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 AllBoardedUp:
Anytime. But on a serious note you might like to read some of the links I posted at #1062. He write a lot more eloquently than myself.

I'm not naive to believe all of our social problems are directly a result of taking the Bible out of public schools but I think it played a big part.

I'm 48 years old and I can see the decline of societal behavior from my childhood to the present. I think to deny this is not accepting reality as well.

If I could only show you, or wxgeekva, some of the behavior exhibited in the public schools I taught in, then you would see it from my perspective. And there many public schools much worse than the ones I had the privilege of teaching in.


I'm a senior in high school right now and I don't see anything bad in school or anything that suggests a problem in the education system. In fact, my dad says that from what homework I bring home school is harder and stricter than it was when he was in school.
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1130. nigel20
Emilia

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Quoting gulfbreeze:
WE need a somthing to track but that want happen untill August!!!!

Be careful...I'd be cautious in discounting the system over Florida poised to move into the eastern GOM in next 24 hours. That's a system with a surface structure coming together and very favorable upper winds at the moment. Details in paragraph P7 of my new blog post...
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Quoting Grothar:
Everybody brush up on your mid-Atlantic maps for next week. From now on, only one hint a day.

Here comes the Train!!
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1127. hydrus
NSSL WRF 4 km grid initialized 00 UTC Jul 11 2012

36 h Total Precipitation (mm)
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1126. hydrus
Big changes for the S.E...Flooding a real threat, even for areas affected by severe drought ...Now..48 hours84 hours, and moisture flow piling up in the S.E. from the Atlantic and gulf..
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Anytime. But on a serious note you might like to read some of the links I posted at #1062. He write a lot more eloquently than myself.

I'm not naive to believe all of our social problems are directly a result of taking the Bible out of public schools but I think it played a big part.

I'm 48 years old and I can see the decline of societal behavior from my childhood to the present. I think to deny this is not accepting reality as well.

If I could only show you, or wxgeekva, some of the behavior exhibited in the public schools I taught in, then you would see it from my perspective. And there many public schools much worse than the ones I had the privilege of teaching in.
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Quoting Patrap:
There are now 162 days 4 hours and 47minutes until the 2012 Winter Solstice

EP052012 - Major Hurricane EMILIA


Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)




I wonder who will get the last comment in before this happens/doesn't happen!
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1123. Ossqss
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


I lack a strong knowledge of weather systems. You fail to give me enough credit for as to how the climate works and what can affect the climate. ... Nice try though. BTW, weather does not change the climate. Weather patterns change when the climate changes.


Agreed, weather is not climate.

Cheers!

Gnight....
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WE need a somthing to track but that want happen untill August!!!!
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Quoting Grothar:
Everybody brush up on your mid-Atlantic maps for next week. From now on, only one hint a day.

I'd love to Gro, but for now it's just too damn dry

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Quoting AllBoardedUp:
I'll get a bucket for you!
Well at least you are considerate, thanks for the bucket.
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1119. Grothar
Everybody brush up on your mid-Atlantic maps for next week. From now on, only one hint a day.

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Deleted
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4772
Atlantic Tropical update on my blog just released...been doing these daily (if not almost daily) since the season started...

I updated the situation developing over Florida and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
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I'll get a bucket for you!
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Strange Vortex Discovered on Saturn Moon Titan

by SPACE.com Staff Date: 10 July 2012 Time: 06:27 PM ET



This true color image captured by NASA'S Cassini spacecraft before a distant flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on June 27, 2012, shows a south polar vortex swirling in the moon's atmosphere.
CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute


A NASA spacecraft has spied a vortex swirling in the atmosphere high above the south pole of the Saturn moon Titan, hinting that winter may be coming to the huge body's southern reaches.

NASA's Cassini probe photographed the polar vortex — or mass of swirling gas — during a flyby of Titan on June 27. The vortex appears to complete one full rotation in nine hours, while it takes Titan about 16 days to spin once around its axis.

"The structure inside the vortex is reminiscent of the open cellular convection that is often seen over Earth's oceans," Tony Del Genio, a Cassini team member at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, said in a statement.

Link
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Deleted
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4772
Quoting Tribucanes:
Bob Wallace, your wrong. Wrong I tell you, flat out.
It'd be nice if you used some reasoning to support your argument.
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1109. Grothar
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

A majority of the blog has been off topic for the past few hours. There has been no name calling/insulting and a lot of respected opinions.

That's why makes it ok.


But not that some of us hadn't at least thought of some. :)
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Quoting scooster67:

Evolution is the biggest lie ever crammed down our throats, even more so than AGW.
It wouldn't be crammed down your throat if you accepted reality.
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Quoting stormchaser19:


Remember what occurred with debby, every single model says she was going to texas and the GFS going to florida, and the GFS was right.

If the GFS says the MJO goes to africa and west.hem, i believe in GFS. the GFS is the first option the best of the season
The GFS is about the 3rd or 4th best global model (behind the ECMWF and UKMET, and even the CMC in certain departments). Just because it did well in one situation, doesn't mean we should suddenly latch on to the GFS. If we look at the skill of the models predicting the MJO, we can also see that the GFS has done a pretty poor job lately, coming in 4th behind the UKMET, ECMWF and CMC.

