Damage losses and climate change

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 10:58 PM GMT on January 03, 2012

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During 2011, a series of violent tornado outbreaks hit the Plains and Southeast U.S., bringing an astonishing six billion-dollar disasters in a three-month period. The epic tornado onslaught killed 552 people and brought three of the five largest tornado outbreaks on record in a six-week period, including the largest and most expensive tornado outbreak in U.S. history--the April 25 - 28 Super Outbreak, which did $10.2 billion dollars in damage. Insured losses due to thunderstorms and tornadoes in the U.S. were at least $25 billion in 2011, more than double the previous record set in 2010. Damages from thunderstorms and tornadoes since 1980 have shown a clear increase since 1980 (Figure 2.) Disaster losses world-wide from weather-related natural disasters have also shown a significant increase in recent years, as has the number of these disasters. But how much of this is due to a change in the climate, and how much might be due to increases in population, wealth, and other factors?


Figure 1. Damage in Tuscaloosa, Alabama after the April 27, 2011 EF-4 tornado. Image credit: NOAA.


Not enough evidence to judge if climate change is affecting tornadoes
As I discussed last week in my post, 2011: Year of the Tornado, as far as we can tell, the number of damaging tornadoes has not increased in recent years, though the quality of the data set is to poor to know for sure. This is largely due to the fact that we never directly measure a tornado's winds--a tornado has to run over a building before we can make an EF-scale strength estimate, based on the damage. As tornado researcher Chuck Doswell said in a 2007 paper, "I see no near-term solution to the problem of detecting detailed spatial and temporal trends in the occurrence of tornadoes by using the observed data in its current form or in any form likely to evolve in the near future." My 2008 post, Are tornadoes getting stronger and more frequent?, discussed how a better way to assess how climate change may be affecting tornadoes is to look at how the large-scale environmental conditions favorable for tornado formation have changed through time. The most important ingredients for tornado formation are usually high atmospheric instability (as measured by the Convective Available Potential Energy, or CAPE), and high amounts of wind shear between the surface and 6 km altitude. Not enough work has been done on the subject to judge whether or not climate change is affecting severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, though.


Figure 2. Insured losses due to thunderstorms and tornadoes in the U.S. in 2011 dollars. Data taken from Property Claims Service MR NatCatSERVICE. Image credit: Munich Re.

Are the number of weather-related disasters increasing?
At a talk given last month at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, Mark Bove of Munich Re insurance company examined trends in both damages and number of natural disasters since 1980. These numbers have shown significant increases since 1980. After we take out the increase in disasters reported due to an increasing population, greater wealth, and more advanced communications, is there a trend due to climate change? One way to check is to compare natural disasters due to geophysical events--earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions--to weather-related disasters. Geophysical disasters should remain relatively constant in number in a changing climate (unless sea level rise is occurring so rapidly that it is causing significant changes in stress on earthquake faults, something that is theoretically possible, but has not yet been observed.) If we then look at trends in the number of geophysical disasters versus weather-related disasters reported, it should give us an idea of how much of the recent increase in weather-related disasters may be due to climate change. Between 1980 and 2010, geophysical disasters increased by about a factor of 1.5, while weather-related disasters increased by a factor of 2.7 to 3.5 (Figure 3.) Bove stated that he thought weather-related disasters were likely subject to a higher increase in reporting rate than geophysical disasters, but not enough to account for the huge difference. Climate change was the likely reason for a large portion of the increase in weather-related disasters in recent years, he argued. His talk concluded, "there is quite some probability that natural catastrophe losses are driven already by human-caused climate change."


Figure 3. The number of natural disasters reported has increased markedly worldwide since 1980, particularly for weather-related disasters. Image credit: Munich Re.

However, this conclusion is controversial. A 2010 paper in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society by Netherlands researcher Laurens Bouwer titled, "Have disaster losses increased due to anthropogenic climate change?", looked at 22 disaster loss studies world-wide, published between 2001 and 2010. All of the studies showed an increase in damages from weather-related disasters in recent decades. Fourteen of the 22 studies concluded that there were no trends in damage after correcting for increases in wealth and population, while eight of the studies did find upward trends even after such corrections, bringing up the question whether or not climate change could be responsible for the increased disaster losses. However, Bouwer found that "studies that did find increases after normalization did not fully correct for wealth and population increases, or they identified other sources of exposure increases or vulnerability changes or changing environmental conditions." In all 22 studies, increases in wealth and population were the "most important drivers for growing disaster losses." He concluded that human-caused climate change "so far has not had a significant impact on losses from natural disasters."

