Forecasters say Hurricane Sandy is a rare, hybrid super storm created by an Arctic jet stream from the north wrapping itself around a tropical storm from the south. Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground, warns that such a “Frankenstorm,” as it is called, is an outgrowth of the extreme weather changes caused by global warming. “When you heat the oceans more, you extend the length of hurricane season,” Masters says. “There’s been ample evidence over the last decade or so that hurricane season is getting longer — it starts earlier, ends later. You’re more likely to get these sort of late October storms now, and you’re more likely to have this sort of situation where a late October storm meets up with a winter low pressure system and gives us this ridiculous combination of a nor’easter and hurricane that comes ashore, bringing all kinds of destruction.” We’re also joined by climate scientist Greg Jones from Southern Oregon University.
Scientists are to end their 20-year reluctance to link climate change with extreme weather – the heavy storms, floods and droughts which often fill news bulletins – as part of a radical departure from a previous equivocal position that many now see as increasingly untenable.
Climate researchers from Britain, the United States and other parts of the world have formed a new international alliance that aims to investigate exceptional weather events to see whether they can be attributable to global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions.
They believe that it is no longer plausible merely to claim that extreme weather is “consistent” with climate change. Instead, they intend to assess each unusual event in terms of the probability that it has been exacerbated or even caused by the global temperature increase seen over the past century. (more…)
The battle began when Beck took exception to Ratigan’s statement that “these ‘snowpocalypses’ that have been going through D.C. and other extreme weather events are precisely what climate scientists have been predicting, fearing and anticipating because of global warming.”
“Apparerntly, the hotter it gets, the colder it becomes,” Beck commented mockingly, drawing a thermometer on his chalkboard that appeared to be twisting around to eat its own tail.
The next day, however, Ratigan offered his own response to Beck’s “massive storm of misinformation,” explaining with a chuckle that “in addition to that being completely wrong on so many levels, it’s also a total misrepresentation of the climate change theory that I was attempting to explain.” Pulling out his own chalkboard for dramatic effect, Ratigan repeated — appearing to use simple language for Beck’s benefit — that “the theory basically states that the warmer climate will cause higher ocean temperatures, which means more ocean water evaporating. … More water in the air results in more precipitation on earth.
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