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1105. Ossqss
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


I make comments on the jokes because I understand how jokes work.

Weather systems are not something that I understand how they work. Hence, the legitimacy of my handle. ;-)

Rest assured that I do follow your weather posts and learn from them. I learn from all that posts here, but I ain't there yet. Admittedly, it is not the fault of the teachers, but of this student. ... Keep trying though. I am slowly getting there. ;-) ..... Sadly, by the time I get it figured it, the climate will have changed and I have to start all over again. .... Sorry, but I had to throw that last bit in there. ;-)


Nice, you are getting the connections?

Sorry, but I had to throw this last bit in there. ;-)

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Quoting 12george1:

Off topic

A majority of the blog has been off topic for the past few hours. There has been no name calling/insulting and a lot of respected opinions.

That's why makes it ok.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Yes, that is true.But the waves wont be very high with the TUTT around.


The only way to get some waves is during a Tropical wave / storm / hurricane event in the surroundings of the island...

Usually, when a hurricane passes N of the island, what surfers call the "tail of the hurricane" moves wind from the S creatin "glazed" conditions in the N shores...
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Deleted
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1101. nigel20
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1099. etxwx
Quoting Grothar:


And what do you think of my earlier analysis that 98E might be a threat to Baja California and possibly the US Southwest? See, everybody reads my jokes, but nobody comments on my astute weather reports. It hurts guys.


While my sense of humor is reasonably well developed, alas, my sense of astute weatherisms is not. And besides, if we plus all your comments, you will think we are merely trying to curry favor. ;-)
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


1. 99.9999 percent of people are against child pornography, and it is still illegal and completely wrong.

2. There has only been like one instance since Columbine of anything along those lines happening, so that isn't the "norm"

3. Out of control society? I'm pretty sure this isn't anarchy right now. Sure, things have changed and we are more liberal as a nation, but out of control? Hardly.

4. I don't see myself running around dirty, eating bananas, chucking my feces at people, and having no language skills or any other traits that are unique to humans. Nor do I see anyone else on the streets doing those things.

So therefore, your statement is invalid and unreasonable and based on no facts whatsoever. Please try again with something that actually makes sense.

Off topic
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Derived from the 12July12pmGMT (NHC) ATCF data for HurricaneEmilia:
14.7n117.0w - 14.7n117.8w has been re-evaluated&altered
14.6n117.0w - 14.7n117.8w - 14.9n118.6w are now the most recent positions

Its vector had changed from 9mph(14.5km/h) WNWest to 9.2mph(14.8km/h) WNWest
MaxSusWinds had had held steady at 100knots(115mph)185km/h
And minimum pressure had increased from 960millibars to 962millibars

For those who like to visually track H.Emilia's path...
HPV is Hanalei :: OGG is Kahului :: UPP is Hawi :: HI25 is Naalehu :: SAN is SanDiego

The connected line-segments represent (the most recent majority of) H.Emilia's path thus far
Westernmost dot on the connected line-segments is HurricaneEmilia's most recent position

The longest line is a straightline projection thru H.Emilias's 2 most recent positions to its closest approach to TheBigIsland's coastline
11July12amGMT: H.Emilia had been headed toward passing 217miles(349kilometres) north of Kauai
11July6amGMT: H.Emilia had been headed toward passing over Pe'ahi,Maui
11July12pmGMT: H.Emilia had been headed toward passing 207miles(333kilometres) South of Hawaii
11July6pmGMT: H.Emilia had been headed toward passing 199miles(321kilometres) South of Hawaii
12July12amGMT: H.Emilia was heading toward passing 7miles(12kilometres) North of TheBigIsland
in ~11days2hours

Copy&paste 22.235n159.403w, hpv, 8.8n156.2w, ogg, upp, 18.911n155.681w, hi25, 25.369n159.021w, 20.943n156.279w, 15.905n155.498w, 16.016n155.512w, san, 13.2n111.7w-13.4n112.5w, 13.4n112.5w-13.6n113.3w, 13.6n113.3w-13.8n114.1w, 13.8n114.1w-14.2n115.1w, 14.2n115.1w-14.5n116.2w, 14.5n116.2w-14.6n117.0w, 14.6n117.0w-14.7n117.8w, 14.7n117.8w-14.9n118.6w, 14.7n117.8w-20.375n155.845w, 20.268n155.85w-20.375n155.845w into the GreatCircleMapper for more information
The previous mapping for comparison
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1096. nigel20
Good evening everyone!

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1095. timtlu
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I'm still waiting for proof that god actually exists. We're supposed to believe he does because someone wrote a book about it? Where's the scientific evidence behind that?


There is no "proof" God actually exists. The belief that He does, by definition, is exactly what faith is. There never will be proof as hard as you want to look. I say this as a believing Christian.