Using storm surge to evaluate damage normalization studies
Damage from landfalling storms can be used to estimate if hurricanes are growing stronger with time, but damage estimates must first be corrected to account for changes in wealth and population over time. A 2008 study by Pielke et al. found that although hurricane damages had been doubling every ten years in recent decades, there were no increases in normalized hurricane damages in the U.S. from 1900 - 2005. They used census and economic data to adjust for how increases in populations and wealth may have affected hurricane damages over time. However, Grinsted et al. (2012) questioned whether or not this was done correctly. They found that storm surge heights of U.S. hurricanes and tropical storms correlated very well with metrics that looked at storm intensity, when looking at many decades of data to see long-term trends. However, the researchers found that while short-term trends in normalized hurricane damage estimated by Pielke et al. (2008) did correlate well historical storm surges, these normalized damages had poor correlation with the storm surge record, when looking at decades-long time scales. This implies that the corrections were biased. Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky of the University of Western Australia makes the case that efforts such as the one done by Pielke et al. (2008) to normalize disaster losses are probably biased too low, since they only look at factors that tend to increase disaster losses with time, but ignore factors that tend to decrease disaster losses. These ignored factors include improvements in building codes, better weather forecasts allowing more preparation time, and improved fire-fighting ability. He writes, "Most normalization research to date has not accounted for those variables because they are extremely difficult to quantify. (And most researchers have been at pains to point that out; e.g., Neumayer & Barthel, 2011, pp. 23-24.) In effect, normalization research to date largely rests on the oddly inconsistent pair of assumptions that (a) we have built up enormous wealth during the 20th century but (b) did so without any technological advance whatsoever." For example, during a severe October 2013 windstorm that did over $1 billion in damage to France, England, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark, "The insured losses for the St. Jude's Day storm would have been significantly higher but for the accuracy in weather forecasting several days ahead of the storm's formation", said financial information services company Fitch Services, since "policyholders have more time to protect their property from potential damage, while government agencies, utility firms and transport companies can make logistical arrangements to minimize disruption to power supplies and transport networks."

Conclusion
Studies showing no increase in normalized damage from storms have high uncertainty, and it is possible that higher economic damages due to stronger storms is indeed occurring, though the current research does not show this. Looking at disasters losses to make an argument that climate change is affecting our weather is difficult, due to the rarity of extreme events, and the changes in wealth and population that also affect disaster losses. We are better off looking at how the atmosphere, oceans, and glaciers are changing to find evidence of climate change--and there is plenty of evidence there.

References
Tornado researcher Dr. Harold Brooks has a May 2012 op-ed in New Scientist that discusses the difficulty in predicting how climate change will impact tornadoes.

Bouwer, L, 2010, "Have disaster losses increased due to anthropogenic climate change?", BAMS, January 2011, DOI:10.1175/2010BAMS3092.1

Doswell, C.A., 2007, "Small Sample Size and Data Quality Issues Illustrated Using Tornado Occurrence Data", E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology Vol 2, No. 5 (2007).

Del Genio, A.D., M-S Yao, and J. Jonas, 2007,
Will moist convection be stronger in a warmer climate?, Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L16703, doi: 10.1029/2007GL030525.

Grinsted, A., J. C. Moore, and S. Jevrejeva, 2012, "A homogeneous record of Atlantic hurricane surge threat since 1923," PNAS 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1209542109

Marsh, P.T., H.E. Brooks, and D.J. Karoly, 2007, Assessment of the severe weather environment in North America simulated by a global climate model, Atmospheric Science Letters, 8, 100-106, doi: 10.1002/asl.159.

Neumayer, E. & Barthel, F. (2011). Normalizing economic loss from natural disasters: A global analysis Global Environmental Change, 21, 13-24.

Pielke et al., 2008, "Normalized Hurricane Damage in the United States: 1900–2005", Natural Hazards Review, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp. 29-42.

