This Shouldn't Be Necessary, But Here Is Some Information on CO2 and Tornadoes

Well, I have zero desire to score political points off the tragedy in Oklahoma, but unfortunately others are more than eager to do so.  As a result, it is necessary to put a few facts on the table to refute the absurd claim that this tornado is somehow attributable to CO2.

  1. I really should not have to say this, but there is no mechanism by which CO2 has ever been accused of causing tornadoes except via the intervening step of warming.  Without warming, CO2 can't be the cause (even with warming, the evidence is weak, since tornadoes are cause more by temperature differentials, than by temperature per se).  So it is worth noting that there have been no unusually warm temperatures in the area of late, and in fact the US has had one of its coolest springs in several decades.
  2. I should also not have to say this, but major tornadoes occurred in Oklahoma at much lower CO2 levels.

    torgraph-big

  3. In fact, if anything the trend in major tornadoes in the US over the last several decades is down
  4. And, this is actually a really, really low tornado year so far.  So its hard to figure an argument that says that global warming reduced tornadoes in general but caused this one in particular

EF3-EF5

 

Much more at this link

Update:  In 1975, tornado outbreaks blamed in Newsweek on global cooling

  • norse

    Actually, I believe you thoroughly underestimate the impact of global warming. I noticed that my commute was pretty bad this morning due to global warming; I've been liking TV less and less, and quite frankly, the global-warming related cancellations of my favorite series are starting to get on my nerves. The real kicker for me personally, though, is the weight gain I can't seem to counteract. I don't think that it's too much to ask that all of us pay carbon taxes so that we can stem the global warming that's behind the teenage obesity epidemic. Think of the children! Nuff said.

  • HenryBowman419

    Barbara Boxer has always impressed me as someone who seems to be a couple of cans short of a 6-pack. It is sad that the California electorate keeps returning such a developmentally-handicapped person to office.

  • marque2

    Correction - the San Francisco electorate. The rest of us in this state don't get a say in whether she is elected or not, thank you.

  • marque2

    The figures are adjusted to 85% to account for overcount, but I wonder if it accounts for the greater ease of detecting tornadoes. It use to be that we didn't know a tornado existed unless there was a visual spotting. Now with doppler radar almost all of the tornadoes get caught. I know the one in Oklahoma city was so big that it would have been seen anyway, but in tornado numbers many that we see today just were not visible even 30 years ago. This is why the Al Gores et al were able to say tornadoes were rising for awhile until people caught on and noted it was only the ones and twos which were rising and not the 4's and 5's.

  • Doug Cotton

    Without gravity acting to restore the thermodynamic equilibrium which is stipulated in the Second Law of Thermodynamics (which says: "An isolated system, if not already in its state of thermodynamic equilibrium, spontaneously evolves towards it. Thermodynamic equilibrium has the greatest entropy amongst the states accessible to the system") and thus, as a direct corollary of that Law, supporting (at the molecular level) an autonomous thermal gradient, then ...

    (1) The temperature at the base of the troposphere on Uranus would be nowhere near as hot as 320K because virtually no direct Solar radiation gets down there, and there is no surface at that altitude. The planet's radiating temperature is under 60K because it receives less than 3W/m^2.

    (2) The temperature of the Venus surface would be nowhere near as hot as 730K (even at the poles) because it receives only about 10% as much direct Solar radiation at its surface as does Earth at its surface.

    (3) Jupiter would be nowhere near as hot, even in its core, which receives extra kinetic energy which was converted by gravity from gravitational potentential energy due to the continual collapsing of this gaseous planet. This is why Jupiter emits more radiation than it receives.

    (4) The core of our Moon would be nowhere near as hot as it is thought to be, probably over 1000K.

    (5) Earth's surface would indeed be perhaps 20 to 40 degrees colder, and the core, mantle and crust nowhere near as hot, maybe no molten material at all.

