thought. I want to be made aware of all the events that mankind is inflicting on the world so that we can create a coherent and convincing argument against the behaviors that is causing the damage.

      My main problem is that I sense that you are saying ... "relax this will play out over centuries or millenia or fade away ... Don't worry.. be happy .. we won't see it in our lifetime"... IMHO, We are living in the flask and the gigantic ignorant chemistry experiment is ongoing that could end us... Seriously I no longer am that concerned about my own life but I would like to see my species and fellow occupants of this flask go on... But then I can really do nothing to affect their behaviors and rationalizations and fears  to stop them. We have got to have a large majority working to stop what we are doing. How do we convince those who know no science at all?

      Fear is the Mind Killer

      by boophus on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 02:50:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  there are a thousand reasons to move off of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caj

        coal...

        environmental decimation, health, local climatic deterioration/pollution, waste, etc. etc. etc.

        without even needing to invoke grand-scale AGW.

        It's not one or the other...

        •  I don't how you got there from where I was (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, caul

          I did not say you had to invoke but I guess you were looking to reprimand and educate someone. What I was referring to is the fact that the right wing uses a similar argument. So we must be clear exactly what we are saying so as to not give them power to minimize.

          In fact, I have been going through this argument with my son for years. He sees the thousands of reasons condensed down to 5 in your response as the price of making a living and just living. Similarly my republican neighbor thinks that all those silly environmentlaists haven't got a clue thinking we can use alternative energy. So while it may be obvious to you or to me why we should move off of coal ... to them you are asking them to fail in their perceived responsibility today to their families. Can we tiptoe enough not to get them excited about hyperbole or the 'hair on fire ' diaries when that is what they are responding to when they fan Limbaugh and his ilk?

          I was asking the author where he stands and what he thinks should be done to get the message across. I was asking WHEN he wants to try to get a message across. When I try to explain rationally and using science my son would simply get angry and ignore me. Many conservatives cling to what they know works for them because they don't see any reason eminent enough to change and fail to see the inherent damage to themselves and their children in the same.

          Sometimes I think the only way is to scare the Bejebus out of them... Do youreally think they will check the facts?
          The only problem with that is that Rush and the rest of the rich who feed on these minds  would leap to point out the error. So I agree with the diarist that we have to be careful but I was asking in my apparently offensive way : HOW & HOW LONG before we insist that there are enough FACTS? How long before we insist that something has to be done that is not palliative?

          Fear is the Mind Killer

          by boophus on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 09:30:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Okay, but on another note can you (8+ / 0-)

    tell me why we keep having all this intense heat and get NO thunderstorms or rain?  And I am not asking this question thinking that this is climate change, but we are totally out of pattern around here in the swamp called DC.  After the past few years, I am seriously considering investing in desert plants for my yard instead of azaleas and other plants that used to grow so successfully around here.

    No, I know you really can't tell me "why", but it is really starting to bug me.  All that Spring rain that we did get made me think that we were back on track for something more normal or average or whatever, but this heat wave and lack of precipitation is giving me pause - and its bugging me.

  •  Since I don't know if one can project back for El (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, commonmass, cpresley, Matt Z

    Nino and La Nina, is there any correlation between bad tornado years and either of those, or the transition between them going in either direction?  It was announced on the news yesterday on one of the weather channels that the current La Nina is now over, for whatever that means. I do understand that we have records going back before we in the general public started hearing of El Nino and La Nina, so answering may not be possible.

  •  I totally understand what you are saying. (10+ / 0-)

    I run in to this all the time in discussions about other topics where I happen to be an expert and others think they are experts because they have an opinion. Now we all have assholes and we all have opinions, but sometimes we have informed opinions based on expert knowledge. Not all experts agree ("9 out of 10 experts agree..." sounds like a tooth paste commercial, LOL) because people interpret facts differently. But there is a BIG difference between, say Dirkster42 and myself having a conversation where we disagree on the interpretation about some fine theological point on which be both happen to be well studied and me getting all up in your face on some fine point of meteorology on which you happen to be well studied and on which I know nothing but "what I have heard" (Which, by the way, you know is not my style).

    So I totally get you weatherdude, and I really thank you for this diary.

    Craft is what emerges when you hit inspiration over the head with a stick.

    by commonmass on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 12:49:02 PM PDT

    •  But he is guilty as charged (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kafkananda, debaseTheBase

      His uses exactly the same devices to make his arguement as the people he is complaining about and share the same logical flaw in reasoning.

      I thipped and recced this because it is an importiant topic and discussion, but I have to give weatherdude zero point in presenting his side as a reasonable alternative.

      IOW, his identifiation of the problem is right on the money, and he is guilty as charged.

      AGW is part of the system. He has not convinced me otherwise despite doing backflips in the comments that make him sound desperate to bolster the fundamental flaw in his reasoning.

      And I hope it's a learning experience. He is standing on logical quicksand.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 07:15:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You got a point (8+ / 0-)

    It's not unlike the wing nuts saying "It snowed 2 feet in NY this winter... therefore, "global warming" is bullshit!"

    Well, first of all the term "global warming" is an unfortunate term and should be replaced by "climate change", imho. And second of all, I'm sure it's snowed 2 feet in NY lots of times. Just because it did it this past winter doesn't mean climate change isn't happening.

    I'm not saying that the end result of climate change won't likely create a warmer planet... it probably will. But what happens in certain areas at certain times has probably happened before... in those same places, before the advent of the industrial age and the resulting spewage of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

    We are, I think, better off pointing out trends and not individual incidents. And yes, I bet that in the not-too-distant future, these incidents of tornados, storms, heat-waves, etc. will likely show trends if we don't somehow put on the brakes in terms of our greenhouse gas emissions.

    But again, I do think Weatherdude has a point.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 12:51:39 PM PDT

    •  The problem is (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      forgore, RunawayRose, Dianna, Snud, kafkananda

      The trend is increased death and property damage from extreme weather events is totally realized in individual incidents such as tornadoes, floods, heat waves, blizzards.... So if we pretend that the individual incidents are of no import worthy of consideration, then the trend is effectively being discussed as something toothless, of no real danger.

      The teeth of the danger are the individual incidents. It's not like "OMG the whole world goes permanently under the rising oceans like a second Atlantis." Yes, that would be a trend without an individual incident. But it's not the real danger here. Yet it's the caricature we we make of our concern with this grave threat to life and civilization when we take discussion of individual incidents, which are the teeth of the monster here, off the table.

    •  that what the "global" part is about (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, Dianna, Snud

      the globe is warming, which has all sorts of weird unstable local effects.

    •  So the wingers get their straight message out (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, Dianna

      and we give out mealy mouthed overqualified statements of concern.  Perfect.

  •  What about the Arizona fires, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forgore, Empty Vessel, FishOutofWater

         are they related to climate change ?
       

  •  Everyone who thinks that climate change (12+ / 0-)

    is responsible for weatherdude's attitude, raise your hand.

    :-)

    Seriously, The Day After Tomorrow was one of the most ridiculous movies I've ever seen.  Sure it was entertaining, but I couldn't stop laughing!  I think the menacing, anthropomorphic ice was my favorite part.

    We went on a night when Moveon members were outside waving leaflets of doom.  All I could think was, "Oh, man, have you even seen the movie?  You're embarassing yourselves."

    At least Jakey G. was easy to look at.  Other than that, I'd give it a D.

    Generally concur with your sentiments.

    •  I enjoyed that movie, but then I like ridiculous (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weatherdude, Matt Z, Khun David, CJB

      disaster porn.  Which was exactly the level on which I watched that movie.

      And yeah, Jake was easy on the eyes.

    •  That was the embarrassing part (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CJB

      Movie physics is almost always wrong, and while my older brother was intensely annoyed at The Day After Tomorrow, I didn't consider it any dumber than Star Wars, with its slow-moving lasers and kaboom sounds in outer space.

      But I was unsettled by the very serious people who acted like the movie was some sort of factual documentary, and a wake-up call of critical importance to society.  

      I guess we had people in the last decade who thought Saddam Hussein was about to obliterate their hometown by vague, unknown means---if not wipe out the entire USA, or even the entirety of western civilization.  Should I be surprised that some people also thought The Day After Tomorrow was about to happen?

      Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

      by Caj on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 07:55:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A quick glance at your tornado outbreak info (6+ / 0-)

    is interesting though. Five outbreaks in 54 years ( approx. 1/decade ) vs. the next six ( approx. 3/decade ) outbreaks in just 19 years. In a 91 year time span more than half of the outbreaks happened in just the last 19 years and most of those within the past 8. Is it a blip, anomaly, or trend? Hopefully we won't see a continuation or worsening of that trend but only time will tell.


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

    by jayden on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 12:54:29 PM PDT

  •  Thank you... (9+ / 0-)

    ...for saying what needs to be said.

    As someone who emphatically believes in AGW and the need to start doing urgent stuff to combat it RIGHT. FUCKING. NOW, a little calmness is needed.

    It definitely puts you in tricky waters however. The whole concept of what we're gonna get stuck with is unprecedented in human history. Because of this, reactions to news may not be as "normal", regardless of political persuasion, as to some other events.

    I've always said that in order for people to start believing that AGW is real, they needed a TANGIBLE event. Something they could see, feel, hear, experience with their own eyes that would really awaken them. Then Katrina happened. That did turn alot of people around, I think. Alot of these recent weather events do the trick also.

    The problem is, of course, very short memories. i.e "What have you done for me lately?" Climate change is only as worrisome, or as not worrisome as the last event or non-event. Or so the tendency goes, human nature, unfortunately, being what it is.

    It's hard for me to say it and I've wanted to say it but I was afraid to and couldn't seem to find the right or wrong place. Sometimes every time a bad weather event happens we get another "OK, it's REAL!! Here you go!!" Well, I would think you're pretty much preaching to the choir around here. But what good, really, does it accomplish?

    Some of the predictions are so scary and dire that I have trouble processing them. That's not because I don't believe them but because...well, they're horrifying to contemplate. But the weird thing about AGW is that it doesn't happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow as you say.

    I've always been a holistic person, looking beyond my own life, my own lifetime. I'm a history buff. I find it fascinating. I want to know where the human race will go even if I'm not around to see it. I just CAN'T accept that we'll all be dead in 100 (or even 60 as some have posted with recced comments) years. I just can't.

    I hate to say it but I have to: I think there's a small contingent of the environmentalist hard left (which I am proud to call myself), which has a certain apocalyptic mentality that has more in common with Pat Robertson or other eschatologists. Just as they think humanity needs to be washed of its sins en masse by God, a certain few hard ultras on the other side deep down feel the same thing, that humanity "deserves" to be cleansed of its sins by nature or something. Basically, we all suck and deserve to die.

    F*** that!!!

    I see no point in accepting the absolute worst-of-the-worst case scenario. We have to go at it like we have a chance to save ourselves. We can.

    But we have to start NOW, dammit!!!

    Just as the denialist right tries to point to every snowfall happening that AGW is just Al Gore's lie, there is a tendency to fall into the trap of obsessing over every little weather event and screaming louder.

    It's happening. Yes, it is.

    But let's not lose our minds here.

  •  You have forgotten more about (6+ / 0-)

    weather and climate than I ever knew, but thanks.  I have tried to fight the fight of statistics, trends, and the like several times...and failed.

    Sadly, I expect that you will get a fair amount of push back on this diary.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:00:40 PM PDT

  •  You posted this diary because of climate change. (8+ / 0-)

    Admit it.