Riemann-Campe, K., Fraedrich, K., and F. Lunkeit, 2009, Global climatology of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and Convective Inhibition (CIN) in ERA-40 reanalysis, Atmospheric Research Volume 93, Issues 1-3, July 2009, Pages 534-545, 4th European Conference on Severe Storms.

Trapp, R.J., N.S. Diffenbaugh, H.E. Brooks, M.E. Baldwin, E.D. Robinson, and J.S. Pal, 2007, Severe thunderstorm environment frequency during the 21st century caused by anthropogenically enhanced global radiative forcing, PNAS 104 no. 50, 19719-19723, Dec. 11, 2007.

Jeff Masters

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1st Billion dollar disaster of 2012?

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back around 1 EST
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting TampaSpin:




Just a great example of the skewing of Temperatures by PLACEMENT Of instruments.
..just a great example of you skipping the responses that explain why it is NOT just a great example of the skewing...
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Much needed rain for the rest of this month for the SE US!

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978 milibar storm of NYC this mid week next week. WOW!
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Ouch!! 2012 starting with a BANG folks!
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Very powerful storm is being depicted by ther GFS early next week over the Gulf Coast states.

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Long Term NOLA Disco

Long term...
the models are in decent agreement with the shortwave trough that
weakens as it moves across the north central Gulf Coast region
Friday and Friday night. The 00z run of the GFS indicated
sufficient instability for thunderstorms on Friday across most of
the forecast area...but have not bought into that solution just
yet given the remaining models are downplaying the quantitative precipitation forecast and
instability. Otherwise...have not made significant changes to the
previous forecast which indicated a slight chance of showers
Friday and Friday night with a higher pop Friday night across
extreme southeast Louisiana into the coastal waters.


The pattern is complicated on Saturday because the Friday system
is exiting as another east-southeast moving disturbance moves from
the Southern Plains into the lower Mississippi Valley. This
produces a weak area of surface low pressure that should weaken as
it drags a weak cold front into the forecast area over the
weekend. Have the best chance of showers on Saturday than lower
rain chances Saturday night and Sunday.


The models continue to struggle with the next major upper level
shortwave trough/low pressure system Sunday into early next week
that should form over the Desert Southwest. For now...am following
a bit closer to the slower European model (ecmwf) which keeps the local area dry in
the wake of the weak cold front Monday and Tuesday.

22/dew point
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GFS forecast for my area

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GFS is forecasting that on Jan. 11th, wind will be 20 knots and pressure will be 996mb and dropping(my area) 0.o
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting TampaSpin:
If i recall last year all the snow and precip was blamed on Global Warming. Is the lack of snow and precip this year blamed on Global Warming also? I believe its a fair question! Yes i know LaNina is in place!


A sped up, higher-amplitude hydrologic cycle has been a predicted consequence of climate change due to the enhanced greenhouse effect. Drier droughts, more-intense heavy precipitation events - these are the ways a higher-amplitude hydrologic cycle are experienced by humans.

Also of note, it would be hard to find many climate scientists that directly blame last year's heavier precipitation on global climate change. Saying that a particular event is consistent with something is not the same as directly blaming. It seems that the general hypothesis is that climate change played a role in last winter's significant events - perhaps by increasing the moisture available to increase the snowfall totals - but winter and snow would still have occurred.
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Ohio quakes could incite fracking policy shift
Published: Wednesday, January 04, 2012, 9:59 AM
By The Associated Press


In Ohio, geographically and politically positioned to become a leading importer of wastewater from gas drilling, environmentalists and lawmakers opposed to the technique known as fracking are seizing on a series of small earthquakes as a signal to proceed with caution.

Earthquakes caused by the injection of wastewater that's a byproduct of high-pressure hydraulic fracture drilling, aren't new. Yet earthquakes have a special ability to grab public attention.

That's especially true after Saturday's quake near Youngstown, at magnitude 4.0 strong enough to be felt across hundreds of square miles. Gov. John Kasich, a drilling proponent, has shut down the wastewater well on which the quake has been blamed, along with others in the area, as the seismic activity is reviewed.
"Drilling's very important for our economy and to help us progress as a state, but every single person in the Mahoning Valley felt this earthquake," said state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, a Youngstown Democrat who on Tuesday called for a public hearing.

