“Storms. That is the one word that will best characterize twenty-first century climate…” NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen.
First Joplin. Now Maryville. How many towns have to be wiped off the map before we realize things are most certainly not normal?
Today a major tornado outbreak ripped through the heart of the US, causing massive damage and claiming many lives. In the bull’s eye lay the town of Maryville, which now no longer exists. Initial reports showed 9 killed, an unconfirmed number injuries, and many, many homes and buildings destroyed.
2012 has so far shown highly unusual outbreaks of tornadoes in both January and February. The March outbreak has been exceptionally strong. Now forecasters are warning that the height of the tornado season is still ahead and that it is likely more powerful storms are on the way.
Fuel for the storms is provided by the Gulf of Mexico which has reached and maintained record levels of warmth in recent years. Temperatures worldwide that are more than 1 degree Fahrenheit above the twentieth century average also increase the moisture and heat energy in the atmosphere. The changes in the world weather system are a direct result of human caused global warming.
Though scientists may argue if a specific storm was or was not caused by climate change, the new conditions result in increased chances for severe storms. Many climate scientists, including James Hansen, (quoted above) have made warnings to the effect that climate change and increased heat energy in the atmosphere would result in increasingly severe and deadly storms.