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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Quoting StormTracker2K:


There is almost no shear in the area where this low is trying to form.




Exactly....there was shear earlier...but none now. The upper winds have recently become favorable when the shear-inducing upper vorticity split into two centers (one E of the Bahamas...the other in the south Gulf). In between...we have an area of low shear...but more importantly awesome upper divergence between the two upper lows....

Tropical waves don't just blow up on their own...its their relationship with the upper winds. The trick is figuring out what the upper winds will do....and boy are they favorable tonight....
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:

Is the Euro still showing it? Just to make sure...y'all are talking about the east Gulf situation?


It is still showing some vorticity off the west coast of FL tomorrow and Friday so we will see what happens but right now this low looks pathetic.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Again? Sigh.



to bad its not hitting you!
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Quoting ncstorm:


BOOMERS!!

Again? Sigh.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
How many people think that the blob over Florida will develop?.


We'll it won't develope unless it gains convection. Right now it is just a shell of it's former self earlier today.
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Quoting BobWallace:



Here are global numbers for you...

Link

As you can see the countries in which little is know about climate change and in which climate change is not viewed as a problem are places like Afghanistan and Burundi.

If you look at the countries that most of us would view as "developed" and "well-educated" the awareness numbers often run above 90%.

A Gallup poll found 35% of respondents attributed climate change to humans. 13% attributed it to a combination of human and natural causes.

Only 14% said it was due to natural causes alone.

36% were not aware of what is happening.

Link


GW = BW
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BOOMERS!!
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16195
Quoting StormTracker2K:


that was a great link that WxGeekVA posted. Thanks a bunh for that. Maybe that will que the people giving this no chance of developing. I will sayn ncstorm posted this on Sunday and got flack for it as the Euro was showing this on several runs a few days ago.

Is the Euro still showing it? Just to make sure...y'all are talking about the east Gulf situation?
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How many people think that the blob over Florida will develop?.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:

LOL...I didn't lock onto this situation until last night to be honest. I was thinking upper winds would be unfavorable till I saw the upper vorticity started splittin in two...with favorable upper divergence in between....


There is almost no shear in the area where this low is trying to form.



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Quoting LargoFl:
..oh boy going to be an interesting week ahead for sure


that was a great link that WxGeekVA posted. Thanks a bunh for that. Maybe that will que the people giving this no chance of developing. I will sayn ncstorm posted this on Sunday and got flack for it as the Euro was showing this on several runs a few days ago.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


Boy ain't that interesting! As myself and others have said this is something to watch over the coming days for a surprise mischief.


LOL...I didn't lock onto this situation until last night to be honest. I was thinking upper winds would be unfavorable till I saw the upper vorticity started splittin in two...with favorable upper divergence in between....
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Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
I am going to update the east Gulf/Florida situation on another blog update tonight...for now I have the blog post I made late last night talking about how this is coming together....see paragraph P6 of that post....
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Quoting LargoFl:
..be careful, that mold can be very dangerous when breathed in
I have asthma and allergies to lots of things so I know that mold is really bad to be around. It can also ruin a lot of stuff combined with the water damage.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7971
CJ5, I seek openly, my heart and mind is not hardened to the truth of our present world. You go ahead and defend corporations that are voiding democracy ever faster. Your representatives serve at their pleasure. Abramoff on 60 minutes last Sunday really threw those he puppet mastered under the bus. Good video to watch.
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shows the size of the eye compared to the main storm
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Quoting LargoFl:
..this is how it looked last night
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Quoting CJ5:


This is where the GW proponents lose me. Quit blaming evil oil companies and evil corporations for the woe's of mankind. Man is the problem and corporations are owned by people. They derive thier power from people. When enough people feel the need to take drastic action, they will force corps to change.

BTW, what are corporations suppose to change? I don't know of a single major corp that hasn't adressed green tech and cleaner operations, do you?
Well, some of those corporations could start by choosing to no longer fund denialist misinformation/disinformation campaigns. They could withdraw materiel support of the numerous quacks on their payrolls who claim there's no warming for purposes of self-enrichment. They could stop pumping millions of dollars into political campaigns to support candidates and issues that fly in the face of logic, science, common sense, and the greater good. They could publicly admit they've intentionally lied to and mislead the public for decades solely for financial gain.

Not all corporations are evil. But when great climate evil is committed, you'll almost always find a corporation behind it.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13716
Looks like there is a low right over Fort Lauderdale. Tonight will be key in seeing if this will refire convection.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


Boy ain't that interesting! As myself and others have said this is something to watch over the coming days for a surprise mischief.

..oh boy going to be an interesting week ahead for sure
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659. wxmod
Quoting lahcuts:


What does your comment have to do with climate science? Making beer is both art and science. The fermentation part of the process is very well understood and no alternate scientific explanations for the mechanism of fermentation is postulated. This suggests that the probability for this mechanism is extremely high - but not absolutely certain (even though every bit of evidence points, not proves, to the mechanism.)