    Come on, admit it!

    "This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it." -- Keith Olbermann

    by allergywoman on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:04:06 PM PDT

  •  I agree that we can't directly tie the recent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude

    outbreaks to "global warming".  And that the tornado outbreak is no reason to panic.

    But, if you look at the impact our race is having on our environment,  And consider the likelyhood that we have begun to and will continue to fuck up that environment in ways that will eventually hamper our survival, I'd say that maybe there is reason to panic.

    It will be interesting to watch how our planet does reveal what we've done to it.  Seems like different weather patterns are likely.  Including more intense storms.  But overall pollution seems like it might have the most important effect.  Planetary poisoning.  Yuck!

    thanks WDude

  •  Great point, Dude (6+ / 0-)

    Two points I would like to make:

    1)  It requires more than one or two data points to make a trend.
    2)  When you are unscientific about your proclamations about climate change you contaminate the entire discussion.  Deniers will point to the unscientific proclamations and rightfully show their error.  This allows the deniers ignore the real science.

    You're sleeping on a featherbed of lies - Scott McKenzie

    by Im a frayed knot on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:09:10 PM PDT

  •  What about trends beginning to follow models? (11+ / 0-)

    That's reasonable prediction, and that's what has me worried.  We may not have a lot of time left, as per those models, and may have to act now.

    For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

    by Ptolemy on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:09:28 PM PDT

    •  But how should we act? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weatherdude

      What would you do Ptolemy, if you were the ruler?

    •  There's enough solid evidence to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weatherdude, blueoasis

      tell us that we need to do something, and that we should have started doing it years ago.  There are demonstrable trends that point to significant change.  We just have to be careful to cite the solid evidence and not the stuff that's just suggestive.  There's a difference between the level of certainty needed for hypothesis building vs. persuasion.  The messenger had better be careful when conveying information that people don't want to hear.  It's similar to what a politician faces if he/she wants to push something for moral reasons - it undermines the case if he/she is caught doing something even a little bit shady!

  •  I hope your parents are proud of you. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, northsylvania, Matt Z

    They certainly should be - you've earned it.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:13:50 PM PDT

  •  Sorry (7+ / 0-)

    But I think I will choose to be reactionary.

    The American people are not scientifically literate at this point in our dumbed-down national discourse, and trying to make rational arguments about this or that storm not really being evidence of human caused climate change is a losing position.

    Hell, I think even this diary is caused by climate change!

    That's Countdown for the 2,082nd day since Mission Accomplished. You thought that would change? Are the troops home yet? Keith Olbermann January 20, 2009

    by Ed in Montana on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:16:49 PM PDT

  •  Cows (3+ / 0-)

    didn't stop drying up because women (who could think) were burned at stakes.

    Don't let these people win again.

    Please.

    Peace Shopper- Saving more than pennies :-)

    by Maori on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:17:20 PM PDT

  •  I heard Anthony Weiner (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, jayden, northsylvania, Matt Z

    was driven to sexual excess and indiscretion because of the changes in barometric pressure caused by androgenic climate change.

  •  I'll be Shrill if I want, thanks very much (10+ / 0-)

    Are you suggesting those of us pointing out the the obvious and politely suggesting we get out heads out of the sand are being SHRILL.

    Well, get over it. You ain't seen nothing yet.

    I also plan to be shrill about:

    - Climate change

    - the plan to killl Medicare

    - the plan to kill Social Security

    - the continued assault on the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Rule of Law

    - the lies about the true cause of the deficit, and Billionaires Coup.

    I could go on, but you get the point.

    OR DO I HAVE TO BE SHRILL????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” --Yogi Berra

    by HeartlandLiberal on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:19:03 PM PDT

    •  stay shrill (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      janislav, Matt Z

      WDude isn't suggesting you shouldn't, I think.  He's demonstrating that we can't yet prove that recent outbreaks are tied to global warming.  And he's right.

      Keep up the shrill.  I like it.

       Cheers!

    •  i think the point is to use solid data as you're (7+ / 0-)

      being shrill, rather than tenuous data.  It'll give more voice (and creedence) to the shrillness!

    •  What is it that you're calling obvious? (0+ / 0-)

      If you mean that it's obvious that climate change is happening -- yes, it is. But it's only obvious if you look at the data; it's not obvious to the unaided senses.

      If you mean that it's obvious that recent tornadoes, droughts, fires, storms, and what-have-you are directly caused by climate change -- then no, it's not at all obvious.

      Depending on your answers, you can still be shrill, but you won't necessarily be shrill and right.

      Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

      by Nowhere Man on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 04:14:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Amen! Super diary, Weatherdude! (eom) (4+ / 0-)
  •  What evidence do you have the storms are going to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    docmidwest

    get more severe over time?

    Here is some peer reviewed research:

    Abstract
    Records of very damaging snowstorms, those causing more than $25 million in property losses, across the United States were assessed to define the spatial and temporal dimensions of the nation’s snowstorm activity during 1949–2000. In this 52-year period 155 snowstorms occurred and caused losses totaling $25millioninpropertylossesacrosstheUnitedStateswereassessedtodefinethespatialandtemporaldimensionsofthenation’ssnowstormactivityduring1949–2000Inthis52−yearperiod155snowstormsoccurredandcausedlossestotaling 21.6 billion (2000 dollars). The northeastern U.S. had the nation’s maximum storm occurrences (79 storms), total losses ($7.3 billion), and storm intensity. Two-thirds of all U.S. losses occurred in the Northeast, Southeast, and Central climate regions, and storm occurrences and losses were least in the western U.S. The incidence of storms peaked in the 1976–1985 period and exhibited no up or down trend during 1949–2000. However, national losses had a significant upward time trend, as did storm sizes and intensity. States with the greatest number of storms were New York (62) and Pennsylvania (58) with only 2 storms in Montana, Idaho, and Utah. Storm losses in the northeastern and southeastern U.S. had U-shaped time distributions with flat time trends for 1949–2000, but losses in the western regions and Deep South had distinct upward trends in losses and storm size. More than 90% of all storm losses in the western U.S. occurred after 1980. These findings indicating increased losses over time reflect that a rapidly growing population and vulnerability of more property at risk have been major factors affecting losses, and the lack of a change over time in snowstorm incidences suggests no change in climate during 1949–2000.

    http://www.springerlink.com/...

    Here is another study basically saying the opposite.

    Winter storms are a major weather problem in the USA and their losses have been rapidly increasing. A total of 202 catastrophic winter storms, each causing more than $1 million in damages, occurred during 1949–2003, and their losses totaled $1millionindamagesoccurredduring1949–2003andtheirlossestotaled 35.2 billion (2003 dollars). Catastrophic winter storms occurred in most parts of the contiguous USA, but were concentrated in the eastern half of the nation where 88% of all storm losses occurred. They were most frequent in the Northeast climate district (95 storms), and were least frequent in the West district (14 catastrophic storms). The annual average number of storms is 3.7 with a 1-year high of 9 storms, and 1 year had no storms. Temporal distributions of storms and their losses exhibited considerable spatial variability across the nation. For example, when storms were very frequent in the Northeast, they were infrequent elsewhere, a result of spatial differences in storm-producing synoptic weather conditions over time. The time distribution of the nation’s 202 storms during 1949–2003 had a sizable downward trend, whereas the nation’s storm losses had a major upward trend for the 55-year period. This increase over time in losses, given the decrease in storm incidences, was a result of significant temporal increases in storm sizes and storm intensities. Increases in storm intensities were small in the northern sections of the nation, but doubled across the southern two-thirds of the nation, reflecting a climatic shift in conditions producing intense winter storms.

    http://www.springerlink.com/...

    Here are some articles about tornadoes:

    Abstract

    Tornadoes and other severe thunderstorm phenomena frequently cause as much annual property damage in the United States as do hurricanes, and often cause more fatalities (see http://www.nws.noaa.gov/...). In 2008, there were 2176 preliminary tornado reports logged through mid-December, with 1600 “actual counts” (duplicate reports removed) through September, the highest total in the past half century (Figure 1). The mass media have covered these events extensively, and experts have been deluged with requests for explanations, including possible links to anthropogenic global warming. Although recent research has yielded insight into the connections between global warming and tornado and severe thunderstorm forcing, these relationships remain mostly unexplored, largely because of the challenges in observing and numerically simulating tornadoes. Indeed, a number of questions that have been answered for other climate-related phenomena remain particularly difficult for climate and severe weather scientists, including whether there are detectable trends in tornado occurrence and if so, what causes them. This article explores the challenges and opportunities in pursuing these areas of research.

    http://www.agu.org/...

    "Using wealth and inflation adjustment, it seems clear that the most damaging tornado in U.S. history was the 1896 Saint Louis–East Saint Louis tornado, which produced damage equivalent to $2.9 billion in modern terms. ...We find nothing to suggest that damage from individual tornadoes has increased through time."

    Brooks, Harold E., Charles A. Doswell, 2001: Normalized damage from major tornadoes in the united states: 1890–1999. Wea. Forecasting, 16, 168–176.
    doi: 10.1175/1520-0434(2001)016<0168:NDFMTI>2.0.CO;2

    You have to be a member to get the actual articles, I am not allowed to post them.

  •  Aaaand we had an unusually chilly and wet spring (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, weatherdude, Matt Z

    here.

    And the rivers are flooding.

    Mmm-hmmm.

    I'm with Wxdude.  Weather ain't climate.  Isn't that the argument we make whenever Inhofe or some other moron claims that "well, it's snowing, that means there's no global warming"?

    The weird weather this spring may very well be due to climate change.  There's no way to know this soon.

  •  Pretty sure this diary is due to climate change. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, Matt Z, Dianna


    "I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD"
    - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:35:22 PM PDT

  •  Don't Totally Agree With You (4+ / 0-)

    I can't say for sure that the extreme weather we are getting is due to climate change but I can't say it ain't either.  I do know that we here in Mossy Head Florida have had 3 days in a row temperature of 106 degrees.  Today it is 106+.  The hottest day in Forida was back in 1925 at 109.  Normal temperatures in Florida is in the low to mid 90s.  I think that high temperatures and super cold winters and bad spring storm weather is here to stay.  The only thing we do know is that climate change is happening and myf belief is that it is human made.  Populations are growing and this leads to more pollution and deforestation which leads to global warming.  If we don't do something about over population life is going to be really bad for future generations.  

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:36:54 PM PDT

  •  Yes. One data point rarely tells us much, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, 2020adam, Matt Z

    and weather is inherently variable.  Lots of noise in the data.  I completely agree with your point that it badly hurts our arguments on climate change to attribute too much or every event to it.  

    And even if I didn't tip and rec your diary for content, I would have for "for the love of FSM"

    "Everything can be found at sea, according to the spirit of your quest" Conrad

    by Captain Marty on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:38:53 PM PDT

  •  Climate Science is Saying Panic In the Sense (5+ / 0-)

    that we're in a genuine crisis right now of inputs.

    The political problem is the delay between reaching one or another genuine tipping point, and the time when the blowback becomes clear. Climate change might never become politically actionable with our system.

    But you're making one point that seems to vary from the climate scientists I'm seeing in the public arena.

    I believe that storms will gradually get more intense as the years go by.