"I wouldn't deem it as an emergency, but when you live in a place that you're not used to earthquakes and you have 11 earthquakes, you're concerned," he said. "We need to give them some sort of confidence or security that this is going to be OK."
Fracking involves blasting millions of gallons of water, laced with chemicals and sand, deep into the ground to unlock vast reserves of natural gas, a boon both for energy companies and a public hungry for cheap sources of fuel.

That process, though, leaves behind toxic wastewater that must be expensively treated or else pumped deep into the earth. The wastewater is extremely briny and can contain toxic chemicals from the drilling process — and sometimes radioactivity from deep underground.
The practice of dumping underground has been controversial in light of scant research done on potential environmental dangers, highlighted by reports of contamination of aquifers in some communities in Pennsylvania and Wyoming. Some states are reconsidering it.

A coalition of environmental groups is preparing a protest for next week's return of the Ohio Legislature. Activists opposed to increased oil and gas drilling activity across Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia — where the Utica and Marcellus Shale formations are believed to hold vast quantities of gas — see trouble with the Ohio injection well. It took wastewater from fracking, as well as other forms of drilling.
"What other business or industry isn't held accountable for its full cradle-to-grave processes?" said Deborah Nardone, director of the Sierra Club's Natural Gas Campaign. "They need to be responsible for the waste stream that they've created."

Ohio's closure of the well will have little to no impact on drilling, said Travis Windle, a spokesman for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group based in Pennsylvania. Four of the five wells that Ohio shut down were not operational, Windle said.
Pennsylvania's drillers have turned in recent months to deep-well injection of millions of gallons of wastewater because of a voluntary state moratorium last year on dumping of waste at treatment plants where the partially treated liquids are discharged into rivers and streams that drinking water is taken from.

Most drillers in Pennsylvania accepted a voluntary state moratorium last year on dumping of waste at treatment plants, which had discharged the partially treated mix into rivers and streams that supply drinking water. Many drillers now recycle the drilling fluid, and some turned to deep-well injection of millions of gallons of the wastewater.

Pennsylvania has six deep injection wells that currently accept fracking fluid, said Amanda Witman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Protection. But some of its waste is trucked into Ohio, where the geology allows for more injection wells.
Ohio's willingness to accept the fracking leftovers amid a drilling boom in states to the east, south and west worries some residents and environmental advocates who say the science isn't proven — and point to the earthquakes as evidence.
The Ohio Petroleum Council, an industry group, says any public anxiety is misplaced.

"Injection wells have worked well to protect public safety for decades, and a situation like the one in question near Youngstown is very rare," executive director Terry Fleming said in a statement.
Kasich told reporters over the weekend that he doesn't believe the energy industry should be blamed for issues arising from disposal of their byproducts. That would be like blaming the auto industry for improper disposal of old tires, the first-term Republican said.
Scientists have known for decades that drilling or injecting water into areas where a fault exists can cause earthquakes, said Paul Hsieh, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif.

"That's widely documented and accepted within the science community," he said. "It's seen all over the world."
Injection wells have also been suspected in quakes in Arkansas, Colorado and Oklahoma.
Oklahoma's sharpest earthquake on record, of magnitude 5.8 on Nov. 5, was centered on a county that has 181 such wells, according to Matt Skinner, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which oversees oil and gas production in the state and intrastate transportation pipelines.

However, a study by the Oklahoma Geological Survey released earlier in 2011 found that most of the state's seismic activity didn't appear to be tied to the wells, although more investigation was needed.
"It's a real mystery," seismologist Austin Holland said in November. "At this point, there's no reason to think that the earthquakes would be caused by anything other than natural" shifts in the Earth's crust.
New York state's Department of Environmental Conservation is wrapping up an environmental impact review and proposed new regulations for gas drilling. Permitting for new gas wells has been on hold since the review began almost four years ago.

