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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Man West Virginia smoked Clemson last night!

On another note folks this is one mean squall line being depicted by the GFS pressing toward the FL Penisula Tuesday evening. You can be with this type wx pattern setting up that a significant severe wx event is likely for the SE US. Get Ready!!


Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
I found a blog that has a good write-up of last year's deadly tornadoes. Look at this image showing the track of the supercell that produced the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham tornado.

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Quoting ncgnto25:
Pretty disappointing. You guys are too wrapped up in proving whether global warming is man-enhanced or not, or whether it is happening or not, to step back and look at the overall picture of what we need to do in the long run.
A large part of the reason there's been so little progress on curbing CO2 emissions is because of the four-pronged ideologically-based argument that a) the globe isn't warming; b) if it is, it's not our fault; c) even if it is our fault, it's not such a bad thing; and d) even if it's going to be bad, the costs of doing anything about it are just too astronomical. Until we get over that massive hump of denial, then, I believe it's critically important that people spend time explaining the overwhelming evidence supporting AGW (and its evil cousin CAGW). Far from being disappointing, it's practically a moral imperative that we do so.
Quoting ncgnto25:
Don't you all agree that now would be the time to really put together a comprehensive plan to move toward alternative energy while fulfilling our enormous appetite for power right now?
I dunno. This sounds too much like a "Drill here, drill now" suggestion, and that's simply insane in my book. Here's an analogy that fits: when a man discovers he has cancer from smoking three packs of cigarettes a day for his entire life, he can respond in one of two ways. He can either say, "Well, then, I better increase that to four packs a day to help fulfill my enormous appetite for tobacco before I die". Or he can say, "Gee, I should cut back and/or try to quit smoking now so I can have a fighting chance to extend my life".

The latter route makes a bit more sense, if you ask me. Unless you're suicidal, in which case option #1 may be more appealing.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13729
This next low-pressure system is containing a mixed bag of weather, and really has it all. Severe Weather across Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida could cause damage and maybe even tornadoes. Heavy rain across the Mid-Atlantic could cause severe flooding in areas that had it bad last year, and heavy snow in New England could cause some severe travel troubles.

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Quoting SPLbeater:


dont ya think the trees and shrubs and such all over the world might equalize dat out? cuz they use carbon dioxide(dioxide or monoxide one lol) to live, and put out oxygen:) the photosynthesis process i beleive...


Yes, some of it is used by plants but the biological world has its own cycle of carbon use that has been overwhelmed by the gigantic amount of fossilized carbon we humans have extracted from the Earth and pumped into the atmosphere. And, of course, as BahaHurican has pointed out, we are removing long-term carbon storage units, trees, from the biosphere to make room for crops and farm animals. Think about this though. Even the trees store carbon for only a couple of thousand years at best (longest living things) before dying and releasing that carbon back into the atmosphere through respiration of some wood using organism. The carbon we are mining has been stored by Mother Earth for over 100 million years.

We can be thankful that about half of what we put in the atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean. However, that is causing ocean acidification, a life threatening problem for crustaceans and molluscs. You like shrimp and oysters?

As Xyrus2000 points out, it is very difficult to argue with the long-term changes already being observed. There is no guarantee these changes won't continue to occur until Earth is a very difficult place for humans to even live much less have the highly technological civilization we enjoy now.

