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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1431. Grothar
Come on folks, we have TS Fabio and nobody is posting anything? Get with it.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25030

cone of doom
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Westwood neighborhood at 1488 near 2978


Flooded street in Cypress, Tx


Downtown Houston




Waller, TX






Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


read my lips

NO NEW DEVELOPMENT.

i suppose that would mean eventually it will happen but lets not go there..
I didn't say it'll be our next cat 5.All I'm saying is that if history teaches you anything once you have a favorable atmosphere in the Gulf with a disturbance it should be watched.Besides sst in some places in the gulf are like upper 80's to 90 degrees.
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1427. Grothar
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Yeah there is. Moderate vertical wind shear combined with cooler SSTs after 72 hours out.


Well, it is already Tropical Storm Fabio,or didn't you notice?



Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25030
Quoting greentortuloni:


You might have a valid point about the rain in 1603. However extrapolating from that point to blaming global warming on new record keeping capabilities (i.e. ignoring all the other evidence) is stupid.

Just sayin.


Never said anything about new record keeping. I'm saying that everything is now documented. Every tornado, every flooding event, every severe thunderstorm, etc. These events are now as they say "becoming more frequent" because of this new age of technology. Almost everyone now has the capability to take pictures or video of all that is happening both in weather and life. An EF - 3 tornado that may have torn across the middle of Kansas on May 12, 1932 went uncounted - why, because no one saw it, and it didn't effect anyone. Kind of going back to if a tree falls in a forest belief.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Grothar I think their is a chance as well.If history teaches you anything once you have a favorable upper level atmosphere and a disturbance in the gulf watch for quick development right under your nose.It could happen so watch out.Remember Claudette from 09.


read my lips

NO NEW DEVELOPMENT.

i suppose that would mean eventually it will happen but lets not go there..
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9716
What a beautiful day in Houston! Flooding everywhere and no relief in sight!

Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 598
Grothar I think their is a chance as well.If history teaches you anything once you have a favorable upper level atmosphere and a disturbance in the gulf watch for quick development right under your nose.It could happen so watch out.Remember Claudette from 09.
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whoa, whats with the djia?

oh a weather note, the FL blob is going nowhere, despite the NAM and the WRF
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9716
1421. VR46L
Quoting washingtonian115:
So I see nothing interesting happened on the blog yesterday.Same old same old debate.Ncstorm what they did to you yesterday was terrible..


Yep its the same old, same old !!!If you don't accept their lecture then you are mistreated
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Well last night was interesting, had 30 mins of continuous cloud to ground lightning, and i mean continuous - no breaks, always lightning somewhere.
Lots of close CG lightning sounded like artillery cause they were 'exploding' close to my house.
And a tstorm to my SE in Atlanta had 5.67 in/hr rainfall rates.

Fun to say the least, but im sure someone's house or tree got struck by lightning
Some of the local creeks had some flash flooding last night. A few yards, low lying areas, a road, and a park ended up underwater during the early morning. Not too shabby. They served their purpose and no homes were flooded. A few trees down though.

It looks like mid GA got in on the action! Finally. But too bad that front is set up the way it is. Tennessee doesn't need that much rain. :\
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Yeah there is. Moderate vertical wind shear combined with cooler SSTs after 72 hours out.


I thinkim being messed with...
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1418. CJ5
Quoting Neapolitan:
Well, this is certainly not the forum to get into such things. But, no, while corporations should have the right to support issues and candidates of their choosing, they absolutely should not have the right to anonymously dump millions into campaigns, thereby unduly influencing the outcome of elections and corrupting democracy. Period. Regardless of what some keep insisting, corporations are not people.

You know, there's a reason even some once-supportive justices have reversed their stance on Citizens United.


I agree. This is off-topic. So, prior to Citizens United, media and unions were allowed to support candidates and positions but corporations were not. CU leveled the playing field. I submit that corporations are people just as much as unions are people. The first amendment does not mean free speech is limited to only individuals but includes groups of people, the media, unions and now corporations.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I don't want to discuss it on the main blog.Or else I'll get heat for it.But still it was sad to see.


i saw a GW debate and a Religion debate.

and nothing happened to NCstorm.
He came out of both just fine if i remember.
there were no hard feelings
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9716
Quoting Grothar:
Reading back on the blog this morning, most of you mentioned some very important features. That little low currently off the SW coast of Florida should be watched carefully. While none of the models develop yet, it could begin responding to a little weakness to its NW and begin combining with the moisture currently about to move over Florida. There could be development in the Gulf. Wind shear is pretty low. The SE US from Louisian to the Florida panhandle should expect some heavy showers this weekend.



98E is very large and has a tremendous amount of energy in its center. There is no reason it should not be at least a Cat2 in a few days. Extremely cold cloud tops.



I am still expecting to see some development in the Atlantic, although none of the models have anything yet.


