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Discussion: (13 comments)

  1. morganovich
  2. This does show that humans have a great ability in predicting the past and the present, but not the future in any great detail.

    My own idea as to climate change (climate warming, in particular) is that it is, in fact, occurring. However, it is likely to occur over centuries and not dramatically over decades as some are saying. Worst case scenarios seem to be sprouting everywhere. I don’t think so. Yes, low lying areas can be hard hit. People will die and others will benefit.

    I think it best to relax, be aware of the possibilities – and prepare gradually. Panic decisions leave a lot of room for major errors in judgment – and human-caused disasters.

    But to deny climate change (and warming) has very little to support such a conclusion. The evidence is there – in the air, in the ocean, in the ground. My studies of geology, the way the earth works, oceanography, etc. does indicate that over the longer term, humans will have to adapt.

    The only thing that can kill off the human race would likely be an ice age, which could happen very quickly if a volcano such as Yellowstone were ever to explode.

    Earth warming seems to be a mixed blessing in contrast.

    Just saying.

    1. I agree. For example, we can all see that all the glaciers are melting and decreasing in size everywhere. It is a directly measurable phenomenon. This warming may be just an oscillation, but Global WARMING, not just climate change, is happening, no doubt about it.

      The question is now at what rate is it happening worldwide on average, and if it is indeed an oscillation, and (barring a natural catastrophe like an massive eruption) then will it naturally reverse itself and when? Nobody knows yet.

    2. That’s interesting a lot of glaciers are getting bigger. The more I did into this the more it is becoming a third or fourth order effect, if any. AGW is a religion and as such it is futile to argue with a true believers.

  3. Benjamin Cole

    The truth is trailer parks attract tornadoes. As living standards have improved in the Midwest, there not so many trailer parks. Some regions banned them. Ergo, fewer tornadoes. BTW. There used to be a boss car named the Toronado.

    1. morganovich
  4. Harold Brooks

    The decrease in reports of strong and violent tornadoes over the years is mostly, if not entirely, due to changes in reporting and damage estimation practices. This has been discussed in the scientific literature for at least 25 years.

    1. be nice to have a link because on the surface this makes no sense

      1. Harold Brooks

        Here’s a sample of the discussion on changes in rating practice.

        Grazulis, 1993 (with supplement): Significant Tornadoes, 1680-1991 (hardback available at Amazon)
        Burgess and Doswell, 1988: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0493(1988)116%3C0495:OSIOUS%3E2.0.CO;2
        Brooks and Craven, 2002: http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/users/brooks/public_html/papers/bcSLS21.pdf
        Brooks, 2004: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0434(2004)019%3C0310:OTROTP%3E2.0.CO;2
        Verbout et al. 2006: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/WAF910.1
        Doswell et al, 2009: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosres.2008.11.003

  5. Mr. Econotarian

    “The decrease in reports of strong and violent tornadoes over the years is mostly, if not entirely, due to changes in reporting and damage estimation practices. This has been discussed in the scientific literature for at least 25 years.”

    So does that mean we basically don’t know how many F3+ tornadoes happened in the 1960’s, or that we do know but have to make an adjustment to the numbers?

    (I would not be surprised if before doppler radar we had little idea of the true numbers of F3+ tornadoes that happened in non-populated areas – even today, doppler radar doesn’t cover the country).

    1. Harold Brooks

      “So does that mean we basically don’t know how many F3+ tornadoes happened in the 1960′s, or that we do know but have to make an adjustment to the numbers?”

      It means we don’t really know. From looking at the environments the tornadoes occurred in, there are a lot of tornadoes rated F2 and higher in the era prior to ~1975 that occurred in environments that F2+ tornadoes were very rarely observed in after 1975 and that the distribution of environmental conditions for F2 tornadoes prior to ’75 looks like a combination of the distribution for F1 and F2 in ’75-’99.

      The pre-’75 tornadoes weren’t rated when the occurred. The F-scale was adopted in the mid-70s and the earlier tornadoes were retrospectively rated based off of the text description of damage by undergraduates hired for the summer. There are a number of threads of evidence that suggest they overrated the tornadoes by ~1/2 F-scale (environments, path length, width, etc.) Tom Grazulis did a project for the NRC where he collected information on F2+ tornadoes through 1995. His numbers are much lower for F3+ prior to ’75 and show no trend.

      The second big change in rating occurred ~2000-2001. Input from the engineering community and some policy changes led to another apparent decrease in the ratings. Doppler radar has nothing to do with it. Radar data has influenced probably 5-10 ratings over the course of the database.

  6. if the idiom “blowing hot air” has any validity, then every time obama gives a speech portion of the arctic ice sheet melts.

  7. While, it’s true that one cannot link individual events to climate change, and that trends are important, we still have a very short record of reliable information about significant/violent tornadoes in the U.S. Here’s an “inconvenient fact” that the author doesn’t know: meteorologically speaking, periods of increased tornadic activity are believed to occur in cycles. For the Chicago area, this is believed to occur in ~45 year cycles, based on information from the late 1800s-now. Data from the earlier time periods is not presented in the graphic provided in this article. You can reference the first link I provided for local information in Northeastern Illinois going back to 1880. The second link I provided admits that the connection between tornadoes and climate change is not yet clear. This is fact however: the U.S. will always experience tornadoes, including violent tornadoes. As the population increases, more damage will occur to places that were previously open land. This is the increase in risk that the U.S. is facing. Everyone in states affected by significant tornadoes should know how to react when a tornado warning is issued.

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/images/lot/severe/Chicago_Area_Tornadoes.pdf

    http://www.livescience.com/34488-tornado-unknowns.html

    – a meteorologist

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