While the proposed permit guidelines do mention injection wells as a possible means of wastewater disposal, any shutdown of such wells in Ohio would have no effect on New York's regulatory process, department spokesman Emily DeSantis said Tuesday.
James Smith, spokesman for the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York, said he knows of no drillers in the state who are shipping waste to Ohio and whether they would in the future is a matter of speculation.
___
Written by Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Definitely not! The global warming trend that's been going on over the past 130 years has clearly come to a screeching halt; last night's record low temperatures in Florida prove it! It's clear that scientists have been...wait, what's this?! Edmunds, SD, reached a high yesterday of 55, breaking the old record of 48 set in 1898?! Why, that's a 114-year-old record! How can this be?!?!?!

;-)

For the first three days of this month, record high temperatures across the US have outnumbered record lows by 274 to 4, or nearly 69-to-1. Last night's Southeastern plunge, along with the cold expected to linger through today and tomorrow, will certainly go a long way toward balancing out that ratio. But in the bigger picture, it's interesting to note that the overall record-high-to-record-low ratio across the US last year was 2.8-to-1, adding to a multidecadal trend in overall heating.
The poles are shifting,leading up to the cataclysmic winter solstice of 2012!
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Climate Change
2012 Climate Events: The start of the term


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129757
Quoting hydrus:
Global Warming..Let it warm. I thought it was a bit too chilly anyway.


Did Dr. M ever post anything on where the U.S. ranked in temperatures both for November and December?
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Quoting TampaSpin:
If i recall last year all the snow and precip was blamed on Global Warming. Is the lack of snow and precip this year blamed on Global Warming also? I believe its a fair question! Yes i know LaNina is in place!
Global Warming..Let it warm. I thought it was a bit too chilly anyway.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22578
If i recall last year all the snow and precip was blamed on Global Warming. Is the lack of snow and precip this year blamed on Global Warming also? I believe its a fair question! Yes i know LaNina is in place!
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Its gonna get even colder it appears in SouthEast in about 8 days......WOW!
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Quoting Neapolitan:
My (sometimes) trusty thermometer has me at 29.7 degrees here in the north end of Naples (though the NWS says it's 36 at the airport). Looking at the forecast, I see that most of the Great Plains will be as warm as, if not warmer than, most of Florida today and tomorrow. For instance, Denver is supposed to reach 61 today and 66 tomorrow, which is identical to the Naples forecast. But just one more day, and then the rebound begins; from Saturday onward, we should be in the middle 70s for highs and upper 50s for lows, or about right where we ought to be in early January...
Quoting PensacolaDoug:


Based on your current experience with Thermometer placement, Don't you think that perhaps there is a grain of truth in the argument that thermometer placement plays a rule in "skewing" the official temperatures to warmer?

My three outdoor theremometers are reading: 27.1, 27.7 and 26.9 respectively. The current temp at the Pensacola Airport, the "official" station, is 33.




Just a great example of the skewing of Temperatures by PLACEMENT Of instruments.
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Orlando
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Quoting Jax82:


Same to you! I'm hoping to get my ticket to the big ship up in the mountains, but it costs $1 billion dollars :(
Thats not too bad. I remember when a billion dollars was a lot of money...HHHHAAAA !
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22578
Quoting Jax82:
If anyone cares, Jacksonville just tied a 125 year old record low this morning. Global Warming?

... Record low temperature tied at Jacksonville...

A record low temperature of 22 degrees was tied at Jacksonville
today. This ties the old record of 22 set in 1887.


I see that but as a whole it is warmer more than cold. You get some record lows from time to time but they don't out weigh the number of record highs we have been getting.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


This scenario will have to be watched as we could have a severe potential across parts of the SE US. I don't think this system will have a lot of cold air to work with on the flank for snow or ice though.
I was thinking the same, maybe the first real ice storm we have seen in a while. There is still evidence of the ice storm they had here in Tennessee in the mid 1990,s. Must a been a bad one.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22578
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Really have not had any Winter in Texas yet. In South Central Texas highs in 60s and 70s for the most part it has felt like spring instead of winter. We are still in stage 3 drought, suppose to go into Stage 4 by March for the first time ever? I am praying we dont but there have been no floods in Texas to put any water in our Lakes for the past 15 plus months.


The heavy rains are going to return my friend as the pattern is about to change. From California to FL can expect the middle to end of January to be wet.
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Quoting Jax82:
If anyone cares, Jacksonville just tied a 125 year old record low this morning. Global Warming?

... Record low temperature tied at Jacksonville...