Yeah there is. Moderate vertical wind shear combined with cooler SSTs after 72 hours out.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31314
Quoting washingtonian115:
I don't want to discuss it on the main blog.Or else I'll get heat for it.But still it was sad to see.


just show me the page num
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I don't want to discuss it on the main blog.Or else I'll get heat for it.But still it was sad to see.
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See Yall later this afternoon.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


what happened to NCStorm?
I didnt see anything
me either...
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Quoting jeffs713:
Quick update from the Houston area...

Rain has been coming down in buckets since early this morning (like 2-3am early). As of about 7am in Tomball, some roads were starting to close due to street flooding, after 3+ inches in ~4 hours, and rain still falling at rates estimated at 1" per hour.

The north and west sides of town have been hit the hardest with this rain, and as per NWS advisories, stream flooding is expected. Cypress Creek is already over its banks (it floods easily), and several other streams are likely to follow.

I'm at work now (just south of Jersey Village... which is also in the flood warning area), so lets see if I can get home this evening.

Harris County Rainfall Totals

NWS Houston Forecast Area Page



good thing i didnt move to houston last year
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9716
Quick update from the Houston area...

Rain has been coming down in buckets since early this morning (like 2-3am early). As of about 7am in Tomball, some roads were starting to close due to street flooding, after 3+ inches in ~4 hours, and rain still falling at rates estimated at 1" per hour.

The north and west sides of town have been hit the hardest with this rain, and as per NWS advisories, stream flooding is expected. Cypress Creek is already over its banks (it floods easily), and several other streams are likely to follow.

I'm at work now (just south of Jersey Village... which is also in the flood warning area), so lets see if I can get home this evening.

Harris County Rainfall Totals

NWS Houston Forecast Area Page
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Quoting washingtonian115:
So I see nothing interesting happened on the blog yesterday.Same old same old debate.Ncstorm what they did to you yesterday was terrible.The blog needs a storm to track in the Atlantic.I know their are ones over in the pacific but ones in the Atlantic seem to catch almost everyone's attention.


what happened to NCStorm?
I didnt see anything
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9716
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


are u traveling to state or are you staying at your house?


Its in New orleans so i can stay at home
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Quoting weatherh98:


IDC


are u traveling to state or are you staying at your house?
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9716
So I see nothing interesting happened on the blog yesterday.Same old same old debate.Ncstorm what they did to you yesterday was terrible.The blog needs a storm to track in the Atlantic.I know their are ones over in the pacific but ones in the Atlantic seem to catch almost everyone's attention.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


you spelled sincerely incorrectly.


IDC
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Quoting CJ5:


So, what you are saying is that if a business supports a representative than that representative will only support the business and not the other constituents he represents? If so, isn't that a problem wit the representative?


a business can supprot a representative, the representative need not support the business, though if the business supports him they probably agree in their beliefs.

but lets end this disucssion
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9716
Quoting weatherh98:


im doing the 2 im 2 free 2 back 1 free 1 back 50 free

sincerley,
another sprinter


you spelled sincerely incorrectly.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9716
Can't make everyone happy
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1401. CJ5
Quoting LargoFl:
As a business owner, I have no right to support candidates I believe help my interests?.............................this one statement is what is destroying this country, the politicians who are supported by this..in both parties,are now tied to this supporter and those like him and will make policies that enrich this supporting business, forgetting the regular citizen who also supported him......money..should be taken out of politics..but we all know That wont happen, its no wonder huge amounts of americans have dropped out of voting for either party in disgust


So, what you are saying is that if a business supports a representative than that representative will only support the business and not the other constituents he represents? If so, isn't that a problem wit the representative?
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Well, this is certainly not the forum to get into such things. But, no, while corporations should have the right to support issues and candidates of their choosing, they absolutely should not have the right to anonymously dump millions into campaigns, thereby unduly influencing the outcome of elections and corrupting democracy. Period. Regardless of what some keep insisting, corporations are not people.

You know, there's a reason even some once-supportive justices have reversed their stance on Citizens United.


Corporations can do whatever they want to in elections, they are private, whether we like it or not.
And with every action comes a reaction, other corporations and entities will oppose such a corporation, if not in one area, in another.
If you started a corporation, im sure you would want it to do whatever it could to support anti-AGW, including pumping billions of dollars into the fight

but as you say, lets not discuss it here
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9716
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


dont worry, everything will go great thats shorter than 400...

Above that....good luck

sincerely,
a sprinter


im doing the 2 im 2 free 2 back 1 free 1 back 50 free

sincerley,
another sprinter
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
Well, this is certainly not the forum to get into such things. But, no, while corporations should have the right to support issues and candidates of their choosing, they absolutely should not have the right to anonymously dump millions into campaigns, thereby unduly influencing the outcome of elections and corrupting democracy. Period. Regardless of what some keep insisting, corporations are not people.

