Year 3, Month 3, Day 11: Tighten Up, Willya?

The Malaysia Star runs a Reuters story on the increase in tornadoes as a consequence of You-Know-What:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When at least 80 tornadoes rampaged across the United States, from the Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico, last Friday, it was more than is typically observed during the entire month of March, tracking firm reported on Monday.

According to some climate scientists, such earlier-than-normal outbreaks of tornadoes, which typically peak in the spring, will become the norm as the planet warms.

“As spring moves up a week or two, tornado season will start in February instead of waiting for April,” said climatologist Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Whether climate change will also affect the frequency or severity of tornadoes, however, remains very much an open question, and one that has received surprisingly little study.

“There are only a handful of papers, even to this day,” said atmospheric scientist Robert Trapp of Purdue University, who led a pioneering 2007 study of tornadoes and climate change.

I used this as the hook for some large-scale moralizing. Cheers. Sent March 5:

In the unfolding disaster of global warming, our species faces a crisis so broad in scope and diverse in symptoms that it is almost impossible to imagine. Until now, of course. The sudden uptick in extreme storms and climatic disturbances is giving us a preview of the coming centuries, and it isn’t pretty. The temperatures are still rising, and only a fool could now suggest that the weather is going back the way it was when we were young.

Modern humans are indeed uniquely situated in history; our global response to the crisis will shape the fate of our descendants. They will judge us harshly if we continue to put CO2 in the air, our behavior a mix of carelessness and callousness. If we put aside petty politics and addressed the unfolding climate crisis with responsibility and integrity, our children’s children’s children will justly remember us with respect and reverence.

Warren Senders

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