Our best solution is leave this carbon in the ground and not put it in the atmosphere in the first place. Many people around the world are reaching this conclusion. I, personally, hope this idea comes humanity's conclusion soon and we all act on it.
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Pretty disappointing. You guys are too wrapped up in proving whether global warming is man-enhanced or not, or whether it is happening or not, to step back and look at the overall picture of what we need to do in the long run. I don't think anyone believes we can or should burn fossil fuels forever, no matter which side of the discussion you favor. We all know there are cleaner energies out there, but they are not ready to step in and replace the fossil fuels--yet. Don't you all agree that now would be the time to really put together a comprehensive plan to move toward alternative energy while fulfilling our enormous appetite for power right now? Congress should be doing this but they are --again--too busy playing politics and trying to get re-elected. The two parties have succeeded (and don't ever think they don't know and encourage it) in polarizing the electorate. Their biggest fear is that a third party will get established and break their '2 party monopoly'. Every election you hear the dire threats that a third party candidate will divide one party or the other and the US will cease to exist in the next four years if that other candidiate gets in. Both sides have perpetrated that myth. As long as they can keep us arguing amongst ourselves, nothing will ever get done about the incredibly poor job they are doing and all of the things they get away with. Why do you think they don't agree on anything? If you or I wanted to run for office, what do we need?-------money, money, money--millions of dollars. Where could we get it? From either the Republican or the Democratic Party, as it is almost impossible to get it anywhere else? How do you get it? Believe EVERYTHING the party believes. Even if you get in with new ideas, the old guard will slap you down in Congress. To get re-elected-you had better go along with the party or you are out. No wonder Congress has an approval rating near or at single digits, yet we are unable, as voters, to effect a change. Fox and MSNBC and other 'hate media' just perpetrates this with half-truths and rhetoric, all designed to divide the electorate further. Until we get together and force them to work on real solutions, nothing will get done. Cap and trade is a great start to reducing emission in the pure sense of the idea. However, the Democrats see it as a way to strengthen their voting base(environmentalists) by putting limits that well exceed the external costs that they are trying to balance. The Republicans see this and realize they cannot support this in any form or they will be accused of 'caving' and lose some of their support, so they oppose the idea lock, stock and barrel. Impasse!! Again!! We all lose. The only real solution seems to be a trend that is gaining strength and needs to gain strength quickly, to vote out the incumbent in every election, no matter which party he or she is in until they get the idea that this is unacceptable, and begin working for us, we the people. And this is just one issue.
Member Since: October 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 51
OH, can I be first? Did anyone watch the Orange Bowl last night? It's a great day to be a WVU football fan!

Just to make this weather related, the commentators kept talking about how cool it was in Miami Gardens, st 58 degrees. I kept chuckling thinking about those boys who are used to Morgantown weather, and have to come back to it :) It was 19 dgrees here at the time.
Member Since: December 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1257
Quoting AussieStorm:
I've got a nice storm right above me, rain is getting pretty darn heavy too.


Click image for loop.

Geez, just had a close boomer, power went off for about 30seconds, went to grab the windup torch and the power came back on.

People seem to point out CO2 and the effect it will have on our climate, what about methane that's trapped in the polar ice caps and permafrost, what would the release of this methane have on our climate. If anyone has watched the doco "Year of the storm" that Nat Geo did about 2010. In it, they showed that for every action there is an opposite reaction. Russia had a record heatwave Pakistan had record and deadly flooding. Also the Texas drought and the Qld floods. The climate tends to equal things out, how it does that is up to it. We just have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best but also build towards the future where we can handle a change.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
I've got a nice storm right above me, rain is getting pretty darn heavy too.


Click image for loop.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
Quoting SPLbeater:


dont ya think the trees and shrubs and such all over the world might equalize dat out? cuz they use carbon dioxide(dioxide or monoxide one lol) to live, and put out oxygen:) the photosynthesis process i beleive...
Thing is, at the same time as we're adding the carbon oxide type molecules to the atmosphere, we're also cutting down the trees that would scrub them out and replacing them with buildings and pavement.
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Quoting Grothar:
Grothar is going away again for a while. Have a good New Year. Just to let you know that not everyone in government is out to get you. There are some very fine people who are doing their best to protect you and serve your best interest, as they always have. For those of you who believe that they are all watching you and out to get you, you may be right. I gave them all your numbers. LOL Take care and I wish all the good weather you can have. Play nicey, nice now. Remember, the intelligence you insult, may be your own.
We'll miss u.... stay safe, dude. And I agree with you... when pple think every government worker is out to get them, they forget the fine service by many who keep things going in the face of emergencies and crises of every ilk and stripe. It's a pity all the apples in the barrel get tarred with the same brush because of a few bad bananas on the bunch....

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Quoting TomTaylor:
Well yeah, obviously. However, that connection doesn't mean that the smoke stack, or even global warming, directly spawned hurricane Katrina as Pensacola is claiming.


Yes of course.
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Quoting Xyrus2000:


o_O

Seriously?