    Given the track record of climate flipping dramatically over periods of a few months or years due to certain inputs, especially regionally, a belief like you say here seems much more confident than warnings I'm seeing from people who are often revising various projections toward the sooner-and-more-severe.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:41:38 PM PDT

  •  Weatherdude (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    You spend an inordinate amount of time trying to stop people from saying shit or in trying to get them banned from the site.

    Why is that?

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:44:13 PM PDT

  •  Pointing to tornadoes as evidence of climate... (5+ / 0-)

    change is similar to pointing to snow as evidence that it does not exist. Climate and weather are distinct (though very related) concepts, and we accomplish nothing by confusing them with each other.

    We can never say with certainty that any single weather event would or would not have a happened without anthropogenic global climate change. As you very succinctly state, only a trend in weather events will make that clear (and even then, no single event in that trend can be linked directly to the phenomenon).

    If we understood climatology well enough to link single events to global trends, the weatherman would be correct significantly more often.

  •  Here's how I think about it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, Matt Z, wu ming

    Imagine putting a lid on a pot of simmering water. There will be more bubbles, and bigger bubbles.

    Tell me which bubbles are from the lid and which not.
    Tell me which bubbles are bigger because of the lid and which not.
    You can't.

    You just know there are more bubbles and bigger bubbles.


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

    by blue aardvark on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:47:15 PM PDT

    •  not so sure, case in point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weatherdude, ATinNM

      The total heat input from the stove is the same. To the extent that goes into latent heat of vaporization, you get the same amount of vapor produced. In which case (covered or not) will there be fewer and thus bigger bubbles?  I dunno.

      BTW, since the cover tends to keep the pressure and temperature a little higher, a little more heat is lost to convection to the air. That means lesstotal vapor formed.

      So do we actually know the answer here? It's a good reminder not to get the reliable prediction (higher p, T) mixed up with the messy dynamical system predictions (bigger or smaller bubbles).

      Michael Weissman UID 197542

      by docmidwest on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 02:00:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  whoops, I goofed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark

        Usually the convective cooling from the open top is bigger than that from the sides. So there is typically less boiling with the top open. (Duh, think pasta, not theory.) However, the point remains that one needs more details to solve the more dynamical side.

        Michael Weissman UID 197542

        by docmidwest on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:14:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Complex dynamical systems (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, ATinNM

    like the weather are hard to make predictions about. For the average climate, on the other hand, we have some simple basic physics telling us how warming will occur. Crude versions of the dynamical systems models help refine that prediction. By getting our solid predictions for the overall warming mixed up with predictions for detailed weather, we may end up drawing unwarranted doubt on the climate predictions.

    One weather prediction is, however, already reliable. If the climate changes, it will make a lot of changes in the weather. Even if the total number of extreme events doesn't change, they'll be happening in different places, where people won't be as prepared for them.

    Michael Weissman UID 197542

    by docmidwest on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:50:44 PM PDT

  •  right on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, ATinNM, Matt Z

    If linking everything to climate change is OK, then it lends support to the denier conflating weather with climate: "It snowed in June, climate change is a hoax. hrrmuphhh.."

    I know people think it helps to educate that major storms might be the wave of the future/climate change etc., but when it is used so often it has the opposite effect when it opens the door for deniers to use every unusual cold event, etc. to claim hoax.

  •  The argument is also used by Creationist (4+ / 0-)

    doom prophets.

    Oh... and this video was released 12 hours ago:

    This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
    --Ian Curtis

    by jethrock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 01:52:39 PM PDT

  •  here's what i think about it ... (6+ / 0-)

    talk to any climate scientist worth his weight in CO2 and they'll say we don't yet have enough of a history to scientifically equate xtreme weather events like the recent tornadoes to climate change.

    Talk to scientists from the IPCC and other prestigious groups and they will tell you without doubt that xtreme weather events will dramatically imact the future sustainability of life in the LDCs -- erratic and heavier than usual rains followed by droughts, unpredictability of weather .... All efforts underway in terms of biointensive farming, REDD+, rainfed agriculture, hydrophonics, drought and rain resistant crops, billions of dollars being invested in research and in adaptation and mitigation is based upon counting as evidence that extreme weather is a byproduct of climate change.

    Yet ... you look at the developing countries and you have doubt. YOu don't have this intensity. You don't hear people talking about knowing from their gut, from being so connected to the land through generations and generations of ancestors who worked the land and knew the seasons and the weather that THINGS ARE NOT THE SAME.

    Talk to Mexican farmers, craftspeople who made their livings creating thread from plants that can no longer survive the severe rains and droughts ... whose entire lives and communities are disaster zones.

    I agree as does the IPCC that there is NOT sufficient evidence to tie tornadoes to climate change.

    But in terms of fear mongering? Its a double edged sword, IMO. It is amazing to me how people in the US are so utterly uninformed about global warming, climate change and even extreme weather. Like what was it a few years back, an earthquake in Wrigley Field or a small tornodo or something?

    I go back to NY from whence I hailed and I tell you, after 30 plus years away the weather in that place IS totally different than when I grew up. The t-storms, the rain intensity ... even the color of the sky during storms. ANd I was one who loved the rain in summer in NY. Walked coatless and shoeless and fearless.

    I think we all have reason to be afraid. I think a little constructive fear might incentivize some to look at little more closely at the science of climate change. Not pass it off as an invention of Al Gore. Even if its not causing tornadoes.

    Hopes to be Reporting LIVE from Durban @COP17 ...

    by boatsie on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 02:04:15 PM PDT

  •  I understand the importance of not using (5+ / 0-)

    every extreme weather event as evidence for climate change, like the right wing does every time it snows; however, I do think politically it is important, when dealing with extreme weather that would likely be more common with climate change, to stress its connection to climate change.

    We will never be able say this event was caused by climate change and that event wasn't, but that shouldn't stop us from making the link. If the public doesn't see climate change as causing real consequences, they will never support the massive action that we need to reduce it. People aren't going to support a large carbon tax based on a hockey stick model.

  •  To be fair, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buddhistMonkey, Nailbanger, blueoasis

    when you said:

    ...Tornado outbreaks happen. It sounds stupid of me to say that, but they just happen. 1920, 1925, 1932, 1965, 1974, 1992, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2008 again, and then the tornadoes this year. These outbreaks aren't some new fad, they're just there. This year happened to be really bad.

    ...it doesn't jibe well with your statement:

    I've said it a few times (much to the dismay of many), but the tornadoes this year do not indicate a growing trend. If we have numerous tornado oubreaks of this intensity in the decade, THEN it's a worrying trend.

    From 1920 to 2000 (7 decades), there were five 'bad' years. For an [simple] average of ~.714 'bad' years per decade, not even three quarters of one. In the decade from 2001 to 2011, however, there are now a total of 5 'bad' years.

    That certainly looks like 'numerous' tornado outbreaks of high intensity in a decade of time. This past decade being quite loaded compared to the previous 7 decades.

    Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

    by Joieau on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 02:10:41 PM PDT

    •  That's assuming that the years prior to 2000... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matisyahu, Joieau

      ...are a complete list of tornado outbreaks in the past century.

      Advances in tornado detection over the past decade or two—to say nothing of the fact that significantly more of the total land surface in the US is populated now than was 100 years ago—would suggest that data from previous decades is incomplete at best.

      In other words, there might have been just as many tornado outbreaks in the 1930s, but because we didn't have the kind of detection and communication infrastructure we have now, many of them might not have been seen as an "outbreak" of tornadoes.

      •  These are the notable (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        years for 'bad' outbreaks. When cities get demolished, people notice. The random ones out on bare land in any given year would be a good thing to know for purposes of gaging the broader climate change issue. If the info were available, but it's generally not, in any year. So 'bad' in this context means big, powerful tornadoes that do lots of damage and kill way too many people.

        For those, the data is pretty straightforward. People have kept track of such things well.

        Tornadoes can be deadly and destructive any time they occur. This 'bad' year tally wouldn't mean much to those who lose everything and people they love. So I think 5 'bad' years in the last decade may indeed be significant. Compared to 5 'bad' years all totaled in the previous 7 decades.

        Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

        by Joieau on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 04:43:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Like carcinogens (10+ / 0-)

    As a cancer survivor, I can't figure out what combination of genetics, lifestyle choices, chemical exposures, radiation exposures, etc. etc. caused my particular tumors. However, epidemiologically it is possible to identify chemicals, genetic patterns, and lifestyle choices (like cigarettes) that statistically increase the number of cancers in a population. And if you want to reduce cancer rates, you definitely need to look at reducing those contributing factors.

    So the fact that any one tornado can't be directly linked to climate change is like my individual tumor. But at the same time, increased incidents of weird and destructive weather may well be linked to climate change.

    •  Climate Change and Global Warming are real. (6+ / 0-)

      And will increase as a more unstable global climate as well as a resulting change in weather patterns.

      weatherdude doesn't argue with that fact.

      My interpretation of his diary is that... It is just as silly for those of us who are deeply concerned with climate change and our environment to blame every destructive event on "climate change" as it is stupid for Jim Inhoffe to build an igloo in his front yard as proof that global warming isn't real because it snowed.

      This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
      --Ian Curtis

      by jethrock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 02:30:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, that's my argument. nt (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ATinNM, jethrock, belinda ridgewood

        If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

        by weatherdude on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 02:31:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  scientists I hear quoted in the news all say (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wayoutinthestix, blueoasis

          ".. no single event...but global warming is expected to...  etc. "

          I think this is all they are required to do. Far less meaning in lost when the "no single event" part is lost to the public than if the fact that global warming is expected to cause disasters, even if it maybe didn't cause this one.

          I don't see why weatherdude chooses to be so fastidious on this point in public discourse; the news is not a refereed publication.

          Why do you think the no-single-event point is more important than the danger from global warming?

          •  If I read your comment right, you're (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jethrock

            advocating that we say Event XYZ was directly, completely, inextricably linked to and caused by climate change, even if we aren't sure it was?

            That's talking points, not science. I'm focusing on the "no single event point" because people get in front of a microphone or keyboard and say "Look at this tornado/hurricane/flood/fire, this is climate change happening RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND" without any trends to back it up. Every time something happens recently, save for the sunrise/sunset, it gets blamed on climate change. Even if a thousand people say it, it doesn't make it true.

            If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

            by weatherdude on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 04:59:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No you don't read it right, read it again. (6+ / 0-)

              I said:
                   " the scientists I hear quoted in the news all say '.. no    
              single event...but global warming is expected to...  etc.'       I think this is all they are required to do."

              I also think your response is dishonest with its hyperbole.  The fires in Australia, Arizona and Texas all derive from temperature and drought extremes of the type expected from the expansion of the Hadley cell dimensions predicted by global warming models. The Northern CONUS rainfall increases are also expected as predicted by models. The high temperatures in Russia are as predicted by climate models. It is valid to challenge hurricane attributions, but if you listen to the news you will find plenty of people making that point. No scientists are saying anything like "Event XYZ was directly, completely, inextricably linked to and caused by climate change" and this kind of error is a hell of lot less important than the nostop barrage of false equivalence between scientists and deniers in the newscast.

              You still haven't answered my question to you in my previous posting: Why do you think the no-single-event point is more important than the danger from global warming?

              •  No-single-event point is important because (0+ / 0-)

                every time someone says "This event was climate change!" without proof is another cry of wolf. If you call every single thing climate change without the evidence to back it up, it loses its potency. If the arguments lose potency, warning about future effects (when the trends are set) is meaningless.