    Think about it! If you're not sure why, it's explained in Sections 4 to 9 and Section 15 here.

  • Harry

    Tonight O'Reilly (who gets angry over the profiteering of ExxonMobil) had Joe Bastardi on his show. Joe Bastardi, I think, runs Accu-Weather, based in State College, PA. It is a weather news service that is widely quoted by weather news people in the northeast, and maybe much more widely. He is now associated with weatherbell.com. In my opinion, he is as good a commentator on the weather as anybody. I wish he had been around when I made decisions to cut or not to cut hay, which directly affected my rice bowl.

    So, to add to Coyote's observations, Joe talked of how present conditions are similar to the 1950's, when the Pacific Ocean was cooler than the Atlantic Ocean, causing cool air to move west to east, colliding with warmer air.

    Joe observed that there was violent weather then, but that then Oklahoma City did not have suburbs, and that as late as the seventies (which I can personally confirm) was not nearly as populated and built up as today. So tornadoes, even monster ones, went through tornado alley, but did not make news in the Washington Post or on cable 24/7 news channels. No big deal when a farmer got caught up in the funnel cloud along with his pecan orchard.

  • mesocyclone

    A research meteorologist of my acquaintance is a died in the wool warmist (but he's not a climatologist). When the Joplin tornado led to this warming-causes-tornadoes nonsense, he went ballistic. His specialty is mid-west severe weather and he knows as much about as much about tornadoes as anyone.

    So... when the incorrect facts are in an area when he actually knows something, *then* he rages against this one claim.

    This just shows how many of the scientists who make up the "consensus" really know nothing about the whole area - it's just grant-funded PhD herd mentality.

  • http://profiles.google.com/7continents7 Benjamin Cole

    Let me ask this this: There is huge entertainment value in tornadoes, and some extreme weather channels follow them. I like such shows. I just wish there was better and more complete video coverage, and more brave-cameramen to capture imagery. Maybe some enterprising outfits can figure out armored vehicles or heavy-installed cameras to help on this score....

    Does the entertainment value exceed the losses? I think so---bring on the warming, and bring on the tornadoes!

  • Robert Sykes

    One predicted result of global warming is that the temperature difference between the poles and the equator will be reduced. This temperature difference is what drives both atmospheric and oceanic circulation. So a reduction in the difference (i.e., global warming) will reduce both the total circulation and its intensity. A warmer world has fewer hurricanes/cyclones and fewer tornado. And in fact, this is what the current warm plateau is experiencing.

  • marque2

    One third of the town of Parkersburg, IA (400 homes 7 deaths) in 2008, in a category 5 storm. The damage could have been much worse, but most of the tornadoes track was over corn fields.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkersburg,_Iowa

  • marque2

    The circulation is actually more attributed to the coreolis effect. If there were no temperature gradient on earth the atmosphere and oceans would still circulate.

    But you are correct, we get tornadoes when warm moist air from the gulf moves north when we still have relatively cold conditions in the plains. The moisture makes the air lighter, as well as the warm temperature (moisture + high temp give a double whammy) and when it slams against a cold front the warm air rapidly rises and spins due to the coreolis effect again, which creates the tornado vortex, the water condenses as well causing rain and massive flooding. Interestingly thunderstorms typically reach a height of about 30 - 40000' but in conditions described above the top of the clouds can reach 80000' . Pretty impressive.

  • anonnerz

    I add "even though temperatures have been steady since 1998" to every global warming story I see. It is quite entertaining.

  • marque2

    So far this seems like a random rant.

    At least post your reference material.

    Just looking at your Venus comments:

    Venus gets about 270% the solar radiation of earth BTW - and the heat is higher because of the pressure as well, which is 100x higher than earth. Also because Venus was naturally much hotter due to the 270% greater solar radiation, all the molecules smaller than CO2 were blown away to space (much as on earth, our temperature is too high/gravity too low to hold Helium ) So you get all these nasty heat holding acids as well as CO2 in the atmosphere. The Atmospheric system that evolved in Venus really has nothing to do with earth whatsoever.

