Extreme events of 2011: climate change a major factor in some, but not all

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:54 PM GMT on July 11, 2012

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The science of quantifying how climate change changes the odds of extreme weather events like droughts and floods took a major step forward Tuesday with the publication of NOAA's annual summary of the past year's weather. The 2011 State of the Climate report contains a separate peer-reviewed article published in the July issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society titled, Explaining Extreme Events of 2011 From a Climate Perspective. In the paper, a group of scientists led by Peter Stott of the Met Office Centre in the United Kingdom looked at how climate change may have changed the odds of occurrence of some of 2011's notable weather extremes. These kinds of attribution studies require huge amounts of computer time and take many months to do, but the scientists plan to start making this a regular part of the annual NOAA State of the Climate report. Some of their findings for 2011:

- Determining the causes of extreme events remains difficult. While scientists cannot trace specific events to climate change with absolute certainty, new and continued research help scientists understand how the probability of extreme events change in response to global warming.

- La Niña-related heat waves, like that experienced in Texas in 2011, are now 20 times more likely to occur during La Niña years today than La Niña years fifty years ago.

- The UK experienced a very warm November 2011 and a very cold December 2010. In analyzing these two very different events, UK scientists uncovered interesting changes in the odds. Cold Decembers are now half as likely to occur now versus fifty years ago, whereas warm Novembers are now 62 times more likely.

- The devastating 2011 floods in Thailand caused an estimated $45 billion in damage, making it the world's most expensive river flooding disaster in history. The study found, however, that the amount of rain that fell in the catchment area was not very unusual, and that other factors such as human-caused changes to the flood plain and the movement of more people into flood-prone areas were more important in causing the disaster. "Climate change cannot be shown to have played any role in this event," the study concluded, but warned that climate models predict an increase in the probability of extreme precipitation events in the future in the region.

- The deadly drought in East Africa, which killed tens of thousands of people in 2011, was made more likely by warming waters in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific. While the scientists did not specifically tie the warming of these waters to human-caused global warming, they noted that climate models predict continued warming of these waters in the coming decades, and this will likely "contribute to more frequent East African droughts during the spring and summer."


Figure 1. An SH-60F Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 14, flies around the Bangkok area with members of the humanitarian assessment survey team and the Royal Thai Armed Forces to assess the damage caused by the 2011 floods. Image credit: Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer Villalovos.

Weather on steroids
One interesting aspect of the paper was the scientists' use of the baseball player-steroids analogy to help explain how climate change can increase the odds of extreme weather: "One analogy of the effects of climate change on extreme weather is with a baseball player (or to choose another sport, a cricketer) who starts taking steroids and afterwards hits on average 20% more home runs (or sixes) in a season than he did before (Meehl 2012). For any one of his home runs (sixes) during the years the player was taking steroids, you would not know for sure whether it was caused by steroids or not. But you might be able to attribute his increased number to the steroids. And given that steroids have resulted in a 20% increased chance that any particular swing of the player’s bat results in a home run (or a six), you would be able to make an attribution statement that, all other things being equal, steroid use had increased the probability of that particular occurrence by 20%. The job of the attribution assessment is to distinguish the effects of anthropogenic climate change or some other external factor (steroids in the sporting analogy) from natural variability (e.g., in the baseball analogy, the player’s natural ability to hit home runs or the configuration of a particular stadium)."



Video 1. National Center for Atmospheric Research scientist Dr. Jerry Meehl explains how climate change's impact on extreme weather is like how steroids affect a baseball player.

Jeff Masters

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What if God was one of us?
Just a stranger on the Bus
Just a slob like some of us
Trying to make his way home
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tribucanes:
Evolution is debate worthy. I can make a very very solid case for Creation. Evolution is a tool used to take people away from the truth of a creator and Jesus. We are all born with a natural belief in God, it has to be taught out of us. Evolution is a theory that serves the Devil well though. No creator, no real reason to be here, no real reason to be be accountable. I would, again make the case strongly; but most here would laugh it off. That's okay, I'll Evangelize where I can sow and reap the fruit before it falls off and rots. This is not that place. Evolution is a theory that hurts the moral fiber of our beings and country and is not true at all in my opinion. I'm done commenting on it, just playing devil's advocate on this topic because it's one I'm most passionate about.


I respect you more than most here, but all of this is just plain wrong. Morality doesn't come from god, it comes from common sense. I don't refrain from killing because a book or deific force tells me to. I don't kill because I don't want to kill. Contemplating that thought makes me feel bad, because I believe life is precious. I am accountable to myself. It has nothing to do with god or evolution.

And no, our country is "morally bankrupt" (I don't think it is) because people are stupid.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting scooster67:


God (Creation) nor evolution can be proved. Each requires faith.

Keep, Grothar, much respect for both of you, but neither side will be changing the mind of the other tonight and the regular folks who want to turn things into a fight are swarming like sharks.

piece to both of y'all.