                If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

                by weatherdude on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:59:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  that's false argument/analogy (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pot

                  "Crying wolf" is a prediction (sighting) that has fails to come true, thus leading to a loss of credibility.  These are real events, some of which are definitely due to climate change. Repetition will NOT undermine belief in climate change but rather encourage people to associate problems with global warming,as well they should.

                  YOU may cringe that something is scientifically too extrapolative but that is not what will happen with the public. It's the drumbeat of "we can't prove that such and such was directly caused by global warming," in the face of deniers who are quite willing to insist that the lack of point-to-point connection means that climate science is unfounded; that undermines public acceptance of global warming as a problem.

                  When a celebrity gets lung cancer, it is fair to point to his or her smoking, even although that can't be proven for that single case, because smoking is a real health issue.

                  You still haven't even tried to answer my question.

                  •  I answered your question twice and you refuse (0+ / 0-)

                    to accept my response. We'll have to agree to disagree.

                    If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

                    by weatherdude on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:26:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's the "I won't think about what you said " (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      pot, kafkananda

                      answer.

                      1. How about justifying the use of the "crying wolf" argument in response to my objection? That's the closest you've come to trying to answer my question but you gave me a false metaphor rather than a real attempt to answer. Buzzwords (crying wolf) are not ideas. Why would repetition cause a loss of "potency" of an argument rather than acceptance that it is correct?  The Republicans have certainly done pretty well repeating "deficit" and "tax cuts make jobs" over and over. It's taken total disaster to even make a dent in their claims and we still have our backs to the wall on these issues.

                      2. How about responding to the point made by myself and many others here that using the same language in public presentations as in refereed publications means that the public ends up not understanding what is important or true.

                      When evolutionary biologists talk to the public they find they need to emphasize the universal importance and acceptance evolution. You would have them talk about arguments about the amount of gene recombination and the relative amount and importance of junk DNA. This is what I mean by pseudoscientific fastidiousness.

                  •  there's WAY more evidence showing the correlation (0+ / 0-)

                    between heavy smoking and lung cancer  than there is global warming and a single season of tornadoes.  As in...millions of times more evidence.  Obtained via scientific method and peer-reviewed countless times.

                    •  I agree that any tornado link is weak (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kafkananda

                      Subtropical drought and extreme temperatures are established by a mountain of evidence. Near polar temperature changes and ice and glacial melt are also well established.  Fires come from drought and heat. Ocean acidification is also established.

                      Ocean depth changes are susceptible to local effects from ocean current changes.

                      Tornado's fall in the more extreme weather category which is likely but more local pattern dependent.

                      Hurricanes, never mind- too many dependencies.

                      The point about cancers is that it is STILL possible to make the same arguments about single  cancer events that weatherdude is making about global warming - and they still give the wrong answer.  

            •  Scientists CAN predict the change in climate. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis

              They simulate the climate from 100000 years ago.
              GW increases the probability of dangerous weather
              and eventually will change weather patterns.
              It's already shortening climatological winter.

              You don't need to reproduce exact result for it to be scientific as there are statistical variability in every experiment.

    •  Like cancer clusters (0+ / 0-)

      Anyone adept in statistics can tell you that cancer clusters will happen by chance.  Sure, the chance that one will happen in your neighborhood is tiny, but the chance they will happen is inevitable. Like winning the lottery.  (Or in this case, losing.)

      But they happen.  Just by chance.  And people, hungry for meanings and patterns. immediately start looking around at their immediate surroundings to find a reason.

      Sometimes there isn't one.

      (And of course, yes, sometimes there is.  Sometimes something in the man-made or natural environment is the cause.)

  •  Thats not fair. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2020adam, Matt Z

    I used to be able to handwave all my problems away because Bush was in office. (Damn Bush, I dont know how, but im certain he's responsible for the dissaperance of campbells Beef Noodle soup. Bastard.)

    Now you're saying i cant blame it all on climate change?! So now its all MY Fault I have migraines?

    God you're seriously making us take responsibility for what happens to us on a raelistic level? I cant even get up in the morning without the potential for some magical boon.

    Why do you hate americans? :(

    A pipe shifted half an inch to the left. A coil rewound itself and began spinning in a counter direction. A piston that had been thrusting left-right, left-right, for millennia suddenly thrust right-left. Nothing broke, but everything changed.

    by kamrom on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 02:18:41 PM PDT

  •  2011 has actually been relatively cool so far (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/...

    Certainly it has been much cooler than the corresponding months of 2010 and 2002, and at an average 0.5 C above normal, it is not statistically hotter than other years of the 21st century so far.

    The real driving force for weather is of course the jet stream, but nobody has a long-term prediction model for its patterns.  If someone could relate jet stream patterns to climate change, then there would be a case.

  •  Thank you! Everytime I hear someone say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude

    "this was the biggest snowstorm/fall"  I remember bigger ones when I was little.  Lots have to do with climate change but not everything.  The earth does this every so often and people act like it never happen.  Climate change is real but more damaging is the destruction of the earth's DIRT, trees.. etc.  

  •  not caused - exacerbated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dianna, Miggles, blueoasis

     I appreciate the point being made - but that said - as I understand the science - and the comparative measurements - it hardly seems a twist of logic to conclude that severe events are made worse.

      I don't have access to all the data - but it seems some things are true - average temperatures are higher,  ice melting has accelerated beyond what was once considered a pessimistic projection and those events that we can measure frequently set records.

       Climate and weather are enormously complex - but it seems as faulty a logic to dismiss climate degradation as unrelated to severe weather as it does to ascribe every event to atmospheric carbonization.

  •  Stop stifling free and teachable info! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dianna, churchylafemme, Miggles, blueoasis

    I am not a fan of tempering right and wrong. We need people to ask questions, to show some reaction. I like a healthy dose of questions when managing risks. We don't need to react after the oil spill, meltdown, casualties. We need a good dose of commentary.

    •  Agree. Climate change needs to be discussed as (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, kafkananda

      the backdrop to all weather events.  Climate change is the biggest challenge we will face in the 21st century.  It goes without saying that climate change is causing the "playing field" to tilt in terms of how various weather events are triggered.  Sure, it's impossible to attribute some absolute percentage of a violent weather event as being caused by climate change, but that doesn't mean we should cease discussing climate change and violent weather together just because the linkage is difficult to quantify.  After all there is already a significant and growing body of academic literature related to predictive models that suggest increased instances of violent weather as the earth continues to warm.

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

      by Miggles on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:30:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Climate change is important (8+ / 0-)

    Talking about it and linking it to various events as much as possible is good for the human race and our animal neighbors.

    Strange diary.

    •  Bad science isn't good for anyone. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jethrock, funmerlin, ebohlman, Nowhere Man

      And suggesting that the intensity of this year's tornado outbreaks is entirely, or even mostly, due to climate change, would be a bad scientific claim.

      I think the truth about climate change is scary enough that we don't need to resort to stretching it in order to make our point.

      •  Were at war (6+ / 0-)

        And you're going around and sweeping up lint.

        Bad politics.

        •  Good science is *good* politics (0+ / 0-)

          At least, it is for our side.

          Science is a demanding master/mistress. It doesn't exist for your convenience, or mine, or weatherdude's. It serves us only to the extent that we serve it.

          And one thing science demands almost above all else is this: Thou Shalt Not Lie In My Name. Those who violate this rule ruin, at best, their careers; at worst, they keep the scientific progress itself back for years.

          Lying in the name of science has another effect, more subtle but no less dangerous: It confuses the public about what science is. It allows pseudo-science and non-science to creep into the same public conversations in which science itself is being discussed. This is how we wind up with a creationism vs. evolution "controversy". This is how we end up with people who should know better saying with a straight face that the science isn't really settled on whether climate change is real.

          If you're in the midst of a war, and your mission is to keep a certain very critical piece of machinery functioning, it may very well be that sweeping up lint is one of the most important things you can do, lest the lint clog up the gears of your machine. So it is with science: no misinformation is too small to be ignored, once it's been identified.

          Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

          by Nowhere Man on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 09:11:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Come on, where is the bad science that you (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pot, blueoasis, kafkananda

        are complaining about?  There are lots of refereed journal articles dealing with predictions of number and severity of violent weather events as a function of climate change.  Of course those studies are statistical in nature, and no one with a shred of integrity would attempt to apply those results to a single weather event.  But nonetheless, this is a pattern that we should all be aware of as every weather event comes to fruition.

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

        by Miggles on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:35:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  no. very important diary. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nowhere Man

      in this socio-political climate (so to speak) where science so often falls prey to noise and emotion?  Leave it to the GOP to ignore science in the name of getting their point across...

      God help us if we fall to the same devices.

      We desperately need this diary.

  •  But it's all related to climate change (8+ / 0-)

    The impacts are already here and we should talk about it as much as we can.  

    Yeah, well, CNN did a piece a few days ago about the weird weather, and they said some are attributing it to climate change, then the meteorologist looked at the camera and said, "natural" climate change.

    We have a lot of liars working against us and we should be able to talk about anything we feel is important the way we see it.

  •  Everything is because of climate change. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude

    Take tornadoes, for instance.  One minute, no tornado.  Next minute, utter mayhem.  If that's not climate change, I don't know what is.

    It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

    by Rich in PA on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:08:58 PM PDT

  •  Face it, you're just grumpy because... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude

    it's getting warmer where you live.

    ;-)

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:10:48 PM PDT

  •  this approach is dumb, politically and culturally (12+ / 0-)

    even if picking nits on how to proportionally attribute the varied causes of a given "unprecedented" weather-related disaster might be the best way to win a discussion with other scientists, that is not the target demographic that needs convincing, if we are ever to do a damn thing to slow or reverse carbon emissions in time to save civilization as we know it.

    we are dealing with scientifically-illiterate, credulous people whose entire frame of reference aside from denialist media reportage is what they see around them with their senses. when a situation arises that scares the fuck out of them, and makes them think "wow, that's pretty different from what we usually get 'round here," and it accords with what your climate models say is likely with global warming, you don't hem and haw and hold back, you scare the fuck out of them and tell them "we told you so" and make it beyond clear to them that if they do not stop putting carbon into the atmosphere there will be a whole lot more where that came from, and it will fuck up their lives, personally and painfully.

    i understand where you're coming from, but it is suicidally stupid from a political standpoint. these people need to have the shit scared out of them, it's the only way they are ever moved to action. americans get apocalyptic, there's a deep streak of it in this culture running back to the puritans. tap into it, so that we don't have to wait for the actual apocalypse, which the models tell us is inevitable if we don't get moving soon.

    you're not selling this to meteorologists, you're selling it to laymen.

    •  It's the Dumb People (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vega

      Beyond the fact that there's a sucker born every minute is that there are P.T. Barnums spread across the media landscape.

      Climatologists and other scientists appear arrogant to some because they might actually have to condescend to explain a phenomenon to these people.  They are legitimate experts and should be regarded as such and treated with respect.  Instead they are tarred by the Right who enlist the stupid to denounce these liberal climate change scientists.

      Scientists, not Rush Limbaugh, should be the primary our sources of information.  But GOPers are incredibly paternalistic and in a dysfunctional way.

      That being said, I don't know how you turn the country around to a reasonable tone.  I don't think your way, an appeal for a balanced hysteria from both sides, is gonna work.