Ironically, this is much the similar case to global warming. There is no "proof" that such exists, only overwhelming facts that point to its existence. Much the same as the facts that point to evolution, and equally to the facts that Jesus did indeed exist as His entire story is told. Faith in any or all of the above is all that can exist. And actually the further you delve into any of these three beliefs the more you can see they must ultimately coexist.
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Invest 98E:

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Quoting scooster67:

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

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


Quoting BobWallace:


In science the word "theory" is used as the best telling of the tale based on available facts. It's the story that pulls everything together.

The theory of evolution, the theory of gravity - those things mean something vastly different than how non-scientists use the word. Non-scientists use "theory" in more of a "that's an idea"/"hypothesis" manner.

The theory of evolution is based on an enormous number of facts. And that's a fact.


From weather to evolution. A very interesting change in topic. One wonders how it ended up in this forum.

First off, those wishing to mix religion with the science of biological evolution: You would be best served if you kept them separate. Religion is about having faith in the absence of empirical evidence; Science is about arriving to a conclusion through observation, data gathering, and mathematical analysis of that data. There is room for both in the human psyche, but if you use one to supplant the other, you risk corrupting both.

Next: the topic of biological evolution. Summary definition: Genetic change of a population over time. Summary definition of evolution through natural selection: Differential reproductive success.

These processes function through small changes in DNA that manifest in physical traits which provide an advantage to survival under a given set of environmental circumstances. These DNA changes can occur through two methods: Mutation and recombination (sexual reproduction). Most DNA changes through these methods offer physical traits that provide no actual advantage in a specific environment. Some cause disadvantages (consider the various human genetic diseases). A very small portion provide actual advantages in a specific environment.

Over time, these advantages build up in a reproducing population due to a higher reproductive success rate, due primarily to a higher ability to survive to procreation. The advantageous trait is then handed to the next generation which carry the trait to their own offspring, who in turn have a higher survivorship/reproduction rate. When multiple and successive genetic changes occur in these populations, which takes thousands of generations and occur on a timescale multiple of the lifespan of the species, a new species is established.

This process has been described in excruciating mathematical detail by dedicated biologists for over 100 years. Every species that exists on the planet today arrived here by that method. It has and continues to be the physical process by which life as we know it operates. There is no dispute of this whatsoever in the biological sciences, and many learned, modern-day religious leaders understand the need to let science be science, and let faith be faith.

Rant complete.

Now, can we please go back to talking about the weather and climate?
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Quoting Grothar:


And what do you think of my earlier analysis that 98E might be a threat to Baja California and possibly the US Southwest? See, everybody reads my jokes, but nobody comments on my astute weather reports. It hurts guys.


I agree with that assessment.
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1091. bappit
quoting:
" However, you might want to realize that the word "theory" carries a different connotation in a scientific context. In that realm it literally means "fact". "

Nope. This theory about what theories are is balderdash.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6157
Quoting PcolaSurf182:



I've had many fun sessions at Surfer's Beach, Wilderness, and Jobo's! Hope to get back down there this year in January or February. Tough living on the Gulf Coast of Florida and loving to surf.


I enjoyed two epic swells at Maria's and Domes this past season...

But living in Caguas, I usually exercise at "La Punta" in Condado...

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The Catholic Church contributed greatly to science by the way.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/woods/woods40.html
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Hurricane Emilia:

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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


The fringe of tropical moisture streaming into Southern California from the southeast today. Forecast calls for 70% change of Thunderstorms tomorrow and friday. A easterly wave is forecast to traverse northern baja california and should have enough vertical motion to sustain thunderstorms after the loss of daytime heating.Easterly wave seen in lower right corner in satellite view. Let's hope they are correct,I don't think it's rained since April!

Hey Joe, I hope you do get some rain up in the mountains. Down by the coast we probably won't get anything, but maybe we'll get a glimpse of some towering thunderstorms building up in the distance, that's always a neat site.
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1086. Grothar
Quoting KoritheMan:
Seems you were right, Gro. She's still chugging along at 100 kt.


And what do you think of my earlier analysis that 98E might be a threat to Baja California and possibly the US Southwest? See, everybody reads my jokes, but nobody comments on my astute weather reports. It hurts guys.
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Tropical Depression DANIEL Advisory Number 32
Issued at 500 PM HST WED JUL 11 2012
SUMMARY OF 500 PM HST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
Location: 15.5N 143.7W
ABOUT 805 MI...1295 KM ESE OF HILO HAWAII
ABOUT 1015 MI...1630 KM ESE OF HONOLULU HAWAII
Maximum sustained winds: 35 MPH...55 KM/H
Present movement: W or 270 degrees AT 15 MPH...24 KM/H
Minimum central pressure: 1007 MB...29.74 INCHES
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Quoting allancalderini:
Love Daniel he even surprise us when he reach major hurricane status an amazing system.

Yep.
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See Post #1062, he puts things in a much better perspective than I can on a blog.
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Hubble Discovers a Fifth Moon Orbiting Pluto

ScienceDaily (July 11, 2012) %u2014 A team of astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is reporting the discovery of another moon orbiting the icy dwarf planet Pluto....

Link



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Love Daniel he even surprise us when he reach major hurricane status an amazing system.
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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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