How many average Americans would be able to look at that and say "Hey, that's Hurricane Katrina?". I'd be surprised if they could even identify it as a hurricane to begin with ("Kinda looks like the Eye of Sauron. What kind of movie is this?").


My point was, Gore is obviously trying to convey that message, even if the general public is too ignorant to understand it.
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new gfs
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There was an earthquake swarm in South Carolina in 1978 also.


Quoting Skyepony:
A fourth small earthquake in the past month has been recorded on the South Carolina coast. The U.S. Geological Survey says a quake of magnitude 2.6 was recorded around 3 a.m. Wednesday about three miles south of Summerville. The epicenter was about three miles below the surface. Quakes of such magnitude are not usually felt by people. The quake was is the same area as a fault that caused the devastating 1886 Charleston earthquake that killed more than 100 people. That quake had a magnitude of 7.3. Previous earthquakes occurred on Dec. 7, Dec. 21 and on New Year's Day.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8802
We had light snow yesterday and last night. And dust. Tan snow. Takes the fun out of snow when it falls already dirty.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8802
Quoting KoritheMan:


Yeah but there's an implied connection.
Well yeah, obviously. However, that connection doesn't mean that the smoke stack, or even global warming, directly spawned hurricane Katrina as Pensacola is claiming.
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273. Skyepony (Mod)
I think this was around were 90W was.

em>A landslide in a remote area of the southern Philippines has killed 25 people and left more than 100 missing, the governor of the local province said Thursday. It is the latest natural disaster to strike the island of Mindanao after a tropical storm killed more than 1,200 people there last month. The weather again appears to have played a part in Thursday's disaster, which took place in an area where small-scale miners go in search of gold. Almost constant rain since mid-December had left the soil heavily waterlogged, said Gov. Arturo Uy of Compostela Valley Province. The landslide happened around 3 a.m., according to a statement from the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. Several people injured by the landslide have been taken to local hospitals, Uy said. Search and rescue operations are continuing. The area was known to be dangerous, Uy said, noting that it had been evacuated for a period last year after a deadly landslide struck in April not far from the site of Thursday's disaster.


Brian~ It was one more thing in my review of why that movie kinda sucked. Worse yet, the intro was hard to stay awake through.. Here we could be playing on hints of doom..instead it's a calm babbling brook going on about Gore. He's not been the best poster child for AGW.
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272. Skyepony (Mod)
A fourth small earthquake in the past month has been recorded on the South Carolina coast. The U.S. Geological Survey says a quake of magnitude 2.6 was recorded around 3 a.m. Wednesday about three miles south of Summerville. The epicenter was about three miles below the surface. Quakes of such magnitude are not usually felt by people. The quake was is the same area as a fault that caused the devastating 1886 Charleston earthquake that killed more than 100 people. That quake had a magnitude of 7.3. Previous earthquakes occurred on Dec. 7, Dec. 21 and on New Year's Day.
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Quoting Skyepony:
Why would someone think that was Katrina? Storms in the NH spin in the the other direction..






Good catch Skyepony. I was just about to post the same thing. In fact I was going to post the same image from slapnose.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8802
270. Skyepony (Mod)
Why would someone think that was Katrina? Storms in the NH spin in the the other direction..



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Quoting percylives:
Hydrus, # 236, you might consider this. Every gallon of liquid fossil fuels burned puts about 20 pounds of new carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. At standard temperature and pressure that is about 160 cubic feet if my math and chemistry are correct. Every day mankind burns about 80 million barrels or 3.3 billion gallons of oil products. Again the math says that each day we add about 528 billion cubic feet or 3.5 cubic miles of new CO2 to the atmosphere from the liquid fossil fuels we burn. Therefore just the oil component of fossil fuels adds a lot of heat trapping gas to the atmosphere every day. The coal burned (about 38 billion pounds a day) and the natural gas add a great amount more new CO2. Finally, the atmospheric heating from this new CO2 (and other industrial and agricultural gases) allows the atmosphere to hold more water vapor which is another heat trapping molecule so we get a positive feedback from nature.