To each his own. Wasn't knocking what you believe.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Reddit:

/r/atheism


You all should check that out sometime...
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3477
Quoting Bielle:


I'd like to blame TWC for the evolution wrangling, but I don't think it would be fair as most of the parties have been here for long enough to know better. Enough! This is not the place.


Why not? There is nothing else to talk about. At least this issue is fresh unlike AGW.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
Can you prove God exists? And "The bible says so" is not an appropriate response. And yes I've read it.


God (Creation) nor evolution can be proved. Each requires faith.

Keep, Grothar, much respect for both of you, but neither side will be changing the mind of the other tonight and the regular folks who want to turn things into a fight are swarming like sharks.

piece to both of y'all.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Astrometeor:


Grothar's butterfly EVOLVED from a simple worm to a complex creature with wings.

Otherwise chimps and humans share 95% of our DNA. How do you explain that away?


It is closer to 99% I believe.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting Tribucanes:
Evolution is debate worthy. I can make a very very solid case for Creation. Evolution is a tool used to take people away from the truth of a creator and Jesus. We are all born with a natural belief in God, it has to be taught out of us. Evolution is a theory that serves the Devil well though. No creator, no real reason to be here, no real reason to be be accountable. I would, again make the case strongly; but most here would laugh it off. That's okay, I'll Evangelize where I can sow and reap the fruit before it falls off and rots. This is not that place. Evolution is a theory that hurts the moral fiber of our beings and country and is not true at all in my opinion. I'm done commenting on it, just playing devil's advocate on this topic because it's one I'm most passionate about.


If you are good at arguing you can argue for or against anything, for a class I had to argue cigarettes didn't cause lung cancer... that was hard.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
Can you prove God exists? And "The bible says so" is not an appropriate response. And yes I've read it.


+100000
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3477
Quoting WxGeekVA:
Okay people...

This is a WEATHER blog.

Weather is SCIENCE.

Science is based on FACT.

Evolution is a generally accepted FACT.

Therefore, let's try to STICK TO FACTS here.

If you want to deny evolution, go to a sci-fi or religion blog (same thing)...

Otherwise...



We've got the REALITY of a major hurricane to discuss!


Why it's heading out to sea too where it won't hurt any one so nothing too really too talk about other too check on it every now and then


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Astrometeor:


Grothar's butterfly EVOLVED from a simple worm to a complex creature with wings.

Otherwise chimps and humans share 95% of our DNA. How do you explain that away?


I'd like to blame TWC for the evolution wrangling, but I don't think it would be fair as most of the parties have been here for long enough to know better. Enough! This is not the place.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:
Thank you all of you guys for providing those links. It really helps with forecasting and analysing tropical cyclones.


No problem dude.
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Quoting ncstorm:


Evolution is YOUR fact..not mine


Actually, pretty much everyone with an ounce of logic and took one year of a real life science in school accepts it as fact....

Please show me some verified evidence of creation which has gone through the scientific process and found to be true, then we can talk about the theory of a "God" creating things...
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3477
Quoting ncstorm:


I guarantee you wont find any atheists on a sinking ship out to sea..


A humans fear of death is not proof god exists.
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While Emilia looks awesome, she is going to weaken, head out to sea, miss Hawaii. Anyway, adios.
...GIVEN THE CURRENT ANNULAR STRUCTURE ON SATELLITE...EMILIA WILL PROBABLY NOT CHANGE MUCH IN INTENSITY TODAY...BUT THE OVERALL TREND IS FOR THE HURRICANE TO GRADUALLY WEAKEN AS THE CIRCULATION STARTS TO INTERACT WITH COOLER WATERS IN ABOUT 12 HOURS OR SO.

THE TRACK HAS NOT CHANGED EITHER...AND EMILIA CONTINUES TO MOVE TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST OR 285 DEGREES AT 8 KNOTS. THE HURRICANE IS TRAPPED SOUTH OF A STRONG SUBTROPICAL RIDGE WHICH IS FORECAST BY GLOBAL MODELS TO PERSIST. THIS STEERING PATTERN WILL LIKELY KEEP EMILIA MOVING ON THE SAME GENERAL TRACK UNTIL THE END OF THE FORECAST PERIOD WITH NO IMPORTANT CHANGE IN FORWARD SPEED. BECAUSE THE STEERING CURRENTS ARE WELL ESTABLISHED...THE TRACK GUIDANCE IS IN FAIRLY GOOD AGREEMENT...AND MOST OF THE MODELS HAVE A WEAKENING CYCLONE PROGRESSING WESTNORTHWESTARD AND WESTWARD. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS VERY CLOSE TO THE MODEL CONSENSUS AND NOT TOO FAR FROM THE PREVIOUS ONE.

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Quoting Autistic2:


Any one know where I can fing a Tropicl Weather Bog. I thought there was already a blog for this.


the topic of the blog post is climate change, innit?
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 727
Quoting ncstorm:


Evolution is YOUR fact..not mine


I feel these discussions could be much shorter if dissenters like yourself would actually state reasons why you don't believe it. Perhaps we could help clear up any misconceptions.

Hint: god isn't a reason.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:



I'm gonna try that.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

On ATCF.