      •  you've got to reach people where they are (5+ / 0-)

        and move them in ways that make sense to them. approaching the general public with a graduate seminar approach is as dumb with climate as it is with economic policy or any other area where liberals twist themselves in knots trying to get people to see the world the way they do, rather than approaching people where they already are, and working with that. people aren't dumb, but they're not scientists either, and the hedges and qualifications and careful language that are perfectly convincing at the academic journal level strike laymen as indecisive, unsure, and rhetorically weak.

        the reality of climate change is fucking terrifying to contemplate. how is it irresponsible to communicate that point with climate-related events that already terrify and unsettle  people, to give them a sense of immediacy on the policy agenda?

        we wouldn't do that with a foreign country amassing armies to attack us, why the sudden reticence over rhetorical styles when the future of human civilization is at stake?

        •  I'm Just Wondering (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wu ming

          Who is the person who will win the day vs a Rush Limbaugh fan?  

          I have not seen that person yet.

          Rush Limbaugh fans respond to appeals by people (and ONLY those people) who already see things their way.  My point is that the general populace has to discredit the Rushbos and O'Reilly's and the rest first.  It has to enter the mainstream; there are too, too many people with the wrong ideas and too, too much power!

          You make a good point, but I only get a heightened sense of despair when I contemplate it!

        •  wu ming, this is roughly where I am too, (5+ / 0-)

          on this topic. I went to the dentist recently and the hygienist, troubled by weather news, asked me to explain about global warming (I have no credentials other than being the sort of geek normal people ask when they want to know that kind of thing). I didn't need to attribute any specific weather events to climate change -- she had already gone there. But she didn't understand what the process was to begin with.

          This was somebody who'd never paid any attention before, but now, at last, the weather's tapped her on the shoulder. It's a teachable moment. It's that way for a lot of people. This isn't a good time to say well, of course, there have been many outbreaks of tornadoes over recorded history, and we don't know blah blah blah. They hear enough of that, because the modern equivalent of "tobacco-industry scientists" never shut up about it. If I tell somebody in simple terms what climate change consists of, and they associate it with current extreme weather events, maybe they'll take it seriously and there's a teensy chance they'll vote accordingly. I'm not going to lie and say, global warming definitely caused this event to be as it was, but I'm damn well going to say it could.

      •  and lest this all seem anti-academic (4+ / 0-)

        i should note that i am myself an academic, and regularly use very different rhetorical forms to write my own research, than when i'm trying to convince family and neighbors about given political issues. there's a place for exact, calm language; it's not the political sphere, especially when rapid and radical movement are of the essence.

    •  We need to be the reasonable ones (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jethrock, ebohlman

      If we say that every tornado outbreak and fire outbreak is due to climate change without being able to back it up with trend data, then we are vulnerable to the deniers saying that every snowstorm refutes climate change.  They already do that every winter.  

      We can only educate about the effects that have evidence.  

      "The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come." - Prior Walter, Angels in America Perestroika, Tony Kushner

      by Vega on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:56:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  how's being cautious and reasonable working for ya (6+ / 0-)

        we've had a decade of this strategy, and little good has come of it. the people moved by academic language and waiting until absolute certainty before deploying rhetoric are already convinced.it's not a majority, and it doesn't have the urgency it needs to get people to take it seriously as the most important crisis of our times that demands immediate action.

        as i said, it may be accurate speech, but politically it's dumb and ineffective. this is not the time to put aesthetics above persuasion.

      •  A boiling frog couldn't have said it any better. (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, let us be reasonable and not make connections.

        And let us cower before the mighty denialists.

        No one is outside the circle of the heart

        by kafkananda on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 06:54:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. I think it is pretty well known that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, kafkananda, shaharazade

      people trained in meteorology are done so according to a set of canonical principles that do not account for climate change.  Hopefully that is changing because I think all fields need to be open to scientific challenges in order to remain vibrant.  So I'm not surprised to see such push back against climate change right now.

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

      by Miggles on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:43:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you're saying a scientist should abandon science (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weatherdude

      in the name of activitism?

      I'll never agree with you there, wu ming... even if they are speaking to laymen.  Never.

      •  there are different modes of rhetorical forms (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, kafkananda

        and what's appropriate for an article in a journal or in a seminar between people who know the basic facts and are discussing finer points of disagreement is not necessarily going to be a good choice for crafting a political argument to someone who does not know the relevant background, and isn't moved or convinced by the rhetorical style that moves and convinces academics.

        any academic worth their salt knows this code switching thing intuitively, because we have to teach classes to non-specialists all the time. it isn't abandoning science to speak politically, or even to adopt a non-academic structure of argument so as to further an important political goal of not burning the freaking planet up.

  •  Weaterdude, you play into the crap by saying (9+ / 0-)

    this. Not everybody is saying it. It's like someone saying "Quit hating the troops!" here. You're a big voice here. do a smart diary about the subject, and you become a voice on the Dem side for a smarter approach. Does that make sense?

    •  Eh, ignore me. Maybe people need this. nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jethrock, shaharazade
      •  Some do. Danny Glover blaming earthquakes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Little

        on Global Warming is nonsense. Or at the very least zero scientific evidence has connected geology and tectonics with climate change.

        There are theories that the rising waters may put additional stresses on tectonic plates. But none of that is proven and is quite frankly a minimal concern.

        Yes tectonics do play a role in our climate and the flow of our oceans. But it's a change over millions of years. And frankly that's not a situation caused by man. However huge volcanic eruption can and have significantly affected or climate for relatively short periods of time.  

        The same can be said for many other natural disasters.  

        Deforestation, desertification, and pollution, water usage, over-fishing etc. are real concerns that have increased since the beginning of the industrial revolution... They are caused and/or intensified by man.

        The earliest and clearest evidence of man's impact on our environment since the industrial revolution was during the dustbowl. When our agriculture practices in combination with natural events created a double whammy. Man rose to the occasion and reversed the damgage that had been done.

        What's my point?

        I guess that folks need to focus on the reality of the science and that yes even us liberals can blow shit out of proportion.

        Yet the deniers in this country seem to be winning now.

        This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
        --Ian Curtis

        by jethrock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:58:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not complete nonsense.. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jethrock, kafkananda

          Melting ice caps in the Arctic can affect volcanic activity, as was discussed in New Scientist recently with regard to Iceland.

          If the melting ice in the arctic can influence volcanoes then  melting ice elsewhere can have effects on the Earth's crust

          h t t p ://w w w.newscientist.c o m/article/mg19826515.100-melting-ice-caps-may-trigger-more-volcanic-eruptions.html

          •  You basically repeated what I said... (0+ / 0-)
            There are theories that the rising waters may put additional stresses on tectonic plates. But none of that is proven and is quite frankly a minimal concern.

            Even the article you link to proves my point. There are theories. You linked to one.  

            Yet even in the title the "may" is a keyword.

            This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
            --Ian Curtis

            by jethrock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 04:39:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yabbut...global warming remains only a theory (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jethrock

              And science operates in the language of "may" "perhaps" "could" and so forth.  A lot of deniers give me that "may" and "theory" stuff too demanding over and over and over to prove it to them global warming is real.  Of course no one can prove any scientific theory.

              But I do appreciate your point, and of course the Haitian quake mostly likely wasn't caused by movements in the plates due to the melting ice caps, and that's why I said, what Glover said wasn't complete nonsense, although it may be nonsense.

              •  Global Warming has an over 98% consensus (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dianna

                among scientists.

                Evolution has an even higher consensus.

                Evolution is regarded as fact in the community. Very much like the "theory" of gravity. Global warming has basically reached that same level of acceptance as fact.

                Yet: On Darwin’s Birthday, Only 4 in 10 Believe in Evolution

                Global Warming is no longer a theory. However some of the projections, and predictions of it's impact are still just theories. Like those of melting ice and rising waters (not theories, the evidence clearly supports it is happening) effects on tectonic plates (which at this point and time remains a theory).

                This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
                --Ian Curtis

                by jethrock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:58:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  To be clear ... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dianna, jethrock, blueoasis

                  that headline is a great example of irresponsible polling and lousy reporting of polling.

                  On the eve of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, a new Gallup Poll shows that only 39% of Americans say they “believe in the theory of evolution,” while a quarter say they do not believe in the theory, and another 36% don’t have an opinion either way.

                  The plurality believes in evolution, a third don't know, and one-quarter reject it.  Doesn't that send a different signal than "Only 4 in 10 believe in evolution"?

                  See: Polling Science: taking lessons from doing it wrong  

                  Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

                  by A Siegel on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 07:20:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Cheers... (0+ / 0-)

                    still a disappointing number of folks in the US.... which still supports my argument.

                    Best-- J

                    This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
                    --Ian Curtis

                    by jethrock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 08:03:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  p.s. only 39% of Americans say they “believe... (0+ / 0-)

                    in the theory of evolution”

                    That to me is an equally disturbing number.

                    Hell... this is the year 2011. Yet we've gone backwards over the past thirty years.

                    This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
                    --Ian Curtis

                    by jethrock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 08:09:44 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Look ... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Dianna, blueoasis

                      I think it is a lousy number, as well.

                      On the other hand, consider the level of education such ... 4 in 10 said "yes", a third were honest enough to say that they didn't understand / know enough to answer ('i don't know') and there are that quarter driving by the anti-science syndrome suffering zealots.

                      Well, I think that the plurality (rather than 90+%) stinks -- but the two phrasings convey quite different meanings.

                      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

                      by A Siegel on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 08:13:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yell at Gallup not me. Can you prove their numbers (0+ / 0-)

                        are wrong?

                        I know that you disagree with the phrasing... but are the numbers wrong?

                        Can you point to more reputable studies? Do you deny that attacks on public schools and a growing number of evangelical homeschoolers haven't had an impact?

                        This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
                        --Ian Curtis

                        by jethrock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 08:40:03 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  p.s. I don't suppose you disagree with this chart (0+ / 0-)

                        Views on Evolution

                        The US comes second to last of industrialized nations with Turkey beating us for last place. We do have a majority of citizens that don't believe in evolution or "don't know".

                        You're point was what?

                        This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
                        --Ian Curtis

                        by jethrock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 08:58:14 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

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

                          my impression is that this is escalating into a form of confrontation in discussion which is at odds with what I expect / believe is to be a very strong agreement.

                          Again, the war on science and scientific illiteracy in the United States is something that distresses me and is among the things that I (among how many huge number of others) seek / fight to turn around.  

                          I am not defending the status of science in American education or the scientific literacy of the American public ...

                          However ... framing matters.  How one discusses things matters.  It isn't great that only a plurality assert the fundamental truth of evolution, when asked, but discussing a plurality understanding / "believing in evolution" certainly has a different implication to the listener than emphasizing "only 4 in 10 believe".

                          And, well, as per the item that I linked to, the polling of the specific question (along with much "science" related polling) was poorly done -- not just imo.

                          Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

                          by A Siegel on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 07:36:31 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  p.s. Danny Glover was referring to the recent (0+ / 0-)

            Haitian earthquake. Where-by I stand by my claim that his claim was nonsense.

            This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
            --Ian Curtis

            by jethrock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 04:45:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  worrying trend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rhetoricus, Joieau
    Tornado outbreaks happen. ... 1920, 1925, 1932, 1965, 1974, 1992, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2008 again, and then the tornadoes this year. ... If we have numerous tornado oubreaks of this intensity in the decade, THEN it's a worrying trend.
    Don't you see the contradiction with what you wrote? You say it would be a worrying trend "if we have numerous tornado oubreaks of this intensity in the decade," right after listing the tornado outbreaks of the last century, half of which occurred since 1999.

