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 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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Not allowing me to plus comments or open ones that are closed today. Probably my country living, get horrible access some days.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

He's being an idiot like always.


at least im not a carol"idiot" :P
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11/1800 UTC 14.7N 117.7W T5.5/5.5 EMILIA -- East Pacific
11/1800 UTC 15.4N 141.6W T1.0/1.5 DANIEL -- Central Pacific
CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.4 / 940.7mb/124.6kt

Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
6.4 6.5 6.5

Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


he did.
what ar you talking about?


he said to be honest...


tbh

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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


he did.
what ar you talking about?

He's being an idiot like always.

I already called annular Harrison. Earlier.
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Quoting BobWallace:


I certainly don't want to discourage you from planting trees. Plant a lot. Plant "useful" trees that give us food. Plant fruit trees where hungry people can pick some free fruit.

Planting trees is a good thing (done in the right places). But it's not a substitute for moving away from fossil fuels.
..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
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424. yoboi
Quoting Tribucanes:
Yobi, as a conservative Christian, I agree with you that only God knows the hour and day of his Son's return. On the same page, that could be 1, 5, 100, 1000 years from now. I personally believe it will be sooner than later, but we just don't know. Who says GW will not play a huge role in the quality of life on our planet before that fateful day comes. Just because we're Christians doesn't mean we should think GW won't have real serious impacts before the Tribulation. For that may not be in our lifetime or our children's lifetime. Sorry to jump down your throat a little Yobi, just was frustrated thinking you were intentionally twisting my words earlier.


it's cool climate change could be part of revelations i don't promote destroying our earth but at the end of the day i don't lose sleep over it, i put my faith in the Lord for i don't know the master plan.....
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Quoting weatherh98:


TBH's lyke omg lyke it up 1

Yes well now that it came out of ewrc it is on its way back up. You sure u dont wanna call annular yet?


he did.
what ar you talking about?
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Quoting RitaEvac:


GW is just an aspect of the 7 Thunders, all part of the plan


the warnings? like plagues and famine?
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0, 154N, 1415W, 30, 1006, TD,

TD Daniel
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
To be honest, 100 knots is being very conservative at this time.

************************************************* ***
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 11 JUL 2012 Time : 180000 UTC
Lat : 14:40:26 N Lon : 117:39:58 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.4 / 940.7mb/124.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
6.4 6.5 6.5

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 15 km

Center Temp : 4.4C Cloud Region Temp : -71.2C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

Ocean Basin : EAST PACIFIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : PACIFIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

C/K/Z MSLP Estimate Inputs :
- Average 34 knot radii : 80km
- Environmental MSLP : 1010mb

Satellite Viewing Angle : 26.4 degrees

************************************************* ***


TBH's lyke omg lyke it up 1

Yes well now that it came out of ewrc it is on its way back up. You sure u dont wanna call annular yet?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tribucanes:
Yobi, as a conservative Christian, I agree with you that only God knows the hour and day of his Son's return. On the same page, that could be 1, 5, 100, 1000 years from now. I personally believe it will be sooner than later, but we just don't know. Who says GW will not play a huge role in the quality of life on our planet before that fateful day comes. Just because we're Christians doesn't mean we should think GW won't have real serious impacts before the Tribulation. For that may not be in our lifetime or our children's lifetime. Sorry to jump down your throat a little Yobi, just was frustrated thinking you were intentionally twisting my words earlier.


GW is just an aspect of the 7 Thunders, all part of the plan. We're getting very close, the economic fallout on the horizon will start it, and the weather will help wipe out populations
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Resolute, Nunvaut in the far Canadian north at 74N latitude surpassed 20C(68F) on the 2nd day of July for the first time ever since record-keeping began up there in 1947. The thermometer peaked at 20.1C.

The temperature has been much above normal (from 5C to as much as 15C) for the last 2 weeks and is forecast to stay that way for the next week at least...
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


U2?

I don't listen to Irish Rock.
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Not in the least! What I find sarcastic is those that asks questions and seek no knowledge from the answers they get. VINNY04 asked a question out of a true interest in gaining more knowledge than what they already had. I may have been over thrilled in seeing an actual question being asked in a climate debate, but I was not being sarcastic.
but thank you for stating your opinion. i like it when people can state there opinions without arguing and challenging everything that someone else says.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


U2?


the band?
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That swirling ULL attached to the trof out in the Atlantic at around 25N-60W moving towards Florida (the naked swirl) is ever so slowly trying to work it's way down to the surface vort-wise at the 200 and 500 mb level but nothing at the lower levels yet.