I'm on my phone but somebody can give you the link.
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Link to ATCF.

Link
Quoting KoritheMan:


Link

Go to the "tcweb" folder.
Thank you all of you guys for providing those links. It really helps with forecasting and analysing tropical cyclones.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting TropicalWxBlogger:


thats commonly called METAMORPHOSIS.


Really? You learn something every day.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting scooster67:


OK

ev·o·lu·tion/ˌevəˈlo͞oSHən/
Noun:
The process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the...
The gradual development of something, esp. from a simple to a more complex form.




Where does it say "completely different"?

Given a few billion years, more or less, a few lucky mutations will change a life form into something rather different than the ancestor, but limited to the genome. Why else would we share so much of our own genome with other mammals, especially those so close to humans?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WxGeekVA:
Okay people...

This is a WEATHER blog.

Weather is SCIENCE.

Science is based on FACT.

Evolution is a generally accepted FACT.

Therefore, let's try to STICK TO FACTS here.

If you want to deny evolution, go to a sci-fi or religion blog (same thing)...

Otherwise...



We've got the REALITY of a major hurricane to discuss!


While I believe in evolution it is still a theory, it is not a fact.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Can you prove God exists? And "The bible says so" is not an appropriate response. And yes I've read it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Okay people...

This is a WEATHER blog.

Weather is SCIENCE.

Science is based on FACT.

Evolution is a generally accepted FACT.

Therefore, let's try to STICK TO FACTS here.

If you want to deny evolution, go to a sci-fi or religion blog (same thing)...

Otherwise...



We've got the REALITY of a major hurricane to discuss!
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3477
Quoting scooster67:


OK

ev·o·lu·tion/ˌevəˈlo͞oSHən/
Noun:
The process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the...
The gradual development of something, esp. from a simple to a more complex form.


Grothar's butterfly EVOLVED from a simple worm to a complex creature with wings.

Otherwise chimps and humans share 95% of our DNA. How do you explain that away?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting scooster67:


I need to see the picture of the first wife Grothar. How is part of a Butterflies life cycle evolution? Really?


You asked us to provide examples of something changing from one thing to a completely different lifeform. You didn't say "species", you said "anything". You also didn't say it couldn't be metamorphosis. We gave you what you wanted. The ball is in your court now. ;)

Also, I find it amusing you failed to pick up on Gro's sarcasm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


The fringe of tropical moisture streaming into Southern California from the southeast today. Forecast calls for 70% change of Thunderstorms tomorrow and friday. A easterly wave is forecast to traverse northern baja california and should have enough vertical motion to sustain thunderstorms after the loss of daytime heating.Easterly wave seen in lower right corner in satellite view. Let's hope they are correct,I don't think it's rained since April!
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5248
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Evolution is not debatable. There is an endless supply of scientific evidence I back it up. Global warming is slowly working up to thy category too, whether or not people want to believe it or not.


It's so cute when people close their ears. "la la la, I can't hear you!" Seriously?
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Link Hurricane Emilia heading west
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Quoting Grothar:


Hey, Scoost! Here is one lame example. If this doesn't help, I'll show you a picture of my first wife.






I need to see the picture of the first wife Grothar. How is part of a Butterflies life cycle evolution? Really?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Evolution is not debatable. There is an endless supply of scientific evidence I back it up. Global warming is slowly working up to that category too, whether or not people want to believe it or not.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
EP052012 - Major Hurricane EMILIA

01:00 UTC Low Sun Angle

Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery
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Quoting wxchaser97:

Where do you get the renumber info TA?


Link

Go to the "tcweb" folder.
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Quoting scooster67:

Can you show proof of anything, evolving from one thing to something completely different?

Evolution is the biggest lie ever crammed down our throats, even more so than AGW.



Did the Weather Channel send you?

Anyone can show proof; I prefer to show poof.

Emillia is just looking incredible.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

On ATCF.

I'm on my phone but somebody can give you the link.


Link to ATCF.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Yeah,sometimes but not the vast majority.


Just sayin bro.
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Quoting scooster67:


OK

ev·o·lu·tion/ˌevəˈlo͞oSHən/
Noun:
The process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the...
The gradual development of something, esp. from a simple to a more complex form.


Here's a much better definition:

Biology . change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.

Link
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Quoting KoritheMan:


No, but it's happened before.


Yeah,sometimes but not the vast majority.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Grothar, I told you lighting that Bush on fire was a BAD Idea when Moses was in that, er, "Mood".

See..,?

Major Hurricane Emilia

Rainbow Image



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting scooster67:

Can you show proof of anything, evolving from one thing to something completely different?

Evolution is the biggest lie ever crammed down our throats, even more so than AGW.


don't worry about it
its ok just keep believing
what ever it is you been told
to believe in
everything is alright nothing to see here
its been nothing but some fireworks
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55970
Quoting wxchaser97:

Where do you get the renumber info TA?

On ATCF.

I'm on my phone but somebody can give you the link.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Emilia:


98E:
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972

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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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