    You just made the case for a worrying trend.

    The Constitution may not be perfect, but it's a lot better than what we've got! (NOTE: this signature is a holdover from the Bush years.)

    by buddhistMonkey on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:18:14 PM PDT

    •  Everyone should read this cmt by WD before posting (4+ / 0-)

      about the "unprecedented" number of tornado outbreaks we've had:
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      You have to remember, too, that our ability to detect, report and document tornadoes has increased exponentially since the development of weather radar (70s), and the proliferation of video cameras (80s) and wireless communication (90s and now). The Tuscaloosa tornado was the most documented tornado in history in terms of individual videos/pictures, IIRC.

      Really, any tornado outbreak data from before the NEXRAD/cell phone era should be taken with a grain of salt, and any tornado outbreak data from before 1970 should be viewed while bearing in mind both 1) how poor our ability to detect tornadoes was back then; and 2) how poor our understanding of tornadoes was.

      There have been multiple cases where weather researchers/forecasters have gone back and determined that a tornado that once was thought to be a single tornado was, in fact, multiple tornadoes - sometimes originating from completely different storm cells.  There still are cases where storm researchers aren't sure whether a damaging storm from the 19th century or earlier was a tornado or just a really bad severe thunderstorm.

      There might have been a SuperDuper outbreak across the midwest on the scale that we saw in Alabama/Mississippi in April, but only a handful of them were reported because tornadoes that crossed through open fields went completely undetected back then.

      There is no "trend" at all.  It's like comparing the number of earthquakes in California during the past 100 years with the 19th century.  I bet the list of earthquakes in the 20th and 21st centuries would be much longer.  But no one who knows about seismic detection technology would look at that and see a "worrying trend" in the number of earthquakes.

      These are the trees that are falling down in the forest with people around. Just because no one saw trees fall down before that doesn't mean that they didn't fall.

      Preaching to the choir and then shooting them when they don't sing loud enough isn't a good strategy for increasing the size of the congregation.

      by Matisyahu on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:51:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  worrying trend (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis
        Really, any tornado outbreak data from before the NEXRAD/cell phone era should be taken with a grain of salt...
        Fine. We've had tornado outbreaks in four of the last nine years, all of which occurred in the post-NEXRAD/cellphone era. Still sounds like a trend to me.

        The Constitution may not be perfect, but it's a lot better than what we've got! (NOTE: this signature is a holdover from the Bush years.)

        by buddhistMonkey on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:52:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Put it this way. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, kafkananda

    The world has always had drought, floods, extreme heat, cold and so forth.  Man-made climate change doesn't cause such things, it adds to them

  •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, ebohlman

    I've though of writing a similar diary, but don't have the meteorological expertise to really be comfortable doing it.

    There's another trend I hate - that's the assumption that climate change means that the weather will be exactly what you need to make your worst case scenario come true - everywhere.

    For example, if someone's talking about forest fire, then the assumption is that climate change = drought = more fires for every acre of forest on earth (never mind that long term drought basically means only 1 more fire, while rainier punctuated by short bursts of fire weather means a lot more big fires; cf California chapparal fire cycles). If there's flooding somewhere, then climate change = wetter everywhere = more floods. Everywhere.

    If someone's scenario needs more lightning, climate change will provide it. More snow, same thing. More wind, climate change will deliver it.

    Another faulty assumption is that today's stable climate will be replaced by tomorrow's stable climate. It's been wetter the last 5 years or more where I live. I think that's climate change. I don't think it's necessarily the climate that will exist here 5, 10 or 50 years from now. No matter what we do about CO2, we're a long way away from reaching a climate equilibrium any time soon, even assuming equilibrium has ever been achieved or is achievable.

    My personal point of view is that climate change is a slow motion train wreck and that weather disasters, on a scale of say 100 years, won't be much more significant than in the past. You have to be a real disaster porn freak not to be satisfied with things like rising sea levels, melting glaciers eliminating fresh water supplies for tens of millions of people, large scale disruptions in agriculture, destruction of ocean ecosystems, and all the other disruption the slow motion train wreck is going to incur.

    There's going to be plenty of bad stuff going on - enough that you don't need to blame every piece of bad weather on climate change, particularly since those are weather related phenomena - tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, floods - you can do absolutely nothing about.

    Worry about how to keep polar bears alive, what to do about disappearing islands, how to keep people fed and with adequate clean water.

    We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. - John F Kennedy

    by badger on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:57:20 PM PDT

  •  Great diary - should be required reading on dKos (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, weatherdude, ebohlman

    We are supposed to be the side that uses and knows about science.  We thus should bear in mind both the conclusions that can be drawn from science, and the limits on our ability to draw conclusions from science.  If we overreach and try to link EVERY natural disaster and heat wave directly to global warming, we'll look less objective and less credible.

    Instead, we should talk about how we KNOW that climate change will increase both the frequency and severity of heat waves and extreme weather events.  We can remind them that even if we can't say that a particular hurricane was caused by global warming, we know that such hurricanes will become more likely in the future if climate change continues.  Those are statements we can back up with treasure troves of data and scientific consensus.

    Anyway, great diary.  Keep it real.

    Preaching to the choir and then shooting them when they don't sing loud enough isn't a good strategy for increasing the size of the congregation.

    by Matisyahu on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 03:58:40 PM PDT

  •  The butterfly effect. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dianna

    Just as global warming has a cascading effect on climate patterns, so does the existence of GW tend to serve as a bogeyman to any not relying on science to explain local weather.

    HOWEVER, the assertion that the recent tornado outbreak was due to climate change is so far unscientific, but not necessarily wrong. Science simply is not yet able to assign global reasons for local events. GLOBAL warming and climate change relates to worldwide trends, averages.

    On the other hand, the GW deniers assign causes that are KNOWN to be false, such as sunspot activity or temp stations too close to AC units.

    Science DOES know that increasing the energy in the system (GW) will result in more severe weather. It's the increasing average number/intensity of things like tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves, rainfall, fires, etc., etc. that adds up to climate change, that being the result of GW.

  •  People who are experts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    primeq, Miggles

    and who have good track records do place blame for making individual events more severe on climate change.  In fact, at this point in time, I'd say that you'd have to demonstrate for individual events that increased carbon dioxide levels did not impact the event.

    The diary that caused you to get all hot was quite calm and rational, and the author's claim was that the event described would be taken collectively as one of the warning signs that climate change was already having an impact while we were going all meta over whether or not to place any blame on climate change.

    Again, you got upset over a virtually unread diary and overstated what the author was saying so that you could you use your "authority" status on this site to squash casual mention of climate change when discussing the weather.  

    If it takes people blaming climate change on innocuous events to make people more perceptive to actual changes in climate, then kudos to those people.  I'm not going out of my way to write a diary, and respond to comments, when I have got a shitload of better things to be doing on a Sunday.

  •  The weather patterns have changed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel, blueoasis

    within my lifetime. When I was a child, I could count on the seasons changing at virtually the same time every year. Not only is that no longer true, but the oddities are noticeably more odd with every passing year. Parents I know are no longer planning swim parties until weeks later than we used to. It may not be a statistically proven trend, yet, but it's certainly real.

    We don't need to insist that the climate is changing. Anyone who has lived more than a few decades should be able to SEE it.

    "We live now in hard times, not end times." Jon Stewart

    by tb92 on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 04:42:18 PM PDT

  •  My students aren't going to like it when (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, jethrock

    I tell them they can't blame their bad test scores on climate change any more ;)

    Great diary - thanks.

    Pollan's Rule: Cook! What two people eat for dinner: My 365 Dinners 2011

    by pixxer on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 04:44:26 PM PDT

    •  But they can still blame their bad test scores (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pixxer

      on their parents listening to Limbaugh, Beck, FOX News and other Climate Change deniers. ;)

      This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
      --Ian Curtis

      by jethrock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:00:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I find this juxtaposition very odd: (0+ / 0-)
    1920, 1925, 1932, 1965, 1974, 1992, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2008 again, and then the tornadoes this year. These outbreaks aren't some new fad, they're just there.
    I've said it a few times (much to the dismay of many), but the tornadoes this year do not indicate a growing trend.

    That looks very much like a growing trend to me. Twice in the 20s, once in the 30s, once in the 60s, once in the 70s, twice in the 90s, then 4 times in the Naughts and once again already in the 10s? Yeesh.

    •  That was an incomplete list of tornado outbreaks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zbbrox

      The NCDC notes that there is no evidence of an increase in strongest tornadoes. The list I presented in the diary was an off-the-top-of-my-head list to show that tornado outbreaks aren't a new thing. Here is a list of tornado outbreaks in North America.

      Here is what the NCDC says:

      With increased national doppler radar coverage, increasing population, and greater attention to tornado reporting, there has been an increase in the number of tornado reports over the past several decades. This can create a misleading appearance of an increasing trend in tornado frequency. To better understand the true variability and trend in tornado frequency in the US, the total number of strong to violent tornadoes (EF3 to EF5 category on the Enhanced Fujita scale) can be analyzed. These are the tornadoes that would have likely been reported even during the decades before Dopplar radar use became widespread and practices resulted in increasing tornado reports. The bar chart below indicates there has been little trend in the frequency of the strongest tornadoes over the past 55 years.

      If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

      by weatherdude on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:10:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When I was a kid, we hid in the basement... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude

    ...during severe weather.

    But I am an adult now, and our house doesn't have a basement.

    I don't know about anybody else, but I feel  more exposed these days than I used to feel when weather happens.

    Not sure what any of this has to do with climate change, but...

    "If I can't dance, then I don't want to be in your revolution"--Emma Goldman

    by ehrenfeucht games on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:03:53 PM PDT

    •  Most homes don't have basements anymore (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ehrenfeucht games

      either through cost-saving measures or because we're building in areas where basements aren't possible to build. That's why so many have died this year...large tornadoes hitting areas that are now very densely populated, without homes equipped to survive a tornado of that magnitude.

      If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

      by weatherdude on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:12:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jethrock, Dianna

    was caused by climate change.

    Al Queda and Chinook salmon have a lot in common. Everything is fine until the seals show up.

    by Grannus on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:03:56 PM PDT

  •  Will you say it ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, wayoutinthestix

    when the ocean is washing up on your doorstep?

    Love is the only answer ... Hate is the root of cancer

    by relayerbob on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:04:00 PM PDT

  •  By some theories (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude

    ...tornadoes might even decrease with global warming. The trend in powerful tornadoes indeed has been down over the last decades, but as you say, it's too soon to tell.

    Venus is the poster planet for a runaway greenhouse effect. I wonder if tornadoes occur there, or if we would know based on space probes to date.

  •  I've updated the diary to combat the people (0+ / 0-)

    going "Ha ha! I've got you now look at how many outbreaks there have been in the 00s compared to the 1900s." It was not an exhaustive list, it was off the top of my head, and I should have noted as such.

    If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

    by weatherdude on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:22:20 PM PDT

    •  I don't think everyone was combative (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pot, blueoasis

      that brought that up. Some seemed like legitimate points and questions.

      This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
      --Ian Curtis

      by jethrock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:27:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank (0+ / 0-)

    you weatherdude for your diary.  This issue is so difficult to have even a normal conversation about without it becoming vile.

    And I'd like to ask about the geoengineering that is on going we've had whole weeks without any sun and people have severe Vitamin D deficiency all around me including myself.  This could do serious harm to children that are not being tested.  