Just something to consider when you're looking for man's possible influence on climate change.


dont ya think the trees and shrubs and such all over the world might equalize dat out? cuz they use carbon dioxide(dioxide or monoxide one lol) to live, and put out oxygen:) the photosynthesis process i beleive...
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
quiet tonight...
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting KoritheMan:


Yeah but there's an implied connection there.


o_O

Seriously?

How many average Americans would be able to look at that and say "Hey, that's Hurricane Katrina?". I'd be surprised if they could even identify it as a hurricane to begin with ("Kinda looks like the Eye of Sauron. What kind of movie is this?").
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1625
Quoting hydrus:
What is the most important piece of evidence that scientists have that mankind is causing or increasing the current warming trend. I realize that the C02 levels are extra-ordinarily high, and a lot of measurements show the industrial age may have caused such a rise, but what is, in your opinion, the single hardest piece of evidence science has recorded that shows man is the cause or significantly affecting the global climate.?


The laws of thermodynamics.

Remove all the complexities for a moment and just look at the simple system.

Where does the Earth's surface get its heat? The sun. How does the Earth keep it's heat? The atmosphere. Basic middle school science. Nothing fancy.

The Earth has been warming over many decades. Every single temperature data set shows warming. So this indicates one of the follow is occurring:

1. The Earth is receiving more energy from the sun.
2. The Earth is trapping more energy from the sun.
3. A combination of both 1 and 2.

The most obvious premise is that the Earth would be warming as a result of increased solar output. However, solar output is meticulously tracked and has been for several decades. There hasn't been any noticeable increase in solar output.

But another way to increase solar energy received by the planet is changes in orbit and/or orbital tilt. However, neither of those have happened either (not recently at any rate). That pretty much rules out 1 and 3.

If more energy isn't reaching the Earth, then that implies the Earth is trapping more energy. It just so happens that over the past 100 years or so the amount of greenhouse gases (the ones that keep our planet from being a snowball to begin with) has gone up significantly as a result of human activity (verified by isotope analysis).

The planet does not spontaneously get warmer just because it wants to. In the absence of increased solar irradiance, the ONLY way for the planet to warm up is by increasing absorption. This has happened through a combination of human activities, though atmospheric changes are the biggest contribution at the moment.

However, if you're talking about physical manifestations of climate change, I'd have to say the arctic. From sinking towns to melting permafrost to melting glaciers to vanishing pack ice to clathrate dissolution to encroaching tree lines to species invasions to weather pattern changes. The arctic is a veritable climate change war zone. The coming years will be most interesting.
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1625
new nam shows a perturbation dev in the nw dropping to sw this may become a widespread high impacting event stay tune more runs to come lets see what they show but at the moment sat looks like the day to look for the reflection moving into the sw from itermoutain nw

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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Looks like a pattern change coming...According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, "Indications are the Southern Oscillation is now going neutral and the shift is fairly dramatic."

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/patter n-change-winter-coming-snow-cold/59847
expert senior listen up i foretold the change at the start of the snap first the cold then the storms almost 6 days before anyone but hey what do i know
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Quoting TomTaylor:
He still never said global warming caused Katrina.


Yeah but there's an implied connection.
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Quoting Baybuddy:




Katrina is on the cover of the DVD as a juxtaposition with a smokestack.
He still never said global warming caused Katrina.
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Quoting Xandra:

No he didn't.




Katrina is on the cover of the DVD as a juxtaposition with a smokestack.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:


Hyper tropical seasons of 04 and 05 blamed on AGW. Gore even said Katrina was caused by AGW. Since then 6 years w/o a big storm hitting the US, blamed on AGW. Last year the Snowmegeddon amd Snowpocalypse storms blamed on AGW. This year lack of snow blamed on AGW. Last summers drought in TX blamed on AGW. If it floods in TX next summer guess what will get the blame? My point is the AGW crowd argues both ways and uses whatever logic they need to, to get to their conclusion.



And who is making such claims, hmmm?

It's certainly not the scientific community. The strongest statements I have seen from climate scientists is that such events can be influenced by climate change. But to my knowledge there have been no quantifiable attribution studies linking specific weather events to climate change, nor will there ever be. Climate science does not and cannot predict specific weather events.

