89 dead and 2000 buildings leveled down in Joplin, Missouri. The number is expected to rise, after a severe tornado hit the city and as the more storms keep hitting it. Tornadoes are hitting the mid-western and southeastern cities and towns in United States, much more frequently and with much more intensity. These extremely sad and tragic events, provide us another opportunity to re-think and change our course of action. Things happen for a reason and all this cannot be ruled by labeling just as “nature”, “chance” or “God’s punishment”. To explore this topic further, first of all we need to find out, how the tornadoes are formed? A very good explanation of tornado formation can be found at ThinkQuest.org :
“They usually form in a giant rotating thunderstorm called a supercell. Supercells form when cold polar air meets warm tropical air. The result is a great instability caused by the rising warm air. A squall line, or narrow zone of cumulonimbus clouds forms, giving life to the tornadoes. Lightning flashes, and heavy rains and hail begin to fall. Soon after, the easiest recognizable part of the tornado, the funnel, seems to descend from the base of the cloud. In actuality, it does not, but rather the pressure within the cloud drops due to the increasing wind speeds. This is known as Bernoulli’s principle. As the pressure drops, it causes moisture in the air to condense. This action continues down the spiral, giving the impression that the funnel is descending from the cloud base. In addition to the visible funnel, there is also a hissing sound, which turns into a loud roar when the tornado touches the earth.” Huffington Post article, 2011 Tornadoes: Is Climate Change To Blame For The Devastating Weather? [UPDATE] states:
“Yet some scientists say that climate change — especially the increased greenhouse gas concentrations associated with global warming — may be at least somewhat related to the formation of tornadoes.
A 2008 report from the U.S. Global Change and Research Program, a federal interagency research program overseen by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, found that more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could lead to an increase in severe storm conditions that make tornadoes possible.”
Please check out this Time magazine article:
“It is true, however, that as the climate warms, more moisture will evaporate into the atmosphere. Warmer temperatures and more moisture will give storm systems that much more energy to play with, like adding nitroglycerin to the atmosphere. This month’s possibly record-breaking tornadoes are due in part to an unusually warm Gulf of Mexico, where as Freedman reports, water surface temperatures are 1 to 2.5 C above the norm. The Gulf feeds moisture northward to storm systems as they move across the country, and that warm moist air from the south meeting cool, dry air from the Plains often results in some powerful weather.”
“It’s very likely that a warmer world will see more severe weather, and certainly a more populated world will mean more people at risk from those events.”
Please, also, have a look at NewsScientist.com article, Is climate change causing an upsurge in US tornadoes?
“FROM the start of 2008, something seemed amiss with the weather. During an unseasonably warm January, two tornadoes struck Kenosha County, Wisconsin, damaging 105 homes. It was only the second known January tornado strike in Wisconsin. Just a few days later, a tornado struck Vancouver in Washington – only the third January tornado in that state since 1950.
Then on 5 and 6 February, a storm system spawned 84 tornadoes across several southern states as their primary elections took place. Five of the tornadoes were powerful EF4s on the so-called Enhanced Fujita scale. The Super Tuesday outbreak was the worst for 23 years, and left 57 dead. Once again, it came unusually early in the year. Unusually warm weather seemed partly to blame.
By the end of that month, 2008 already seemed to be one for the record books. Altogether there were 148 tornadoes.”
In another article AudobonMagazine.org wrote:
“At least 291 people died in the storms that ripped across the South this week, with 204 fatalities occurring in Alabama. This month, there have been nearly 300 confirmed tornadoes, breaking a 36-year-old record. Now, Mississippi and Louisiana are bracing for flooding as the Mississippi River swells with rain from the fierce storms.”
“What’s certain is that tornadoes require warm, moist air meeting fast-moving cold air.”
“The government is still tallying up the tornadoes, but it looks like this April is poised to break the record for the most tornadoes in April (currently, the record goes to April 1954, which saw 407 hit). The cause is an unusually powerful jet stream.
The extreme tornado activity has many people wondering if global warming is the cause, or at least a contributing factor.”
“But some of those same models also suggest wetter conditions in tornado country, which is the other key ingredient in storm formation.”
“Still, as the planet warms, we’re going to see changes in weather events. Instead of cutting funding for climate-related programs at agencies like NOAA, we should be investing in them.”
in another article wrote this:
“Today, the US policy of burning fossil fuels unabated has increased the probability of life-threatening storms.
By the time the link between climate change and any one weather event can be absolutely established, it may be too late to do anything—as horrifically demonstrated in the South last week.
—A NASA study in 2007 predicted climate change would lead to more tornadoes and lethal storms in the United States, and ignoring this warning in light of recent events would seem foolhardy.
Whether or not last week’s tornadoes were caused by climate change, extreme weather is on the rise.”
I would like to send you to another article published in dailykos.com mentioned:
“Sorry I don’t have any time to develop this, but in light of recent events I wanted to point out this 2007 report regarding NASA’s predictions that climate change could cause violent storms and tornadoes, and extreme wildfires:
Global Warming Will Bring Violent Storms And Tornadoes, NASA Predicts
Science Daily (Aug. 31, 2007) — NASA scientists have developed a new climate model that indicates that the most violent severe storms and tornadoes may become more common as Earth’s climate warms.
These effects combine to cause more of the continental storms that form in the warmer climate to resemble the strongest storms we currently experience.”
When there is so much evidence in the favor of climate change and climate change causing severe weather related conditions, including tornadoes then, why it is necessary to definitively prove that any specific event was caused by climate change or not, unless you don’t want to understand, at all? There is so much corporate interest and money involved in denying the climate change that whatever evidence and proof you provide and whatever happens, some people, media and politicians will never accept a climate change. Unfortunately, there are many among us for whom the most unscientific propaganda from these anti-climate change outlets is the word of God , which requires no scrutiny or scientific evidence or proof, while, they keep asking climate change groups for more and more evidence and proof. They believe that for them just the denial is enough, while, climate change groups must keep furnishing an unending body of evidence and proof. Does this make sense to you?