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 LargoFl:
..is that what you would call..depecheo? hope i spelled that right..moving into a straight line of red storms headed right for pinellas
I believe it's a gust front or an out-flow boundary.
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Quoting LargoFl:
..is that what you would call..depecheo? hope i spelled that right..moving into a straight line of red storms headed right for pinellas


That would be a delefto. Derechos usually go to the right.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26871
478. yoboi
Quoting Tribucanes:
Yobi, I couldn't agree more with your last comment. Those devising, the close to, One World Order though are driving agendas around the world, including the misinformation campaign here on GW. I follow this debate closely to follow the squirming the NWO folks do to make their evil plan come to fruition. China and Russia are the NWO's biggest hurdle to clear at the moment. Huge military buildup off the Iranian coast by the US here recently too. Hard put to find that on the 5:30 news though. The storm is coming.


you are right.
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So if a derecho is moving west, would it be called an izquierdo?
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Picture this, an attack by the West on Iranian nuclear sites, oil would skyrocket to 200-300$ a barrel. Euro could collapse under that weight sending the Global economy into immediate free fall. World Bank and IMF have been preparing for this for some time. They are ready to set up a One World Government. This could happen, and could happen far faster than many think. We are at the door now and the good guys ain't driving this vehicle.
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16041
Quoting yoboi:


i dont promote littering i am not saying there is not climate change, i am just saying i belive in God and not one human is going to change the way the earth is going to end or when it will end. if you don't belive in God that is your freedom of choice. i was just telling you how religion and science can butt heads at times either thru climate change, evolution, big bang theory. just be considerate if people choose to follow the Lord and his word over a science teacher and politician....


i don't care if you believe in god or not. that's absolutely meaningless to me. the fact that the globe is warming due to anthropogenic co2 doesn't care if you believe in god, invisible pink unicorns or nothing at all. i'm considerate of other peoples' religious beliefs if and when the topic of discussion intersects with religion. climate change does not.

if we're talking about gravity and someone says 'well i believe in the bible etc' my first reaction is going to be 'so what? you read the bible, herpdy derp.' same goes for a discussion on TB evolving drug resistance.
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 688
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472. yoboi
Quoting ncstorm:
Genesis 8:22 declares, "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."

AMEN Yobi!! I would plus this a million if I could!!



ty...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

No it was a mistake.

EP, 98, 2012071118, , BEST, 0, 126N, 1034W, 25, 1006, LO


ohh right... didn't see they changed it back to LO
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Quoting weatherh98:


well... if this werent the internet i might say something back


you mean baa-aa-aa-ck.

have a nice nap Hairy-son
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


thats not his goat, thats him


well... if this werent the internet i might say something back
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
, 0, 124N, 1029W, 25, 1006, TD,

TD 6-E

No it was a mistake.

EP, 98, 2012071118, , BEST, 0, 126N, 1034W, 25, 1006, LO
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Do you have the link to the cam?


Link
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Gusty Winds and Cloud to Ground Lightning are probably occurring right now and I wouldn't be surprised to see some Severe T-Storm Warnings and Special Marine Warnings go out for parts of the bay area.

..is that what you would call..depecheo? hope i spelled that right..moving into a straight line of red storms headed right for pinellas
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Good afternoon... Very nice structure on Emilia right now...

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:



thats not his goat, thats him
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:



that floats my goat...

peace bud
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Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7959
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Gusty Winds and Cloud to Ground Lightning are probably occurring right now and I wouldn't be surprised to see some Severe T-Storm Warnings and Special Marine Warnings go out for parts of the bay area.

,,this line is looking real nasty GT
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Gusty Winds and Cloud to Ground Lightning are probably occurring right now and I wouldn't be surprised to see some Severe T-Storm Warnings and Special Marine Warnings go out for parts of the bay area.

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Quoting weatherh98:


EWRC

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528
BBLnaptime
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Quoting aspectre:...Nearly all of the coal comes from the Carboniferous Period BECAUSE fungi hadn't figured out how to make the enzymes that would break down cellulose and lignin.
When the white rot fungus came into being, new coal creation was nearly totally halted: ie pretty much confined to bogs that were condusive to the creation of peat.
Not true. Already addressed this in post #342. Here is the link again. Here is the picture showing the rate of coal formation over time:

Edit: Granted this can hinge on your definition of what constitutes "coal", ranging from anthracite to lignite, but it is still all fossilized carbon.
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, 0, 124N, 1029W, 25, 1006, TD,

TD 6-E
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Yobi, I couldn't agree more with your last comment. Those devising, the close to, One World Order though are driving agendas around the world, including the misinformation campaign here on GW. I follow this debate closely to follow the squirming the NWO folks do to make their evil plan come to fruition. China and Russia are the NWO's biggest hurdle to clear at the moment. Huge military buildup off the Iranian coast by the US here recently too. Hard put to find that on the 5:30 news though. The storm is coming.
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
Quoting wxchaser97:
Hey anyone what do you think Emilia will be at 5 EDT?
She is looking really good right now. All sshe needs to do is clear out her eye more.

It deserves 130 mph but they're going to give it 115 mph.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528
Quoting BobWallace:


We, the world, is moving away from fossil fuels.