A record low temperature of 22 degrees was tied at Jacksonville
today. This ties the old record of 22 set in 1887.



Dr. Masters has several times written of the "hot poles/cold continents" phenomenon expected out of GW, wherein warm air surging into the poles during winters will displace cold air that should be camped there, causing the cold air to spill down into the continents. Moreover, this is expected to especially occur in the Eastern US and Western Europe.

Couple that with the expectation of more pronounced ridging in the jet stream -- strong ridges, deep troughs -- and it all adds up to what we've seen in the last 3 winters in particular: Blizzards, bitter cold, punctuated by incredible warm spells. December 2011 has been amazingly warm here in SoFla, but when we finally got cold this week, it came with a vengeance. Seems to me we may all be in for more of the same (and then some).
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Quoting Jax82:
If anyone cares, Jacksonville just tied a 125 year old record low this morning. Global Warming?

Definitely not! The global warming trend that's been going on over the past 130 years has clearly come to a screeching halt; last night's record low temperatures in Florida prove it! It's clear that scientists have been...wait, what's this?! Edmunds, SD, reached a high yesterday of 55, breaking the old record of 48 set in 1898?! Why, that's a 114-year-old record! How can this be?!?!?!

;-)

For the first three days of this month, record high temperatures across the US have outnumbered record lows by 274 to 4, or nearly 69-to-1. Last night's Southeastern plunge, along with the cold expected to linger through today and tomorrow, will certainly go a long way toward balancing out that ratio. But in the bigger picture, it's interesting to note that the overall record-high-to-record-low ratio across the US last year was 2.8-to-1, adding to a multidecadal trend in overall heating.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13789
Quoting RitaEvac:


I've been saying that for a long time. I think that's why the readings are showing a warming world. Heat island effects where these thermometers are placed.
Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:
In terms of temperatures, I believe the urban heat island effect is having an ever-increasing influence on low temperature readings at official recording stations. Just one of many examples I have noted, the low at Orlando Executive Airport (KORL) this morning was 35F, while most outlying areas in Central (and South) Florida were in the 20s. I would estimate that 100 years ago, given an identical meteorological setup, the low at the location of KORL would have been well into the 20s. All the asphalt, cars, buildings and other sources of heat add up.


It's one thing to "believe" it, it's another thing entirely to actually do the analysis. Thus far, research shows that there is little, if any, evidence of the urban heat island effect having a statistically significant effect on global temperature trends. In fact, some analysis of station siting by NOAA has indicated that the stations sited poorly (near concrete, not enough distance from buildings, etc) are actually warming at a slower rate than better-sited stations.

Instead of focusing on one small piece of information, one must look at the big picture: the urban heat island effect cannot cause glaciers to melt, oceans to warm, nor satellite sensors to indicate the same rate of warming as land thermometers.
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Quoting j2008:
I feel lucky, everyone is talking about how cold it is......well heres a wish you were here moment for you. Its 41 here right now at my home in Tucson looking for a high of 77. Gonna be another nice day here, feel sorry for those of you in the cold. Gotta go I'll check in tonight.
Really have not had any Winter in Texas yet. In South Central Texas highs in 60s and 70s for the most part it has felt like spring instead of winter. We are still in stage 3 drought, suppose to go into Stage 4 by March for the first time ever? I am praying we dont but there have been no floods in Texas to put any water in our Lakes for the past 15 plus months.
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Quoting hydrus:
The models are latching on to a strong low forming over the South Central or South Eastern U.S. Should be interesting.GFS


This scenario will have to be watched as we could have a severe potential across parts of the SE US. I don't think this system will have a lot of cold air to work with on the flank for snow or ice though.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:


Based on your current experience with Thermometer placement, Don't you think that perhaps there is a grain of truth in the argument that thermometer placement plays a rule in "skewing" the official temperatures to warmer?

My three outdoor theremometers are reading: 27.1, 27.7 and 26.9 respectively. The current temp at the Pensacola Airport, the "official" station, is 33.


There is not a "grain of truth" to the assertion that differences in land use cause differences in temperature. It's beyond that - it's well-established.