    It's obvious that there is geoengineering going on and I'd like to know how that is effecting the weather patterns.  

    I've had it with all the anger and rage that goes on about this topic, to point of avoiding listening anymore, and that is wrong.  We should be able to discuss our problems without someone yelling that your at fault, it is overwhelming surviving financially right now.

    If you are digging yourself into a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging!

    by zaka1 on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:38:08 PM PDT

    •  I don't think anybody is successfully (0+ / 0-)

      manipulating the climate through a concerted effort (direct manipulation instead of second-hand through pollution). I've seen some conspiracy theories about using weather radar to detect government manipulation of weather patterns, using "chemtrails" to manipulate the weather, and so on, but it's all bogus IMO.

      The only weather manipulation I've heard of that had some small success was cloud seeding, but it didn't do enough to make a significant difference on weather systems.

      If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

      by weatherdude on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:49:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is definitely (0+ / 0-)

        cloud seeding going on or whatever people what to call it, but, we need the truth about it because it isn't CT when you can see the sun getting blocked day after day.  Sorry to say this, but many people in my area are seeing it and are concerned and want to know if this is actually helping cooling the earth or not and removing CO2.  

        Thank you for your reply.

        If you are digging yourself into a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging!

        by zaka1 on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:56:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  science isnt the answer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade

    why? because by the time science will have had enough trend lines etc to conclude climate change is here, we humans will have already been fucked.

    Sorry, science has its uses for sure, but it isnt the end all be all.  

    We humans are migrating animals like most. Sometimes we have to trust our instincts.

    Bad is never good until worse happens

    by dark daze on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:38:43 PM PDT

    •  Well... my instincts tell me we're fucked. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HiBob

      So frankly I have to fight that if we are going to do anything about it.

      Like most mammals shouldn't our instinct trigger a survival mode where we attack? Or at least run for safety?

      Oooops. Science has proven we are some of the least instinctive of the animals.

      George W. Bush went with his gut. I think I'll stick to science.

      This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
      --Ian Curtis

      by jethrock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:29:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you make no sense what so ever (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade

        science has proved what?  george bush what?

        total nonsense.

        so wait til science comes to a consensus, It will be 2050 or so til trend lines are even close to long enough,  see what good it will do you then to finally conclude,  gee global warming does effect weather.

        sceince isnt a religion but sometimes its hard to tell by its "followers".

        Bad is never good until worse happens

        by dark daze on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 07:13:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Duh, this should be fun. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HiBob, shaharazade

          For one thing. Science is at a consensus now regarding global warming.

          No one is waiting for another 50 year study. Except for those denying billions of years worth of evidence.

          Now the science is focused on how to deal with a well known problem.,Most of the answers are known... and we already have most of the fucking technology.

          It's politicians blocking action. And somehow they've teamed up with religious fundamentalists and dirty business to create an "unholy alliance" to allow a monopoly and continued  dependency on non-renewables.

          George W. Bush went with his gut (his instincts) and boasted that the US was THE #1 POLLUTER.

          You say "fuck science" and "follow our instincts"

          Hah... That might work in a screenplay starring Dolph Lundgren.

          But not in the real world.

          This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
          --Ian Curtis

          by jethrock on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 07:43:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I said that... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude

    cause I thought it was true. Thanks for clarifying that.

    "You have three friends in your life. God, your Mama, and the Democratic Party...I'm not so sure about your Mama." --Alan Grayson

    by chicating on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:57:43 PM PDT

  •  A little too nuanced I'm afraid, WD (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude

    People always try to find meaning and patterns.  They search for it, they crave it, and find them especially when they confirm their fears and/or wishes.

    Yes, climate change is real.  No, extreme weather events we see currently do not confirm them.

  •  Sometimes I just want to say to people... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, xgy2

    "Are you a climate scientist? Then how do you know jack about what's really happening to the climate?"

    We can listen to actual climate scientists, or we can listen to opinionated jackasses on the internet. That goes for both sides of the argument.

    I can see certain advantages to the strategy of advancing the issue politically even if one is not a scientist. But it has to be done carefully. It can't reek of something one pulled out of one's bottom.

    Kudos for advocating for keeping it real. Maybe an actual discussion will break out.

    I'm a concert pianist with a double doctorate... AND YOU CAN BE TOO!

    by kenlac on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:19:51 PM PDT

    •  Anecdotes aren't data, I know. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weatherdude, blueoasis

      I grew up in the 'burbs south of Baltimore. Dad was a Weather Service forecaster.
      When I was about 7 (I'm 58), a tornado touched down near our town, leaving a swath of damage in the hundreds of feet. That this tornado occurred was such a BFD that Dad was sent to inspect the area by his office, and I went along with him.
      Now, we get dozens of them a year around the area, with actual tornado damage maybe every other year.
      We aren't like Tornado Alley in Maryland, damages modest and no fatalities, usually. But it was of great professional interest when a few trees and sheds got flattened 51 years ago.

      I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

      by labradog on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:44:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Both sides of the argument" (5+ / 0-)

      What is "the" argument that you are referring to?

      Whether or not there is global warming?  That isn't a scientific "argument".  More reasonable questions are: how much, how fast, what impacts.

      Whether or not humanity is a serious influence on warming?  Again, not a scientific argument.  How much is humanity's impact is a legitimate area of discussion.

      Whether or not global warming is having impacts on weather? Again, not a serious scientific debate. Question is how much and in what ways.  

      Etc

      "The" argument ... ???????????????

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 07:14:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Badly chosen word (0+ / 0-)

        Argument in the sense of two parties having a political conflict. Not in the sense of and argument about what the science actually says. Should have said "conflict" or something like that.

        My point was that just because someone believes in what the real science says, it doesn't mean that everything that person says is true or accurate.

        I'm a concert pianist with a double doctorate... AND YOU CAN BE TOO!

        by kenlac on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 09:08:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Writ large ... (0+ / 0-)

          however, one side of the political argument is acting from truthful intentions (an effort to be truthful with a good faith effort to make sense of the science) while the other is distorting (and falsifying) with arguments that are a travesty in face of any claims to respect science.

          Now, is there any question that climate science is about as complicated a systems-of-systems challenge that humanity has ever attempted to understand? No.  And, that means that there will be -- forever -- complicated arenas with legitimate disagreement with needs for more study and analysis and ...  And, that means that even the best-of-the-best will have understandings that evolve over time as we gain better understand / etc ...

          Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

          by A Siegel on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 08:24:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The argument? How much politicians will be (0+ / 0-)

        allowed to use climate change as an excuse to exert more control over our daily lives.  That's the argument, and a fair one.  

        How much action needs to be taken, or should be taken.  There's another one.  

        AGW is a fact.  It can't hurt to curtail it, if that's even possible, but the nub argument will always relate to how much of a good crisis we let go to waste.  

        Live for friendship, live for love, For truth's and harmony's behoof; The state may follow how it can

        by SpamNunn on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 09:45:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just so you know (4+ / 0-)
    If this shit happens again next year, and the year after that, I'll go into full mea culpa mode. But until then, stop it. It weakens our argument to scream "CLIMATE CHANGE ZOMG!"

    It's been happening for years. Which year would it have it been appropriate to screaming ZOMG?

    I'm an ass, my father was an ass as was his father before him. This has no bearing on the fact that I am correct.

    by LaEscapee on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:30:16 PM PDT

  •  If the Giants don't win the World Series again... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude

    I will know it's about climate change!

  •  Amen brother (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, blueoasis

    As I have commented on another thread, I have stoppedm talking about climate change and certainly stopped trying to convince the deniers.

    Like you I accept that it is happening and, unlike you, I don't have the cred to make the case to the halfwits who wont see it.

    So when THEY raise the issue my reply is, "I don't talk about it any more, I'm too busy trying to mitigate its effects for my family."

    Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

    by Deep Dark on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 06:45:50 PM PDT

  •  The Frog in the heating pot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dianna

    analogy works pretty well here. You know the one where the frog in the pot of water at first thinks it's kind of nice to have a hot bath and then gets uncomfortable and finally ends up boiled without ever having an exact moment where it knows things have gone real bad.

    Climate change and its ramifications are a tremendous challenge to understand and react correctly to (in fact probably impossible by definition). Science is the best tool we have and media plays a huge role. It doesn't help that Americans are one of the most scientifically illiterate developed nations and that our media is indulging itself in an orgy of manipulating petty crap to maximize revenue. Sorting out complex scientific issues is not a forte of our society.

    One can find about any view wanted and support for that view. If you're built to simply form opinions and then find support for them, you can participate in the Great Climate Change Truth Search. However, you won't help much. A better approach is to stick skeptically with the science.

    And more important, don't lose track at any time of the ramifications for mankind if global warming occurs. This is the elephant in the room. This is the reason it is important to form policy that moves toward minimizing or heading off global warming. Yes, there is a cost if those efforts are for naught. But that cost is miniscule compared to the cost of full-blown past the tipping point global warming.

    I know. That head in the sand is so much more comfortable.     But maybe not for long.

  •  Who says everything is because of climate change? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kafkananda

    Sounds like an exaggeration used just to make your point.

    Democrats who enable implementation of Republican policies do more to destroy the Democratic Party than anyone. - Big River Bandido

    by pot on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 07:33:32 PM PDT

  •  Weatherdude, Be advised: (3+ / 0-)

    The update you included from this person:

    12:39 PM PT: Sam Wise Gingy sums it up in the comments below: "Are you saying we should be reasonable rather than reactionary?" That's exactly what I'm saying.

    Sam Wise Gingy has accumulated over 120 hide rates in the past four days.

    There are plenty more hide rates after that, but I stopped counting prior to June 8.

    I'm not sure so that you want to be quoting him in your diary.

    To every millionaire who decries they don't want their grandchildren paying for the deficit, I say: PAY MORE TAXES NOW and your grandkids won't have a deficit burden.

    by gooderservice on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 08:45:37 PM PDT

  •  I object to the whole idea of this diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dianna, jan4insight, blueoasis, kafkananda

    The idea that public discourse is supposed to take place on some scientific academic level is absurd.  And a recipe for disaster.

    I was listening to some idiot expert on NPR the other day and he was saying climate change is real, it's going to have to be dealt with, but people shouldn't fear it!

    Does he imagine public policy is going to be shaped by a bunch of intellectuals discussing scientific papers? In a country where people can't figure out that cutting taxes increases the deficit?  

    Sooner or later people will have to do something about climate change and they won't do anything unless they're more afraid of climate change than they are of higher taxes or losing their SUVs or whatever else it may take.  

    Most people are afraid of change, period, even really small changes, and they're not going to allow the big changes we need to make unless they understand that this is about real danger and not a bunch of maps and numbers and the wishy-washy academic "it may be justified to suggest that we may possibly say" language academics use to cover their asses.  

  •  2 things weatherdude (4+ / 0-)

    I generally agree with you but people don't notice gradually, they all of a sudden "wake up" and take notice when "gradually" has now become too far distant from what they are used to

    tornado outbreaks . . . nothing since this nation became a nation, has happened like the 11 tornadoes in MA a week or so ago . . . .an F5 in Worchester in the 1950s, yes, and one F0-F1  tornado every few years ... but ONLY one, never a day that spawned 11.

