27 May '11, 4pm

Tornadoes and Warming, from the Archives

Tornadoes . There was a spate of Instanet attacks on Senator John Kerry yesterday for discussing projections of stronger storms in a warming world in the context of the catastrophic tornado strikes. His comment was nuanced , but by even bringing climate policy into a conversation on severe weather, he was probably destined to get roughed up. The reason? The science remains utterly equivocal on how global warming might boost the longstanding peril from tornadoes in the storm belt. Making analysis tougher, any trends in annual counts of tornadoes are clearly a function of shifting patterns of monitoring and reporting, not actual changes in the numbers of funnel clouds, according to several experts at the National Severe Storms Laboratory . The ballooning numbers of weak tornadoes in the chart above are known to be the result of more weather watchers, with more ways to report...

Full article: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/27/tornadoes-an...

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