Many urbanized areas can have temperatures a few degrees warmer than than rural areas. Although "skewing" (probably not the best term because the effect is real for that location) the instantaneous temperatures to be warmer in those areas, it does not at face value cause a trend. Some urban areas have actually been found to have cooler temperatures than the rural counterparts due to terrain features such as valleys.
These important considerations remain:
1) warmer areas (heat islands) in urban areas are an anthropogenic forcing,
2) this effect has been analyzed and determined to have little affect on observed temperature trends,
3) satellite temperature measurements of the lower atmosphere are not impacted by urban areas in the same way that land thermometers are, and satellite temperature measurements show the same trend.
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Brrrrrrr, it's too cold here in south FL. Will someone please switch the wind back to a nice south west breeze please?
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Quoting Jax82:
If anyone cares, Jacksonville just tied a 125 year old record low this morning. Global Warming?

... Record low temperature tied at Jacksonville...

A record low temperature of 22 degrees was tied at Jacksonville
today. This ties the old record of 22 set in 1887.
Warm, cool, hot, cold.......no matter. 12/21/12 the Universe vaporizes or sumpthin.:)..Happy New Year to you and yours..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22578
Cold air goes south, warm air goes north.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6155
La Nina is still holding firm in the Pacific according to the Aussies 1/4/12 update.

Link

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Way to go Michigan!!! Go Lions--in January?? We haven't been able to say that for a long time!!
Come on Florida!! We came out for a major softball tournament in February the last 2 years and froze. Are you going to do that to us again??
Dr. Masters talks up good questions today. I've always liked his method of asking all relevant questions that he can think of, instead of promoting a cause. His conclusion today that it is likely the warming that is causing more damage in storms is plausible. My question is still-in the real world situation and the political environment of this country, how are we really going to address the situation? Whether man is not having an effect on the environment at all (one extreme) or man is facing imminent destruction from his emmissions (other extreme) the one fact that remains valid in either case is the reality of the fact that we need to move toward cleaner energy. We certainly can't and shouldn't continue to burn fossil fuels any longer than we have to. Unfortunately the technology is not at a viable point to take care of much more than a small percentage of our energy appetite, which is monstrous. All of our gadget that are 'must haves' are tremendous energy users and we are not going to change the tastes of the population very quickly. The energy demand is not going to decrease so he have to address that now. Keystone is one way to begin. If we don't become more self sufficient, we are in trouble. We certainly are not going to cut energy use by the amount it will provide if we don't build it. Iran is already making noises about a cutoff that would severely cripple the US like the 1974 oil embargo did. There is no other option available-RIGHT NOW- than to produce our own oil. Why do you think even Obama is relenting some on drilling and producing? He has to realize that fact. Look at Solyndra-poster company for the 'not ready yet' solar industry. BUT, we need to get things moving with 'all deliberate speed' toward developing AND IMPLEMENTING alternative energies. Why aren't we?-----politics--- and we won't move ahead on policy until the two polarized sides can agree to get together on a plan, and that won't happen until we send them a loud message and vote out the 'old guard on both sides'. Come on Republicans-let's get the oil companies to invest more in green research. Come on Democrats-let's take care of the current needs of this country, while looking to the future. Ahhhhh, but that would require 'caving in'-the latest media word for 'you backed down'. Baloney!! We need to get Congress to stop trying to get re-elected and start doing the peoples work. As of June, solar is finally making some advances in efficiency for the first time in years. Redouble efforts and pursue it!! They believe 33% efficiency is the maximum possible and that would make it commercially viable. Nuclear power is becoming safer and safer--barring acts of God which could happen at any time. I recently read a couple articles expousing the idea of more smaller nuclear facilities that would be easier to maintain and safer. Nothing is risk free in life, especially where power is concerned, but short of going back to the caves, that's what we have to provide for in our country. Come on, here, a lot of you put a lot of time in blogging here. Why not put those energies to use in the real world and try to get Congress moving again?? This is tip of the iceberg and simplified, but I have written enough right now.
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Quoting bappit:
This is weird. "Fishing under ice."
that is awesome.. first thing i saw on blog
now i have to re-invert my world back into the harsh realities the Doc seems to have for us :/
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This is weird. "Fishing under ice."
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6155
The models are latching on to a strong low forming over the South Central or South Eastern U.S. Should be interesting.GFS
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22578
If the geophysical disasters can be considered as constant (in terms of occurrence), I am surprised that Munich RE did not "normalize" the graph by adjusting to give that data set a slope of zero. It wouldn't change the considerable difference that has occurred in the Meteorologic, Hydrologic, and Extreme events, but when I see a graph that distorts or exaggerates the way things look, it always makes me wonder if the grapher has an 'axe to grind'.

