What does it mean that atmospheric rivers (previously rare) and bomb tornadoes are becoming more frequent?

atmospheric rivers And Hurricane bombs They are becoming increasingly frequent and intense parts of the North American meteorological landscape. atmospheric rivers It can cause massive floods events across the country. Bomb hurricanes can combine hurricane conditions with arctic hail to produce massive personal risks of potentially deadly hail exposure. Sometimes they occur in the same place at the same time. When that happens, as in December 2022, they complement each other – arguably produce Combined effects are greater than the sum of their individual effects They are taken one by one in isolation.

The undeniable increase in the frequency and intensity of one or both of these extreme weather extremes is, at least, fully consistent with projections of climate change being driven by the warming of our planet—especially when the North American experience is considered in a global setting. Context containing thousands of records High temperatures read across Europe At the same time. Whatever explains the data from these events has to be global in scope

Given this powerful finding based on honest science, there simply isn’t enough evidence to support any speculative, conflicting view: the misconception that global warming is linked to human greenhouse gas emissions and increasing The effects of climate change are a hoax. It is impossible to prove a negative, and here is an example of why.

This is especially true due to the effects of rivers and cyclones in the atmosphere reach across the entire continent When did it happen? Deadly floods spilled from atmospheric rivers from West Coast to Kentucky. the Freezing cold from the polar bomb hurricanes It extends as far south as Texas, as west as the Rocky Mountains and as far east as coastal New England.

Add the European heat wave into the equation, and it’s clear that whatever causes these extremes has to be explained in terms of a continental phenomenon—something like the jet stream. See for exampleand world map and discussion From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The common denominator is that the Weakening of the jet stream that resulted from excessive warming in the Arctic compared to modest temperature increases across the tropics. The decreasing temperature difference from the pole to the equator is a sign of global warming.

In terms of a continental climate, this dip weakens the jet stream and allows Arctic eddies to push cold near the Gulf of Mexico and make way for atmospheric rivers to invade from the western Pacific. It also allows tropical heat to make its way north into western Europe. Nothing else can “switch signals” like that.

So, what is the additional harm? Severe weather happens all the time. Yes, but atmospheric rivers have so far been so rare that few sites have been prepared. Winter polar vortices are beginning to become the norm in North America, and no one expected the December heat wave in Europe.

in kentucky, 39 people died In flash flood in 2021 due to insufficient warning system. The floods left thousands of people stranded in Death Valley. California has been devastated by torrential rains Events whose intensity has been associated with climate change. A massive winter storm affected in December 2022 driven by an expanding polar vortex across central North America More than 200 million Americans. At least 3,000 flights have been cancelled Dangerously cold conditions.

Many eyes were on Texas, where 210 people died In the bomb hurricane of February 2021. Many blame the country’s autonomous and isolated electrical grid, which is completely failing. Some Texans have not had power for more than a week depending on the location. In 2022, Texas dodged a bullet because it had some adaptive changes. the Grid held this timebut hardly.

Combining this evidence, it is clear that both the atmospheric rivers and bomb tornadoes of 2022-2023 should not be considered one-time weather anomalies. They are part of an irrefutable global climate change footprint, especially when combined with the thousands of record temperatures across Europe at the same time. They are most likely fingerprints of climate change. It’s a harbinger of what we can expect with increasing frequency as the planet moves toward a new normal (sometime in the next century when things settle down). One can only imagine the terrible things that would happen in the meantime. (This cautious language was carefully chosen.)

Benjamin Santer, member of the US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and internationally recognized expert in climate sciences, Wrote that it is dangerous for:

Continental attribution science is in its infancy, but the consequences of these events are undoubtedly enormous. So even with a modest “global warming compatible” result leading to medium confidence in the relationship between global warming and these events, the principles of risk management teach us a simple lesson: Pay attention, people.

This could only get worse as the planet swings into a new, hotter normal that will be established sometime in the next century.

Gary Yohe, Ph.D., is The Huffington Institution Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, Emeritus of Wesleyan University.

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