One needs to get emotion out of these discussions and talk science and not extrapolate one piece, or many pieces, of data to a conclusion. There is after all the scientific method.


Yeast, in a finite space with plenty of nutrients, will eat all it can and eventually will pollute it's space to the point at which it can't survive. There is no art to this. Only fact. I think it's fairly clear that this applies to any species of plant or animal.
Quit making excuses, get consumption and reproduction under control, or all humans follow the yeast to oblivion.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
South Florida Hi-Res Visible Loop
Florida Satellite Page (One For the Bookmarks)



Click for loop


Boy ain't that interesting! As myself and others have said this is something to watch over the coming days for a surprise mischief.

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The eye is a bit clouded up right now... 115mph probably isn't a bad call by the NHC... If the eye clears out they may have to bump it up before weakening begins...

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 7990
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7971
TROPICAL DEPRESSION DANIEL DISCUSSION NUMBER 31
NWS CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER HONOLULU HI EP042012
1100 AM HST WED JUL 11 2012

DANIEL CONTINUES MOVING WESTWARD AT ABOUT 13 KT AND THIS GENERAL
MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THE
SYSTEM REMAINS ALONG THE SOUTHERN PERIPHERY OF A HIGH PRESSURE
SYSTEM SITUATED TO ITS NORTH. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST TRACK IS JUST
AN UPDATE OF THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY TRACK AND LIES NEAR THE MIDDLE
OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE.

DANIEL HAS BEEN VOID OF DEEP CONVECTION FOR SEVERAL HOURS...THUS IT
HAS BEEN DOWNGRADED TO A TROPICAL DEPRESSION. THE INITIAL INTENSITY
IS SET AT 30 KT AND THESE WINDS ARE LIKELY CONFINED TO A SMALL AREA
IN THE NORTH SEMICIRCLE. ALTHOUGH SLIGHTLY WARMER WATERS LIE ALONG
THE FORECAST TRACK...INCREASING VERTICAL WIND SHEAR IS EXPECTED TO
COUNTERACT ANY POTENTIAL FOR INTENSIFICATION. DANIEL IS EXPECTED TO
CONTINUE WEAKENING INTO A POST-TROPICAL/REMNANT LOW WITHIN THE NEXT
12 TO 24 HOURS. THE INTENSITY FORECAST CLOSELY FOLLOWS MOST
INTENSITY GUIDANCE WITH SLOW DISSIPATION OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 11/2100Z 15.4N 142.2W 30 KT 35 MPH
12H 12/0600Z 15.3N 144.4W 25 KT 30 MPH
24H 12/1800Z 15.2N 147.5W 25 KT 30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
36H 13/0600Z 14.8N 151.0W 25 KT 30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
48H 13/1800Z 14.5N 154.7W 25 KT 30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
72H 14/1800Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER BURKE
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I had a feeling a low was developing yesterday. Low level clouds were streaming the opposite direction of main storms... 1st clue is usually the strongest.
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Quoting yoboi:



use global numbers, if you are the majority with climate change then the debate is over...



Here are global numbers for you...

Link

As you can see the countries in which little is know about climate change and in which climate change is not viewed as a problem are places like Afghanistan and Burundi.

If you look at the countries that most of us would view as "developed" and "well-educated" the awareness numbers often run above 90%.

A Gallup poll found 35% of respondents attributed climate change to humans. 13% attributed it to a combination of human and natural causes.

Only 14% said it was due to natural causes alone.

36% were not aware of what is happening.

Link
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


If your talkin about the swirl east of the Bahamas...that is not the tropical wave...but an upper-level low to the east that is acting as an upper outflow sink. There is also another upper low to the west in the Gulf of Mexico...yet another upper outflow sink.

What is good about upper outflow enhancement? It helps drop surface pressures such that the surface tropical wave evolves into something more...
ok ty
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Only 115mph! there is something fishy here:)
...EMILIA STRENGTHENS A LITTLE BUT STILL FORECAST TO GRADUALLY WEAKEN...
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------

2:00 PM PDT Wed Jul 11
Location: 14.8N 118.2W
Moving: WNW at 9 mph
Min pressure: 960 mbMax sustained: 115 mph

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 11/2100Z 14.8N 118.2W 100 KT 115 MPH
12H 12/0600Z 15.1N 119.6W 95 KT 110 MPH
24H 12/1800Z 15.7N 121.7W 90 KT 105 MPH
36H 13/0600Z 16.2N 124.0W 75 KT 85 MPH
48H 13/1800Z 16.5N 126.5W 60 KT 70 MPH
72H 14/1800Z 17.0N 131.5W 45 KT 50 MPH
96H 15/1800Z 17.5N 136.5W 30 KT 35 MPH
120H 16/1800Z 17.5N 142.0W 25 KT 30 MPH

I've been busy for alittle bit so I just found this out.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7971
Quoting washingtonian115:
My basement is flooded...It looks like a miniature pond.And I can smell the mold.I have to call those friendly men again to clean it up.
..be careful, that mold can be very dangerous when breathed in
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Quoting LargoFl:
..I have to tell you, it has PLENTY of moisture to work with..there is also a rotating swirl in the tropical wave approaching the islands east of florida that could amount to something when it gets to us here, i cant post flash, but im sure someone here can see it and post it


If your talkin about the swirl east of the Bahamas...that is not the tropical wave...but an upper-level low to the east that is acting as an upper outflow sink. There is also another upper low to the west in the Gulf of Mexico...yet another upper outflow sink.