    That is massively unsettled air that we haven't seen in 250+ years . . . that is climate change

    while I agree that outbreaks in the midwest are nothing new, (though I think the destructive power in these storms has risen - what normally would be F1 and F2 storms are now F3 and F4) outbreaks in that area of the country are normal

    11 tornadoes, one right after the other, one of them being a F3, in another story

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

    by Clytemnestra on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 09:18:53 PM PDT

  •  it had to be said (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, jethrock, xgy2

    thanks. unfortunately, it will need repeating.

  •  diarist hasn't been listening to the right folks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, kafkananda

    everyone I know begins their discussion of weather by stating that one event doesn't prove climate change just as big snowstorms don't disprove it. But having said that many things ARE trending towards a heating planet because of man made climate change. And that is where the argument lies not in any hysterical talk on the part of those who believe in climate change as good science.

    By his "smater than thou" diary he encouraging climate change deniers to do the same thing i.e. denigrate climate change and call the science mere hysteria on the part of hippies and environmetalists. But, it gets him alot of reccs and makes everyone pat him and each other on the back to be able to put down those who warn of impending disaster.

    But the disaster is coming and it is real. Face it.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 10:21:33 PM PDT

    •  "Environ-METAL-ists?" (0+ / 0-)

      I'm imagining a group of people who are very busy building a great big metal box in which to hide from what they perceive to be "the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad weatherdudisms of Weatherdude.

      I count even the single grain of sand to be a higher life-form than the likes of Sarah Palin and her odious ilk.

      by Liberal Panzer on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 04:58:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  environ'metal'ists (0+ / 0-)

        Guys who listen to heavy metal while tending their garden? Or, guys who go by thumpin heavy metal in their Chevy Volt?

        America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

        by cacamp on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 08:51:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well (0+ / 0-)

      We've been screaming "the end is nigh" from the rooftops for years now with little effect.  In the meantime piles and piles of good solid evidence have been collected, analyzed and ignored.  

  •  You want me to be reasonable? On a blog? Oh for (0+ / 0-)

    crissakes. Next thing I know you'll be asking for separate spoons and napkins for the iced tea. And sugar too. I know how you Southeners are. All polite and yes sir, yes ma'am stuff. Let's just cut to it. When we have storms that suck houses off their foundations - not good. When we have tornadoes in MA, sucking houses off their foundations - not good. When we have 9 tornadoes in Californication - in one month - not good. Does it "prove" climate change - oh probably not. But we're sitting here with 100% plus snowpack in freaking JUNE! Don't have proof but I sure feel that things ain't right.  Anomaly anyone?

    Wolverines and Badgers and Buckeyes - Oh My! Be Afraid Kochroaches. Be very afraid.

    by mrsgoo on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 11:13:52 PM PDT

  •  hi dude... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xgy2, terrypinder, weatherdude

    you said:

    I'm tired of the fearmongering, I'm tired of the gigantic leaps of logic, I'm tired of people on both sides of the issue shutting down and not listening. I ask that you listen to what I have to say, and then I'll listen to you.

    sadly, this isn't just happening in the climate world... ANY discussion around here of late seems to deteriorate into people attacking OTHER people's experience and knowledge because it isn't/wasn't THEIR experience or THEIR knowledge.

    this site is no longer made up of people with ears.  

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

    by edrie on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 12:16:02 AM PDT

  •  And what of that baptist minister who called it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kafkananda

    satan's work?

    Huh? Huh?!?  Disprove that, whether dude!

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 12:16:36 AM PDT

  •  Climate is what you expect Weather is what you get (0+ / 0-)

    - Groucho Marx.

    "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 01:18:59 AM PDT

  •  re: your request: No. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

    by YucatanMan on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 01:23:42 AM PDT

  •  ironically (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moira977, notksanymore

    this diary is due to climate change

    ... or I'll leave forever and never come back (and you'll be sorry).

    by GBCW on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 03:11:07 AM PDT

  •  The sky "may" be falling? (0+ / 0-)

    Chicken Little won't like this.  

    Live for friendship, live for love, For truth's and harmony's behoof; The state may follow how it can

    by SpamNunn on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 05:18:59 AM PDT

  •  We could reach a tipping point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dianna, weatherdude

    You are right in saying that panic over each and every tornado outbreak or flood isn't useful. Some of them are warning signs, some are just flukes, and we will only be able to see a climate-related trend after a number of years.

    However, your belief that things will just continue on changing "gradually" is of course why we aren't doing more to stop the release of greenhouse gasses. This is a widespread point of view but it reflects a lack of understanding of the nature of the problem. According to scientists drastic change in climate like the reversal of the gulf stream current (which has a 50% chance of happening in this century) would happen over a period of 4-5 years. (I didn't understand the gulf stream works until a climate scientist explained it to me, so don't feel bad if you don't know much about it.) There are several tipping points looming that might be as little as a decade a way, such as melting permafrost that would release massive amounts of methane, leading to a rapid increase in average global temps, or saturation of the oceans (the oceans currently absorb much of the excess carbon dioxide but that can't go on forever).

    We aren't 100% sure what will happen if/when one of these tipping points are reached, and climate scientists don't want to find out, based on data about previous rapid climate shifts.

    I would strongly urge you to go to 350.org and learn more about the science. Yes, a lot is unknown, but we are gambling with all the species on the planet, and that is not cool.

  •  Ugh, awful "thinking" here (0+ / 0-)

    Just awful.

    If you have a jar of red and white marbles, and you pour a bunch more white marbles into it, you increase your chances of randomly selecting a white marble.

    Can you attribute any random selection directly to the addition of the white marbles? No. Does that matter? NO.

    We're indisputably trappingmassive amounts of heat in the atmosphere from greenhouse gases. Period. Factual statement.

    This heat is indisputably altering the climate and ecosystem. measurably, demonstrably.

    It's just an empty tautology to say we can't "attribute any one event to global wartming."

    God, what terrible thinking in that statement and this diary.

  •  What's wrong with a "Useful Fiction" ??? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't give a shit whether the tornadoes are caused by Global Warming.

    We're dealing with people who think that Jesus saddled up a fucking dinosaur.

    That the earth is 6,300 years old.

    That DNA is a satanic plot.

    Fuck 'em. Lie to them.

    They don't believe anything complicated, unless it's a lie.

    So lie. Tell 'em that if they don't vote for Democrats, God All-fucking-mighty is gonna send a tornado in their kitchen windows.

    Two or three percent of these poor ignorant righties will believe you. Get 'em peeing-in-their-pants afraid o' Global Warming.

    There's a time and place for everything -- terrorizing Tornado Alley GOPer-voters is surely one of them.

    Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

    by vets74 on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 05:49:53 AM PDT

  •  The grass in my back yard won't grow! (0+ / 0-)

    I think it's Global Warming.

    No, I know it's Global Warming.

  •  I was asked (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, GoGoGoEverton, weatherdude

    in a Diary, when do the tornado outbreaks become a symptom of climate change?

    And the simple answer is when they from part of a peer reviewed study that indicates a trend that has statistical significance.

    Otherwise, they are just an event.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 07:03:02 AM PDT

  •  But BP still fucking sucks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton
    It didn't happen because the oceans are warming or the ice caps are melting or because BP fucking sucks.

    I get your point. I know you're right. And we don't want to "chicken little" climate change. And, it's freakin' April weather here in Boston this morning - cold and rainy; and the deniers are running around laughing about global warming.

    But. BP still sucks.  And we do need to do something about all of the above. Especially BP.

    I'm from the Wisconsin wing of the Democratic Party!

    by BobBlueMass on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 07:41:11 AM PDT

  •  Ok..just stop telling me to stop, mom (0+ / 0-)

    Just this last time is ok

  •  A little reactionarianism is a good thing... (0+ / 0-)

    ...when that'a all the opposing side is.  Point out a few examples of the kinds of weather weirdness we're seeing these days as examples of global warming, and the denier wackos look just that much wackier.

    People are built to think in terms of on-off, up-down, black-white - it's how we're programmed.  You'll never win over the deniers (who tap into that digital thinking) by arguments geared towards gradualism, no matter how factually-grounded they may be.

    Stupid is as stupid elects.

    by TheOrchid on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 08:02:48 AM PDT

  •  You don't have to be (0+ / 0-)

    a weatherman to see which way the wind  blows. It works both ways here. You say the data is not in that these are events not yet proven trends. Science has become so focused on it's empirical truths which are theories, that it denies all other forms of evidence.

    Science itself and the language and systems, measurements have become so myopic that it is like religion. Any conclusions outside the gates of scientific Eden are dangerous and heresy.   Nothing is true until  science proclaims it so, and when they do get their data together they insist that these facts must be read by the rest of us in their terms of what truth is. Too narrow by half and myopic.

     I have been called a fundie here by the data heads for  believing that nukes should go. I also get grief for thinking and saying that perhaps giving infants a shitload of injections at birth might not be such a great idea.  Same with factory farms that pump our meat full of hormones and antibiotics and fill our waterways with toxins and methane.  I'm not anti vaccine, anti science but think that western medicine and science, does not take into consideration the whole system the organism as a whole. Nor does technology and 'progress' take the organism of the earth's well being a a whole.  Data is not reality it's a way of measuring reality.    

    People do understand smple cause and effect, especially when they are experiencing it.  Scientists who already have studied global warming and climate change it is real. To insist that only they can let us know and then proclaim that these event's are related is absurd. So let me know when you all get done studying this and can prove beyond a doubt that these events are not a symptom of the earth under stress and that the weather is not just anecdotal.

    Meanwhile like Hillary says the melting ice will give us more access to some lucrative new fields of grease we can extract and keep those SUV's a rolling and the toxic plastic cheap shit on the shelves of Wal Mart. Were in a race to the top here and we don't want to jump to hasty conclusions and scare the crap out of people without proper data and the wrong unscientific terminology.

             

  •  Thanks for writing this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude

    I agree with your conclusion, and the correlation between climate change and tornadoes is as weak to moderate as the one with tropical cyclones. Unfortunately it's hard to talk about these concepts with a public that is not educated in them. Yes, it's happening, but no, you can't statistically prove each event would not have happened otherwise. Maybe you can, I prefer geology and geophysics now, so I haven't followed the most recent science.

    "I don't want to live on this planet anymore" -Prof. Farnsworth

    by terrypinder on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 08:45:15 AM PDT

  •  Bill McKibben does not agree (0+ / 0-)

    so I will continue to say it:
    Extreme weather events are result of global warming!!!

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 10:01:46 AM PDT

  •  Late to the party. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude

    What I like to remind people is that meteorology and climatology are very young sciences, for all practical purposes.  We didn't get a great idea about why things happen until the '70s when we got regular satellite pictures.  It wasn't long ago at all when we developed the computer power to run global computer models.  Observing systems are getting better all the time.

    With this in mind, we simply don't have the data to say that climate change will lead to one event or another.  We can only say that it will favor one kind of weather pattern or another.  A record tornado outbreak is devastating to say the least, but given that doppler radar is sort of a new-fangled contraption compared with the course of history, it's much more likely that we were hit with a really bad case of bad luck than a result of climate change.  We really have no idea how bad tornado outbreaks were in the past several centuries on this continent.

    So yeah, let's just temper our enthusiasm a little bit.  In no way am I saying that climate change isn't disconcerting.  The literature suggests that we will likely see an increase in extreme weather events due to warming global temperatures.  I'm saying that assuming that the worst of the worst is due to climate change, and that climate change will necessarily bring the worst of the worst, is statistically unlikely.

  •  the planet is cooking -- if you want to (0+ / 0-)

    go around providing reassurance to people, go ahead.

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