Bill McKibben wrote a powerful op-ed: A link between climate change and Joplin tornadoes? Never!
ThinkProgress Green has posted a "powerful visualization" of Bill's op-ed in this video narrated by Stephen Thomson:
Joe Romm examined the link between climate change and extreme weather, including tornadoes. Romm concluded:
1. When discussing extreme weather and climate, tornadoes should not be conflated with the other extreme weather events for which the connection is considerably more straightforward and better documented, including deluges, droughts, and heat waves.
2. Just because the tornado-warming link is more tenuous doesn’t mean that the subject of global warming should be avoided entirely when talking about tornadoes.
There is a good video news story at the article link about the tornadoes and climate change and whether the 1,000 tornadoes (or twice the 500 in an average year) so far last May are a preview of life with global warming. Climatologist Heidi Cullen states that while warmer weather can be linked to a "general increase in extreme weather," science cannot be linked to this deadly season of tornadoes. Cullen says more extreme events, like fires, floods, droughts, and heatwaves are "very much phenomena" we expect to see as we move into a warmer world, but scientists just don't have the data they need to make that statement with tornadoes. While the tornado linkage may be more tenuous, we don't need absolute certainty before we take action now. We just need political courage.
Scientists will say that we are witnessing a "global weirding" of a "new normal" of extreme weather events "fueled by climate change":
Heavy rains, deep snowfalls, monster floods and killing droughts are signs of a "new normal" of extreme U.S. weather events fueled by climate change, scientists and government planners said on Wednesday.
"It's a new normal and I really do think that global weirding is the best way to describe what we're seeing," climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University told reporters.
…While none would blame climate change for any specific weather event, Hayhoe said a background of climate change had an impact on every rainstorm, heat wave or cold snap.
Actually, more accurate to say such global weirding is literally fueled by our fossil fuel industry.
Now, the International Energy Agency reports that the goal to hold temperature rise to only 2 degrees Celsius is "likely to be just 'a nice Utopia'" because greenhouse gas emissions for last year increased by a record amount to the "highest carbon output in history."
But, hey, DC – keep delaying enactment of comprehensive climate change legislation while climate deniers debate and obstruct. It's not like our country has not already reached conclusions on the need for clean energy.