  • Robert Sykes

    Not true. The Coriolus effect only occurs on movingl bodies that are approaching the axis of rotation. The driving force for movement is the temperature differential. On a flat Earth without rotation, the circulation would consist of small hexagon cells with upflow in the centers and downflow at the boundaries. There would be no north south ciculation an no Coriolis effect.

    The Coriolis effect is an arifact of projecting a three dimensional flow onto a two dimensional map. It is similar to the problem of mapping the surface of the Earthnonto a plane.

  • marque2

    I know some theories and hypotheses may have changed since I took meteorology in college - but you need to definitely pick up a book on basic meteorology 101. Agreed there is a heat component (air tends to rise from the equator and fall again @30 degrees north and south on average, and rise from 30 degrees and fall at approximately at 60 degrees north and south again creating the jet streams - but the reason most storms rotate counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere is due to the Coriolis effect. It is pretty standard - and my meteorology teacher in the mid 80's at San Francisco State told us all Global Warming was bunk, so I think he can be trusted :-)

    "The Coriolis force caused by the Earth's rotation is what gives winds within low-pressure systems their counter-clockwise (anticlockwise) circulation in the northern hemisphere (as the wind moves inward and is deflected right from the center of high pressure) and clockwise circulation in the southern hemisphere (as the wind moves inward and is deflected left from the center of high pressure)."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-pressure_area#Associated_weather

  • HenryBowman419

    Perhaps you are confusing Boxer with the Wicked Witch of the West, Nancy Pelosi? I thought Boxer was a U.S. Senator.

  • marque2

    Oops, my mistake, I was thinking Pelosi, when you wrote Boxer. Well I can take full blame for her then, but I have to say, when she first ran I voted for Herschenson - Pelosi had one of her operatives send out a press release that Herschenson was hanging out at strip clubs just a few days before the election, and on the weekend so he couldn't really respond to the charges, It was enough to give Boxer a slight lead.

    Same year Feinstein beat sitting senator Seymore, who was a Wilson appointee - guy was a boring plain as vanilla guy - it is not surprising he won. Clinton, beat Bush Sr for president the same day.

  • dc

    you're conflating some aspects of this, marque. the coriolis effect is a process of how the phenomenon unfolds, not entirely a driver of the phenomenon itself.

  • dc

    indeed - and if you look at a place on venus where the atmospheric pressure equals that of earth...which is at some height in its atmosphere...you find that the temperature is roughly similar.

    same with the gas giants, it is pressure that is responsible.

  • marque2

    I grant you it is a complicated subject.

  • Ron H.

    It's an easy mistake to make. I often have trouble distinguishing a piece of shit from a turd.

  • marque2

    Turds

    The Turds never became accepted in this country because of their name. The Turds, or people from Turdsmania, were people of healthy stock. They were tall, with long straight hair; the men robust, the women bold and beautiful. The first Turds arrived on these shores in fifteen eighty-nine, one year after the defeat of the Spanish Armada. They were unjustly blamed for the defeat of the Spanish Fleet when a Spanish admiral remarked, "No wonder we lost, we had a bunch of turds managing our cannons!"

    When finally in America, they also had trouble with lodgings. Most boarding houses had a sign on the front, "No Turds." The Turdsmen naturally interpreted it to mean, "No people from Turdsmania, please." They consequently felt rejected, as would any turd.

    Even those who decided to return to Turdsmania had a rough time going back. Once on the bother, they would ask, "Where do the turds stay?" And a mate would innocently reply, "Why, in the can, sir," thinking it was some kind of Navy test. The Turdsmen would spend the rest of the voyage huddled in the men's room. Once back in the homeland, however, their lot became a happier one. Each man and woman could pass each other on the street and proudly say, "I'm a Turd!"

    -Steve Martin "Cruel Shoes"