The swirl:
Link

The 200mb:
Link

The 500mb:
Link

Nothing at the 700 or 850 levels...........Worth a look at tomorrow morning.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
To be honest, 100 knots is being very conservative at this time.

************************************************* ***
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 11 JUL 2012 Time : 180000 UTC
Lat : 14:40:26 N Lon : 117:39:58 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.4 / 940.7mb/124.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
6.4 6.5 6.5

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 15 km

Center Temp : +4.4C Cloud Region Temp : -71.2C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

Ocean Basin : EAST PACIFIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : PACIFIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

C/K/Z MSLP Estimate Inputs :
- Average 34 knot radii : 80km
- Environmental MSLP : 1010mb

Satellite Viewing Angle : 26.4 degrees

************************************************* ***
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BEST, 0, 147N, 1178W, 100, 960, HU,
Major Hurricane
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Deleted BECAUSE BobWallace had already linked to the article.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Yobi, as a conservative Christian, I agree with you that only God knows the hour and day of his Son's return. On the same page, that could be 1, 5, 100, 1000 years from now. I personally believe it will be sooner than later, but we just don't know. Who says GW will not play a huge role in the quality of life on our planet before that fateful day comes. Just because we're Christians doesn't mean we should think GW won't have real serious impacts before the Tribulation. For that may not be in our lifetime or our children's lifetime. Sorry to jump down your throat a little Yobi, just was frustrated thinking you were intentionally twisting my words earlier.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


*FACEPALM*
*FACEPALM*
*FACEPALM*
*FACEPALM*

No harrison, its not...

`lol sorry ice particle
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Extra large dust particle?


U2?
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Not in the least! What I find sarcastic is those that asks questions and seek no knowledge from the answers they get. VINNY04 asked a question out of a true interest in gaining more knowledge than what they already had. I may have been over thrilled in seeing an actual question being asked in a climate debate, but I was not being sarcastic.
Well it wasnt quite in true interest about global warming......... but about jupiter being a big ball of gas, then yes.
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Major Hurricane Emilia

EP, 05, 2012071118, , BEST, 0, 147N, 1178W, 100, 960, HU,
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Quoting LargoFl:
oh boy here comes that lightning again
yup and i cant wait!
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


did you build an ark?


We have good drainage, lots of bayous that run into the lake and out to the gulf.
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Deleted
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting wxmod:


Bob, you know the real tipping point in the public opinion war is going to be when Santa can't come to Christmas because there's not enough ice to ride his sleigh across. And then the real concern will deepen when there's no more ice at all and Santa and all the little dwarfies are drowned in the deep blue arctic sea.
Oh my! What are we gonna tell the babies!


The first summer Arctic meltout will (hopefully) get a lot of people's attention.

I grew up in a world that believed that the Arctic ice pack was a permanent part of our world. In just a few decades we're seeing a basic belief being destroyed.

We're going to have to tell the babies that we screwed up their future....
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400. yoboi
Quoting Tribucanes:
Yobi, you can put words in my mouth if you want. I'm speaking the dead honest truth in my last comment on the last page. I'm not advocating what you insinuate I am, was just stating a universal fact. We've just few, "people first, truth and scientific fact first politicians to vote for" Bought and paid for on both sides of the isle. We need more and better choices; but who's got the money to run these days? But that's the whole point isn't it, it's RIGGED for BUSINESS first, people last. If your wondering what I mean, instead of trying to change my meaning yourself, how bout you ask; or do you just like to distort the truth?


i was just going by what ya typed, can't read minds...sorry if ya took it the wrong waay...
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


*FACEPALM*
*FACEPALM*
*FACEPALM*
*FACEPALM*

No harrison, its not...

Extra large dust particle?
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Quoting weatherh98:


every day for the last week!


did you build an ark?
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Quoting BobWallace:
I certainly don't want to discourage you from planting trees. Plant a lot. Plant "useful" trees that give us food. Plant fruit trees where hungry people can pick some free fruit.

Planting trees is a good thing (done in the right places). But it's not a substitute for moving away from fossil fuels.
True that. I disagree with the folks who think we can continue BAU and somehow geo-engineer our way out, it is like hoping for cold fusion to save us.
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Quoting quasistationary:
Joe Bastardi ‏@BigJoeBastardi
Tree-ring study proves that climate was WARMER in Roman and Medieval times than it is in the modern


image, link?

or not
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Quoting VINNY04:
... A significant weather advisory has been issued for central
Citrus... Hillsborough... Pasco and southwestern Hernando counties for
strong thunderstorms with strong wind gusts valid until 315 PM EDT...

