• November 23, 2014

Study links warming to some 2012 wild weather

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Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013 4:30 am

WASHINGTON — A study of a dozen of 2012’s wildest weather events found that man-made global warming increased the likelihood of about half of them, including superstorm Sandy’s devastating surge and the blistering U.S. summer heat.

The other half — including a record wet British summer and the U.S. drought last year — simply reflected the random freakiness of weather, researchers with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the British meteorological office concluded in a report issued Thursday.

The scientists conducted thousands of runs of different computer simulations that looked at various factors, such as moisture in the air, atmospheric flow, and sea temperature and level.

The approach represents an evolution in the field. Scientists used to say that individual weather events — a specific hurricane or flood, for example — cannot be attributed to climate change. But recently, researchers used computer simulations to look at extreme events in a more nuanced way and measure the influence of climate change on their likelihood and magnitude.

This is the second year that NOAA and the British meteorology office teamed up to look at the greenhouse gas connection to the previous year’s unusual events.

“We’ve got some new evidence that human influence has changed the risk and has changed it enough that we can detect it,” study lead author Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution for the British meteorological office, said at a news conference.

The researchers said climate change had made these 2012 events more likely: U.S. heat waves, superstorm Sandy flooding, shrinking Arctic sea ice, drought in Europe’s Iberian peninsula, and extreme rainfall in Australia and New Zealand.

The 78 international researchers, however, found no global warming connection for the U.S. drought, Europe’s summer extremes, a cold spell in the Netherlands, drought in eastern Kenya and Somalia, floods in northern China and heavy rain in southwestern Japan.

That doesn’t mean that there weren’t climate change factors involved, just that researchers couldn’t find or prove them, said the authors of the 84-page study, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

All 12 events — chosen in part because of their location and the effect they had on society — would have happened anyway, but their magnitude and likelihood were boosted in some cases by global warming, the researchers said.

The two events where scientists found the biggest climate change connection both hit the United States.

The likelihood of the record July U.S. heat wave that hit the Northeast and north-central region is four times greater now than in preindustrial times because of greenhouse gases, Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh found in his analysis.

The kind of surge-related flooding that superstorm Sandy brought to parts of New York City is about 50 percent more likely than it was in 1950, said study co-author William Sweet, a NOAA oceanographer.

Stott said one of the hardest connections to make is for rainfall. The researchers were able to connect three of the eight instances of too much or too little rain to climate change; the five other instances were attributed to natural variability.

The different authors of the 21 chapters used differing techniques to look at climate change connections, and in some instances came to conflicting and confusing conclusions.

Georgia Institute of Technology professor Judith Curry, who often disagrees with mainstream scientists, said connecting shrinking sea ice to human activity was obvious, but as for Sandy and the rest: “I’m not buying it at all.”

Thomas Karl, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, said the study provides “compelling evidence that human-caused change was a factor contributing to the extreme events.”

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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8 comments:

  • Roody2 posted at 3:15 pm on Sat, Sep 14, 2013.

    Roody2 Posts: 318

    Johnny in HH, it looks like a hard sell for you.

    I just voted on the KDH global warming pole. You're in the 21 percentile of those who believe global warming is man-made and it's the cause of the strange weather we're experiencing.

    Over 56% of us don't believe in man-made global warming because we've had strange weather decades. Even before industrialization.

    Another 11% don't believe it's man-made but do believe global warming is the cause of the strange weather.

    11% aren't sure.

    I guess there aren't enough of us are flying in planes. But, hey! That's a good thing because jets are part of the problem, anyway!

     
  • Smithjr38 posted at 2:10 pm on Wed, Sep 11, 2013.

    Smithjr38 Posts: 114

    Have you ever heard of the Big Bang? about 14 billion years ago GOD said let there be light and via intelligence design created the whole world and at that time the most extreme heat cause a vast climate change. .
    But notice (suggest you watch the Science Channel or even Histroy2 ) and you will be surprised that no humans were around to cause the Big Bang.
    And do you really believe that self appointed GODS like Obama or Al Gore can fix what does not need fixing and do a better job than GOD him self?