The world is installing solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, tidal, wave and biomass/gas generation. We're starting to drive EVs and PHEVs.

Electricity from renewables is cheaper than electricity from oil or coal (if you do a complete accounting).

EVs and PHEVs are much, much cheaper to drive per mile. Right now their purchase prices are high mostly because EV battery factories have not reached economies of scale. The price problem is not due to cost of materials, energy or labor.

Our way of life will be little different when we are using renewable energy and driving 'electrics'.

Except we'll be spending less for electricity and driving.


Big dawgs running the show trying to gobble up the $$ while they can while it lasts. Knowing full well it is coming to an end. Which will create the economic fallout and deliberately crash the market and wipe out jobs creating chaos.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

That first big uptick and decline is from when Emilia first showed its eye on geostationary imagery. Then it became obscured..


EWRC
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Genesis 8:22 declares, "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."

AMEN Yobi!! I would plus this a million if I could!!

Quoting yoboi:


well i think alot of people belive in the bible; and if you belive in the bible God knows how and when the earth will end and us humans have no control over it...that is a valid thing to consider...
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16041
Quoting wxchaser97:
Hey anyone what do you think Emilia will be at 5 EDT?
She is looking really good right now. All sshe needs to do is clear out her eye more.


120 mph
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


quite being analar harrison.


english please
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Quoting weatherh98:


YOu can see the EWRC's it had

That first big uptick and decline is from when Emilia first showed its eye on geostationary imagery. Then it became obscured..
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528
Quoting weatherh98:


good youre not supposed to.

im like those people from swamp people except i actually shave and you may or may not be able to understand what i say


quit being analar harrison.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Is it bad if you have 32 gigs of images from 2 months of hurricane season?


horrible
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The life of Emilia.



YOu can see the EWRC's it had
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Is it bad if you have 32 gigs of images from 2 months of hurricane season?
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


swim team breakfast?

whats a carol idiot?


yesterday pat said flor"idiot" refferong to floridians. im stretching it to carolinians

Tomorrow is state so we went to IHOP
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The life of Emilia.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528
Quoting LargoFl:
..moving away from fossil fuels is improbable, todays society is glued to it, and we destry ourselves using it..like someone who smokes, he knows its bad for him, feels what it is doing to him, and still goes out and buys more..its the same with cars and trucks and all the things we use to power things like generators and so much more..we are tied to it, every one of us..so we can talk a great deal on getting rid of it but..in our lifetimes, we will never see it,until..business wants to..and right now..it plays with idea's..but doesnt want to...unless something comes along ..Cheaper...cost is the only thing that concerns business, I am sorry to say that but its true and we all know it..getting rid of cars and trucks?..out of the question, and thats only one use for fossil fuels,the whole world runs on it..without it..our way of life today....ends


We'll still need oil though
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......................................OMG, this whole line is coming right at us...Jedkins you online?....run for cover lol
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Hey anyone what do you think Emilia will be at 5 EDT?
She is looking really good right now. All sshe needs to do is clear out her eye more.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7959
437. yoboi
Quoting weatherh98:


good youre not supposed to.

im like those people from swamp people except i actually shave and you may or may not be able to understand what i say



choot em!!!!
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Quoting weatherh98:


dude i was at a swim team breakfast didnt see it


swim team breakfast?

whats a carol idiot?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I don't understand you sometimes. :P


good youre not supposed to.

im like those people from swamp people except i actually shave and you may or may not be able to understand what i say
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LargoFl:
..moving away from fossil fuels is improbable, todays society is glued to it, and we destry ourselves using it..like someone who smokes, he knows its bad for him, feels what it is doing to him, and still goes out and buys more..its the same with cars and trucks and all the things we use to power things like generators and so much more..we are tied to it, every one of us..so we can talk a great deal on getting rid of it but..in our lifetimes, we will never see it,until..business wants to..and right now..it plays with idea's..but doesnt want to...unless something comes along ..Cheaper...cost is the only thing that concerns business, I am sorry to say that but its true and we all know it..getting rid of cars and trucks?..out of the question, and thats only one use for fossil fuels,the whole world runs on it..without it..our way of life today....ends


We, the world, is moving away from fossil fuels.

The world is installing solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, tidal, wave and biomass/gas generation. We're starting to drive EVs and PHEVs.

Electricity from renewables is cheaper than electricity from oil or coal (if you do a complete accounting).

EVs and PHEVs are much, much cheaper to drive per mile. Right now their purchase prices are high mostly because EV battery factories have not reached economies of scale. The price problem is not due to cost of materials, energy or labor.

Our way of life will be little different when we are using renewable energy and driving 'electrics'.

Except we'll be spending less for electricity and driving.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Quoting weatherh98:


at least im not a carol"idiot" :P

I don't understand you sometimes. :P
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528
Quoting Tribucanes:
Not allowing me to plus comments or open ones that are closed today. Probably my country living, get horrible access some days.
You and me both. you just have to wait for the next blog page. its good for me today but had some trouble yesterday.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

He's being an idiot like always.

I already called annular Harrison. Earlier.


dude i was at a swim team breakfast didnt see it
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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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