What is good about upper outflow enhancement? It helps drop surface pressures such that the surface tropical wave evolves into something more...
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GeorgiaStormz the junior deputy of WU.
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My basement is flooded...It looks like a miniature pond.And I can smell the mold.I have to call those friendly men again to clean it up.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Why do Daniel and Emilia hate me so? When I say they're weakening they start strengthening.

lol, I've done that with tropical storms and snowstorms before. Also I think mother nature hates me and makes storms go around my city. We rarely get and strong storms, they either break up or fizzle out except for rare occasions.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7971
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


just kidding, they look good now


Because i figured out how to use the curved line part lol.
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Quoting weatherh98:


nope. Gotta string my "cow drawings" out as long as possible.


just kidding, they look good now
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


this is what the nhc does...
*Shaking my head*
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South Florida Hi-Res Visible Loop
Florida Satellite Page (One For the Bookmarks)



Click for loop
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


has nothing to do with TWC, that analogy has been brought up here long before TWC was even in the WU picture.
quit the doomcasting


You know nothing
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
639. CJ5
Quoting Tribucanes:
Paying now to prepare for tomorrow's consequences from GW is going to be WAY cheaper than waiting until it happens and being reactionary. Corporations still see 1 to 2 decades of current profitability before they have to make major concessions because of GW effects. Corporations really want that 10-20 years of current revenues because GREED and love of money trumps all. If American's really catch on to what's coming, if the average America even had a little clue that 90% plus of climate experts know this is man driven; then you could toss those years of profitability for corporations out the window. They, as they have readily shown, really, really don't want that. It's suffer a great deal now, or suffer a human catastrophe possibly later. A national purpose could be achieved again by building and preparing for what's to come. To prepare for the daunting task of preparing for what's to come could possibly lead to countless jobs and huge National projects.


This is where the GW proponents lose me. Quit blaming evil oil companies and evil corporations for the woe's of mankind. Man is the problem and corporations are owned by people. They derive thier power from people. When enough people feel the need to take drastic action, they will force corps to change.

BTW, what are corporations suppose to change? I don't know of a single major corp that hasn't adressed green tech and cleaner operations, do you?
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Quoting wxchaser97:
CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.4 / 940.6mb/124.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
6.3 6.2 6.2

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 22 km

Center Temp : +0.4C Cloud Region Temp : -68.4C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION



Good lord... 125 Knots = 143.84 MPH

I really think Emilia should've been 130 mph on the last update from NHC, not 115.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:
Tropical wave crossing Florida looking interesting. Upper winds have become very favorable for development...Florida and the east GOM will be interesting to watch in the next 24 hours...
..I have to tell you, it has PLENTY of moisture to work with..there is also a rotating swirl in the tropical wave approaching the islands east of florida that could amount to something when it gets to us here, i cant post flash, but im sure someone here can see it and post it
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Welcome to TWC


has nothing to do with TWC, that analogy has been brought up here long before TWC was even in the WU picture.
quit the doomcasting
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


how was your nap then,miserable?

And i think you should just post all your stuff it all now.
Better than you torturing us for the next few hours with it.


nope. Gotta string my "cow drawings" out as long as possible.
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Still can't plus anything. Skyepony, always appreciate your great posts and analogies.
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Quoting Civicane49:
BULLETIN
HURRICANE EMILIA ADVISORY NUMBER 17
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP052012
200 PM PDT WED JUL 11 2012

...EMILIA STRENGTHENS A LITTLE BUT STILL FORECAST TO GRADUALLY
WEAKEN...



SUMMARY OF 200 PM PDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...14.8N 118.2W
ABOUT 780 MI...1255 KM SW OF THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...115 MPH...185 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 285 DEGREES AT 9 MPH...15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...960 MB...28.35 INCHES


this is what the nhc does...
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746
Quoting bluesydeacon:
Jeff's blog has always been fairly good but
, for some reason, the feeling I get when
I have to follow along as an analogy of a
baseball player on steroids is literally drawn for
me that makes me feel very average and a little
dumb gives me the heebiejeebies. Thanks but no thanks. I'll make
my own rational.


Welcome to TWC
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

This is Emilia's secondary peak. It will be a slow decline from here. And since it's annular, I do mean SLOW.
I think this "2nd peak" is even stronger than the first one, lol.
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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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