     
  • Smithjr38 posted at 1:59 pm on Wed, Sep 11, 2013.

    Smithjr38 Posts: 114

    A fact being ignored by most folks whom do not have any science back ground is that drastic Climate change at the extreme edge is normal in the Universe ,

    In fact if you have telescope you can see a huge spot on Jupiter ( the largest planet) that storm is a climate change that has been going on for 100th years of more and it is important to note that their are no humans on Jupiter to cause that storm.

    Mars now has no atmosphere as millions of years ago that planet had suffered climate change . If fact our moon has helped save the earth from the same fate as Mars.

    And Thanks to our moon at its current angle it slows the earth down to its current 24 hour cycle. but most of all the Moon gives earth its 4 seasons which are really 4 different climate changes and both plants and animals land and sea each season adjust to evolve to survive that season.
    Note the flowers and trees each season they evolve to adjust or survive that season. and they also have to deal with the earths own adjustments to the movement of the earth own below ground movements that can cause changes to the environment via earth quakes and surfier in the air via volcanos


    And only fools whom give humans more credit that they deserve and ignore GOD intelligence design think they or Obama or Al Gore can save the earth seem to ignore all facts of the Universe and all Obama ,Al Gore policies have been a curse and to man kind and not a blessing.

    Note in when our Sun starts to die as other stars do . that the earth in the end will expand 100 times it current size and swallow the earth. So it is a waste of money and time for the government to play super GOD

     
  • Roody2 posted at 10:56 am on Sun, Sep 8, 2013.

    Roody2 Posts: 318

    "Global Warming" scientists were caught altering their data to back up the propaganda. I don’t call that science… I call it fraud.

    Those skeptical “non-thinkers” need to stop asking ridiculous questions like "Who has the most to gain monetarily from Global Warming scare tactics?" Or, “Why did they stop calling it Global Warming and start calling it Climate Change after record cold winters?” How “inconvenient” these scientists didn’t know it would affect winter, too! If they had, it might have made them appear more credible and convinced those “non-thinkers”. That, and if they hadn’t been caught changing the data.

    Now, if only we could convince the skeptical “non-thinkers” that using poisonous mercury laced light bulbs, driving (coal-based-electricity) electric cars (with pollution laden batteries) and using our food source are all good alternatives.

    Oh, well. No need to worry. Bill Gates has a plan to save us by releasing chemicals into the air to combat the “Climate Change” and save the planet. What could possibly go wrong?

     
  • Bubba posted at 7:35 am on Fri, Sep 6, 2013.

    Bubba Posts: 750

    The hoax of "man-made global warming" is a hoax being foisted by hoaxsters foisting a hoax.

    The catastrophically gullible believe them.

     
  • JohnnyinHarkerHeights posted at 7:24 am on Fri, Sep 6, 2013.

    JohnnyinHarkerHeights Posts: 44

    Just why it is so hard for some people to believe that man made climate change is happening is beyond me.

    No one is saying that mankind directs or controls the climate.

    What science is saying is that after centuries of burning coal, petroleum Etc., we have put enough carbon in the atmosphere to start having a greenhouse effect beyond what nature would have done on her own.

    That people say the Earth is too big, I have to wonder if you ever took a trip by airline.

    If you did, and looked out the window when you took off and landed you'd see a brown haze as far as you could see, and that is something we put there. It is not natural.

    To think that such a brown haze that virtually covers the planet has no effect is to show you don't want to think.

     
  • Jack Wolf posted at 7:10 am on Fri, Sep 6, 2013.

    Jack Wolf Posts: 1

    Dahh, like we couldn't figure it out by ourselves. You have to be blind (or too young) not to see (and feel) the changes.

    And, how many times do the scientists have to prove these physical facts anyway? I would much prefer scientists put their smarts to developing better batteries.

     
  • David Gragson posted at 6:55 am on Fri, Sep 6, 2013.

    David Gragson Posts: 1

    I like the way the article starts off with the assumption that there is global warming and that it is man-made. Way to keep an open mind.