Joined: Sep 2009
Climate Panel Ties Some Extreme Weather to Global Warming
To all the right wingers who doubt this science: If what is written here is
true you have a responsibility to look past your rigid ideological beliefs
and examine what this means for our planet and the people who live on it.
UN climate panel ties some weather extremes to global warming
Warming has led to changes in climate extremes such as heat waves, record high temperatures and, in many regions, heavy precipitation since 1950, the U.N. climate panel warned in a report Wednesday.
"It is very likely that there has been an overall decrease in the number of cold days and nights, and an overall increase in the number of warm days and nights, at the global scale," the scientists wrote.
Some populations are already living on the edge of disaster, given the projected increases in the magnitude or frequency of some extreme events in many regions, the report stated.
"Small increases in climate extremes above thresholds or regional infrastructure 'tipping points' have the potential to result in large increases in damages to all forms of existing infrastructure," the experts said.
In the past, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has focused on the gradual rise of temperatures and oceans. This report is the first to look at less common but far more noticeable extreme weather changes, which lately have been costing on average about $80 billion a year in damage.
The study forecasts that some tropical cyclones -- which include hurricanes in the United States -- will be stronger, while the frequency might diminish.
"Average tropical cyclone maximum wind speed is likely to increase, although increases may not occur in all ocean basins," the experts stated. "It is likely that the global frequency of tropical cyclones will either decrease or remain essentially unchanged."
Some other specific changes in severe weather that the scientists said they had the most confidence in predicting include more heat waves and record hot temperatures worldwide and increased downpours in Alaska, Canada, northern and central Europe, East Africa and north Asia.
"We mostly experience weather and climate through the extreme," said one of the report's top editors, Chris Field, an ecologist with the Carnegie Institution of Washington. "That's where we have the losses. That's where we have the insurance payments. That's where things have the potential to fall apart.
Read the full report from the IPCC
"There are lots of places that are already marginal for one reason or another," Field said. But it's not just poor areas: "There is disaster risk almost everywhere."
At 592 pages long, the report elaborates on a summary of findings released last November.
Last edited by Havakasha; 03-28-2012 at 10:53 PM.
Joined: Sep 2009
Start of 2012, March shatter US heat records
By SETH BORENSTEIN | Associated Press – 9 hrs ago
FILE - In this March 13, 2012, …
WASHINGTON (AP) — It's been so warm in the United States this year, especially in March, that national records weren't just broken, they were deep-fried.
Temperatures in the lower 48 states were 8.6 degrees above normal for March and 6 degrees higher than average for the first three months of the year, according to calculations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That far exceeds the old records.
The magnitude of how unusual the year has been in the U.S. has alarmed some meteorologists who have warned about global warming. One climate scientist said it's the weather equivalent of a baseball player on steroids, with old records obliterated.
"Everybody has this uneasy feeling. This is weird. This is not good," said Jerry Meehl, a climate scientist who specializes in extreme weather at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. "It's a guilty pleasure. You're out enjoying this nice March weather, but you know it's not a good thing."
It's not just March.
"It's been ongoing for several months," said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Ashville, N.C.
Meteorologists say an unusual confluence of several weather patterns, including La Nina, was the direct cause of the warm start to 2012. While individual events can't be blamed on global warming, Couch said this is like the extremes that are supposed to get more frequent because of manmade climate change from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.