If you can cite the research papers that conclude that the specific weather events you mentioned are directly attributable to climate change, please list them. The only places I'm seeing attribution claims are in sensationalistic press coverage, which should always be taken with a big chunk of halite.

That being said, among your examples there really aren't any conflicts. Hurricane strength and frequency are predicted to go up (though eventually the number of hurricanes are supposed to go down). Warmer temps mean more frequent precipitation events like Snowmageddon. Changes in weather patterns due to warmer temperatures will affect different areas in unique ways (the southwest is expected to get drier while the east coast and northeast are supposed to get wetter).

Even so, it's not possible to make any solid claims about climate based on a couple years worth of events. Weather still dominates on such timescales and there is way too much noise to find any reliable climate signals on those timescales.
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1625
Hydrus, # 236, you might consider this. Every gallon of liquid fossil fuels burned puts about 20 pounds of new carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. At standard temperature and pressure that is about 160 cubic feet if my math and chemistry are correct. Every day mankind burns about 80 million barrels or 3.3 billion gallons of oil products. Again the math says that each day we add about 528 billion cubic feet or 3.5 cubic miles of new CO2 to the atmosphere from the liquid fossil fuels we burn. Therefore just the oil component of fossil fuels adds a lot of heat trapping gas to the atmosphere every day. The coal burned (about 38 billion pounds a day) and the natural gas add a great amount more new CO2. Finally, the atmospheric heating from this new CO2 (and other industrial and agricultural gases) allows the atmosphere to hold more water vapor which is another heat trapping molecule so we get a positive feedback from nature.

Just something to consider when you're looking for man's possible influence on climate change.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
My street lights aren't bright enough to see it.I can only see small white particals flying.


i was wondering if u were getting anything since u seem to want snow really bad lol, thats one thing i have noticed
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Looks like a pattern change coming...According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, "Indications are the Southern Oscillation is now going neutral and the shift is fairly dramatic."

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/patter n-change-winter-coming-snow-cold/59847
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#247

I like the mention of attitude polarization. I guess that's why courts enforce cooling off periods when disputes come up. (Anyone been in a nasty divorce?)

I also like bringing up the interconnected business. I saw a recent essay on how causality can be difficult to assign in medical science: Trials and Errors: Why Science Is Failing Us. Here is a quote.

"The truth is, our stories about causation are shadowed by all sorts of mental shortcuts. Most of the time, these shortcuts work well enough. They allow us to hit fastballs, discover the law of gravity, and design wondrous technologies. However, when it comes to reasoning about complex systems—say, the human body—these shortcuts go from being slickly efficient to outright misleading."

That has in fact happened to a certain extent with the global warming issue. Models predicted that the stratosphere would cool with increased CO2. Wait, isn't the air supposed to get warmer? That's a short-cut type of reasoning. It turns out that the models were in fact correct, and the stratospheric cooling has been observed. The linkages are better understood now.

The arctic dipole mention was a bit bizarre, but I guess that was intentional.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6147
Quoting WxGeekVA:


Light snow reported around D.C. Note the "Snow Hole" over my area.... Arrrgh...
My street lights aren't bright enough to see it.I can only see small white particals flying.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

nowai.


yes way, lol. to me thunderstorms are more exciting.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting hydrus:
What is the most important piece of evidence that scientists have that mankind is causing or increasing the current warming trend. I realize that the C02 levels are extra-ordinarily high, and a lot of measurements show the industrial age may have caused such a rise, but what is, in your opinion, the single hardest piece of evidence science has recorded that shows man is the cause or significantly affecting the global climate.?
Not to answer for Neapolitan, I'm sure he'll probably have his own answer, but if I were to answer this question I would say the experiments showing that greenhouse gases not only absorb infrared radiation, but absorb more radiation at increased concentrations.

Here's an image showing increased absorption as CO2 concentrations increase.




These experiments prove that as long as man is adding more CO2 to the atmosphere than removing it, we are adding warmth to the atmosphere - even if the actual temperature of the atmosphere is falling due to other reasons.