At 215 PM EDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicates
strong thunderstorms located along a line extending from 43 miles
northwest of Homosassa to 13 miles northwest of Homosassa to 8 miles
west of Bayport... or along a line extending from 9 miles north of
Cedar Key to 14 miles west of Crystal River to 12 miles north of
Hudson... moving west at 20 mph will affect rural central Citrus
County and rural southwestern Hernando County.

Additional storms are moving into eastern Hillsborough and eastern
Pasco counties.

Gusty winds of 45 to 55 mph can be expected which can cause unsecured
objects to blow around... snap tree limbs and cause power outages.
Hail up to penny size may occur. Frequent to continuous lightning is
expected. To be safe go indoors immediately. If caught outside... find
a low spot... and stay away from tall objects. When driving through
heavy rain... slow down. Always leave a safe distance between you and
other vehicles.

My kind of weather!
oh boy here comes that lightning again
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Quoting BobWallace:


Actually, if you look at the current top of this blog you'll see it's a climate change blog page.

Could be that "remember this pretty 'cane?" posts are off topic....


the climate change is fine, the politics is not...
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Joe Bastardi ‏@BigJoeBastardi
Tree-ring study proves that climate was WARMER in Roman and Medieval times than it is in the modern
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weatherh98:


hey look! its a dust particle


*FACEPALM*
*FACEPALM*
*FACEPALM*
*FACEPALM*

No harrison, its not...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


daily inch of rain?

I sure hope not


every day for the last week!
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


i agree with some of what people say, but this is a weather blog.




Actually, if you look at the current top of this blog you'll see it's a climate change blog page.

Could be that "remember this pretty 'cane?" posts are off topic....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weatherh98:
the winds are blowing now as it rains... getting our daily incho rain this afternoon


daily inch of rain?

I sure hope not
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
... A significant weather advisory has been issued for central
Citrus... Hillsborough... Pasco and southwestern Hernando counties for
strong thunderstorms with strong wind gusts valid until 315 PM EDT...

At 215 PM EDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicates
strong thunderstorms located along a line extending from 43 miles
northwest of Homosassa to 13 miles northwest of Homosassa to 8 miles
west of Bayport... or along a line extending from 9 miles north of
Cedar Key to 14 miles west of Crystal River to 12 miles north of
Hudson... moving west at 20 mph will affect rural central Citrus
County and rural southwestern Hernando County.

Additional storms are moving into eastern Hillsborough and eastern
Pasco counties.

Gusty winds of 45 to 55 mph can be expected which can cause unsecured
objects to blow around... snap tree limbs and cause power outages.
Hail up to penny size may occur. Frequent to continuous lightning is
expected. To be safe go indoors immediately. If caught outside... find
a low spot... and stay away from tall objects. When driving through
heavy rain... slow down. Always leave a safe distance between you and
other vehicles.

My kind of weather!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The rain today is the first time it has rained in Satellite Beach, FL since TS Debby. I hoping for a lot more to come.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


i agree with some of what people say, but this is a weather blog.


And an astronomy blog:
Hubble discovers new Pluto moon


hey look! its a dust particle
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
385. yoboi
Quoting schwankmoe:


a lot of people believe the best kind of cucumber's a pickle. has about as much to do with the globe warming as the bible does.

the fact that the globe is getting hotter is irrespective of anybody's beliefs. i'm jewish and my beliefs don't discount the laws of gravity or the fact that you have to stand up to avoid falling down.


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....
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Bob Wallace, I was taking my numbers from Jeff's numbers (97%) and recent polls done on what American's actually believe on GW. Several polls have been done recently by an Ivy League school and the Washington Post, got my numbers from there. These polls ebb and flow so I'm not surprised your saying it's a little different. Point is scientific opinion and public opinion, even if 50% percent of US citizens believe GW is happening, is way apart. In a free society, where information is freely and honestly dispensed this is not the gap in knowledge one would expect. This gap represents a hugely successful misinformation campaign by those desperate to keep profits for themselves and the truth from John Q. Public.
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Quoting yoboi:


?????


I no longer ponder. The answer was loaded and not the question.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting VINNY04:
Is it not working for you GeorgiaStormz? i guess i was the only one who behaved myself.


i agree with some of what people say, but this is a weather blog.


And an astronomy blog:
Hubble discovers new Pluto moon
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Quoting weatherh98:


discussing is fine yelling at each other is not okay
yah they sould behave. throw them out and the rest of us have a civilized debate.
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.