The worst ones are the 'missing zero' graphs, where a few percent difference looks like it goes from the bottom of the graph to the top. The Munich RE graph does not distort the appearance quite that much, but as I said, ANY distortion makes me wonder.

Check out Edward R. Tufte's books (The Visual Display of Quantitative Information et. al.) for some fascinating ways to display information, either to convey it clearly, or to exaggerate some aspect of it. (They are beautiful books as well.)

--Pete
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Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:
In terms of temperatures, I believe the urban heat island effect is having an ever-increasing influence on low temperature readings at official recording stations. Just one of many examples I have noted, the low at Orlando Executive Airport (KORL) this morning was 35F, while most outlying areas in Central (and South) Florida were in the 20s. I would estimate that 100 years ago, given an identical meteorological setup, the low at the location of KORL would have been well into the 20s. All the asphalt, cars, buildings and other sources of heat add up.


I've been saying that for a long time. I think that's why the readings are showing a warming world. Heat island effects where these thermometers are placed.
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In terms of temperatures, I believe the urban heat island effect is having an ever-increasing influence on low temperature readings at official recording stations. Just one of many examples I have noted, the low at Orlando Executive Airport (KORL) this morning was 35F, while most outlying areas in Central (and South) Florida were in the 20s. I would estimate that 100 years ago, given an identical meteorological setup, the low at the location of KORL would have been well into the 20s. All the asphalt, cars, buildings and other sources of heat add up.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


Yup, could be some snow deficit records by the end of winter for the Mid Atlantic and New England. After this could snap across the east that looks to be it for awhile. The cold should get centered across the western US as the Jetstream starts digging across California in the long range.



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Quoting Jedkins01:
I think forecasters are really not gonna come out on top with this cold event in Tampa Bay. Where I live in northern Pinellas its still 40 degrees with a stiff wind and 40 at Tampa, yet somehow they have a hard freeze warning here with a low supposedly 27 here and 24 at Tampa by morning. It is highly unlikely that it will be 24 in Tampa by morning, and there is no way Pinellas will experience a hard freeze. Its a very cold night don't get me wrong, but we do not see a a big snow pack up north and single digits up north like have occurred with other cold blasts where numbers that low have actually occurred in the Tampa Bay area. Also due to a very warm December gulf temps were very warm going into this event, with other big cold events like this we had much colder gulf waters.

Brooksville to the north is already 24 degrees, so the forecasts are right for those areas. But around here the wind is still blowing strong and its been stuck near 40 for 3 or 4 hours now, I find it hard to believe it will plunge 13 degrees at some point during the next 7 hours.
Bring on the Tampa blizz. I wanna see 6 ft snow drifts at Joe Robbie stadium...Dammitt!
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22578
Quoting StormTracker2K:


At this point I would rather have rain as it is getting extremely dry around here. I've had only 2" of rain since November 1st. Anytime you get a freeze when it's this dry is not good. We need rain!!


I could not agree more we need the rain. Snow would be nice to see but rain would keep the fire danger down.I've only had .06 in nov. and .36 in dec.
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Looks like winter is leaving for awhile! Which is great as temps push back to near 80 (upper 70's)this weekend here in C FL.

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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Lets get that southern storm track to coincide with some seriously cold air! I want to see Feb 1899!
I do know how goofy that sounds! LOL!

That'd definitely be interesting from a meteorological perspective--but can you imagine how debilitating--and devastating--an event like the 1899 one would be now? The Port of New Orleans iced over? Blizzard conditions north of Tampa? Many sub-zero temps across the growing regions of the South?

Of course, you could get your wish; the wicked cold late January 1985 cold snap was preceded by a very warm December, so when the refrigerator door was finally kicked open, it let loose with a vengeance.

For myself, I'll be happy to stick with nights no lower than the mid-50s, TYVM.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13789

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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