Are Tornado Increases Related To Climate Change? It Depends.

Some clarification on a subject that's on a lot of our minds, via Good Environment: This incredible satellite video from NOAA shows all of the vortexes throughout April as red dots. Watch the historically unprecedented month unfold: For

Some clarification on a subject that's on a lot of our minds, via Good Environment:

This incredible satellite video from NOAA shows all of the vortexes throughout April as red dots. Watch the historically unprecedented month unfold:

For any concerned and conscientious soul, it's hard to mentally and emotionally put the pieces together of these connected, but distinct, disasters.

There's the climate change question, of course, which has been answered unsatisfyingly dozens of times already. Short answer: we don't really know. It's complicated.

Two essential reads on this subject are Andrew Freedman's take on theCapitol Weather Gang blog, and Joe Romm's on ClimateProgress, in which he concludes:

  1. When discussing extreme weather and climate, tornadoes should not be conflated with the other extreme weather events for which the connection is considerably more straightforward and better documented, including deluges, droughts, and heat waves.
  2. Just because the tornado-warming link is more tenuous doesn’t mean that the subject of global warming should be avoided entirely when talking about tornadoes.

In other words, it'd be irresponsible to make a straightforward connection between tornadoes and climate change. But it'd also be irresponsible not to discuss the potential for a connection and to work to better understand that potential.

About Susie Madrak

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