Greenhouse gases aren't the only way humans are contributing to warming the planet, however. The urban heat island effect adds to the total heat in the atmosphere, as does every single time we change the surface albedo by doing something like laying down a road. Burning fossil fuels adds heat to the atmosphere as well. Sure it is hardly anything at all, however, if it weren't for humans those fuels like natural gas and oil would be rarely ever burned.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:




Hyper tropical seasons of 04 and 05 blamed on AGW. Gore even said Katrina was caused by AGW. Since then 6 years w/o a big storm hitting the US, blamed on AGW. Last year the Snowmegeddon amd Snowpocalypse storms blamed on AGW. This year lack of snow blamed on AGW. Last summers drought in TX blamed on AGW. If it floods in TX next summer guess what will get the blame? My point is the AGW crowd argues both ways and uses whatever logic they need to, to get to their conclusion.

I agree people try to jump the gun far to often by blaming weather events on global warming. However, scientists only say that global warming increases the odds of things, they do not blame specific events on global warming. This is done by the media, not scientists.

As you have noticed, it does appear that scientists do go back on their own words every once in a while. For example, a warmer world is supposed to provide more fuel for hurricanes, but at the same time it could mean more vertical wind shear. With regards to snow, more moisture in the atmosphere could cause more snow, but then again, more heat could cause less snow.


The problem is scientists do not know everything and a warmer planet has effects on many things. While scientists are continually striving to find the "truth," what may seem to be the truth at one point in time can change later. That's why we have theories, not absolute truths. Just because a theory does not come true does not mean you should suddenly not trust climate scientists. Also keep in mind that the media is continuously distorting and manipulating scientific theories and postulations.
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251. srada
How's that winter working out for you climate change/AGW people? You would think there would be more than 246 comments but with Nea and Patrap having 150 of them, thats understandable. This blog must have been in over drive with the lack of snow this winter? Anyway, see ya guys during hurricane season and hopefully without the AGW or climate change discussion. See ya in June!
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Quoting SPLbeater:


i doubt that any human climate theory influenced it, i think it was just the La Nina pattern or what not. idk. not done no research lol
well at least you admit it.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Not as much as Jim Cantore.
lol
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I want one of these ASAP!!!
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Speaking about logical fallacies and documentaries, this is a perfect time to lecture y'all regarding Attitude polarization. When global warming hits, the Earth's attitude is to create an Arctic dipole.

Anyway, one might say according to the butterfly effect means each and EVERY part of the Earth system is responsible for every part of its future state - I flap my wings, and I'm now responsible for every tornado, hurricane, microvortex, air molecule movement, volcanic eruption, rain droplet, user spitting coffee at the screen, and blog comment that ever comes after me.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Yes he did. Now I'm taking my ball and going home.
Please show us where, I'd be happy to see.
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
Trying to post a music video, for the sole reason that the song contains the word "oscillation".



All I see is a blank screen.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
hydrus addressed his question to Nea, but I'll take a swing.

First: logical fallacy, Will Robinson ... danger, danger! There does not have to be a most important piece of evidence. You want a smoking gun, i.e., an especially simple answer. You can't get that, not exactly, nor do you need it.

Second: What you can get it is that by applying the theories and observations of physical chemistry developed over 100 years ago, it must be that CO2 in the air keeps the surface air warmer than it would otherwise be. Extract all the CO2 from the air and the earth would cool. The more CO2, the warmer it has to be.

Third: Atmospheric CO2 has been observed to be increasing. There is no other known source of extra CO2 other than what man is creating. The ocean does absorb a lot of the CO2, but it cannot be absorbing all of it. In fact, the CO2 man puts into the air has an isotopic signature. We observe that isotopic signature in CO2 found in the oceans and the atmosphere.

Four: Apply these observations to the known physical properties of CO2 and you get: the air at the surface is expected to get warmer. Warming is in fact ongoing. The prediction is confirmed.

Still, I would say that is pretty darn simple.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6147
Quoting KoritheMan:


Not as much as Jim Cantore.


LOL!

This one is better

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Quoting WxGeekVA:


I like thundersnow...!


Not as much as Jim Cantore.
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Yes he did. Now I'm taking my ball and going home.
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Trying to post a music video, for the sole reason that the song contains the word "oscillation".

Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835

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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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