You know, there's a reason even some once-supportive justices have reversed their stance on Citizens United.


when im old enough to vote, Im voting for who i am voting for, advertisements on tv are twisted and sick.

they take little good things and make them sound great. they ignore the bad things.

propaganda i tell ya
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:


Or Mankind having to throw a "Hail Mary" pass.......


only crown weather does that
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9716
Quoting weatherh98:


You know what they say bout Assyoumeng rightLOL

oh yea the same model that put debby in the gulf for two weeks


my mom used to tell me not to assume things, find out for sure, because when you assume, you make an a** of yourself
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9716
Quoting islander101010:
as.long.as.we.dont.hear....homerun


Or Mankind having to throw a "Hail Mary" pass.......
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Quoting weatherh98:


Im so nervous. but i have faith that kris put me where i need to be


dont worry, everything will go great thats shorter than 400...

Above that....good luck

sincerely,
a sprinter
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9716
as.long.as.we.dont.hear....homerun
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Quoting StormPro:


Or assuming....hence the XTRP model LOL


You know what they say bout Assyoumeng rightLOL

oh yea the same model that put debby in the gulf for two weeks
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Quoting CJ5:


So let me get this straight; Your view is that corporations should not have the free speech rights to speak out for and/or against thier representatives? Are corporations not made up of individual citizens? As a business owner, I have no right to support candidates I believe help my interests?
Well, this is certainly not the forum to get into such things. But, no, while corporations should have the right to support issues and candidates of their choosing, they absolutely should not have the right to anonymously dump millions into campaigns, thereby unduly influencing the outcome of elections and corrupting democracy. Period. Regardless of what some keep insisting, corporations are not people.

You know, there's a reason even some once-supportive justices have reversed their stance on Citizens United.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


Good Luck.
I love meets like these until its the day of them


Im so nervous. but i have faith that kris put me where i need to be
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Quoting weatherh98:


another word for guessing


Or assuming....hence the XTRP model LOL
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1388. LargoFl
As a business owner, I have no right to support candidates I believe help my interests?.............................this one statement is what is destroying this country, the politicians who are supported by this..in both parties,are now tied to this supporter and those like him and will make policies that enrich this supporting business, forgetting the regular citizen who also supported him......money..should be taken out of politics..but we all know That wont happen, its no wonder huge amounts of americans have dropped out of voting for either party in disgust
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36619
Quoting weatherh98:
Of topic but..

after about 400 hours of swimming lifting weights and swim meets, it is being condensed into the final product, 4 days and 16 races. I probably wont be on much after 4 oclock today. hope nothing happens in the tropics while im out, i dont want to miss anything.



Good Luck.
I love meets like these until its the day of them
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9716
They are covering all the bases from baseball to boxing....I suppose a football analogy is in the works..........
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Quoting greentortuloni:


You might have a valid point about the rain in 1603. However extrapolating from that point to blaming global warming on new record keeping capabilities (i.e. ignoring all the other evidence) is stupid.

Just sayin.


another word for guessing
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Quoting Chucktown:


Yea, this never happened in 1603, or did it. Don't know, these localized isolated events weren't documented like they are today. Hell, do we even have daily rainfall reports from then. Didn't think so. I blame "climate change" on technology - just sayin.


You might have a valid point about the rain in 1603. However extrapolating from that point to blaming global warming on new record keeping capabilities (i.e. ignoring all the other evidence) is stupid.

Just sayin.
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Someone made a reference yesterday to Dr. Master's "sports" analogy in terms of recent weather events (what is the world coming to). I was just reading the NOAA paper on climate change and found another "sports" quote. These analogies seem to be the current rage; perhaps the scientists are trying to break it down to a simple analogy that most regular folks can relate to............. :)


Climate is what a boxer trains for but weather throws the punches (D. Arndt 2012, personal communication). Attribution analyzes, such as those in this article, have the potential to inform the necessary training and adaptation options for societies in dealing with the punches weather and climate extremes throw their way.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
I dunno; the Japanese have a long, illustrious, and well-documented history. If they say 20" of rain in 8 hours--a sustained rate of 2.5" inches per hour--in this town hasn't happened before to the best of anyone's knowledge, I'm inclined to believe them.


And there in lies the main problem with climate change. Do you choose to believe the known 150 years and the expansion and more accuracy of technlogy or do you want thorough and COMPLETEevidence

or you may think its political:)
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


buckets.

about 1.5 inches in 20mins.
so 4.5 in/hr

30-45 mph winds too, but we missed the hail as usual.

The jordan curse continues.
first storm weakens to no more severe hail and just some wimpy gust winds before it gets here.
Second storm dies completely


Im waiting for my daily inch :) Probably going to come later in the afternoon.
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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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