You are hereArchive - Sep 9, 2011
Archive - Sep 9, 2011
"..what the planet's telling us": Blizzards,tornadoes,floods,record heat,drought,wildfires. Disasters cost US 36+billion this yr
Weather disasters keep costing U.S. billions this year - Blizzards. Tornadoes. Floods. Record heat and drought, followed by wildfires.
The first eight months of 2011 have brought strange and destructive weather to the United States. From the blizzard that dumped almost two feet of snow on Chicago, to killer tornadoes and heat waves in the south, to record flooding, to wildfires that have burned more than 1,000 homes in Texas in the last few days, Mother Nature has been in a vile and costly mood.
Climate experts point to global warming, meteorologists cite the influence of the La Nina weather phenomenon or natural variability and, in the case of tornadoes hitting populated areas, many simply call the death and destruction bad luck.
But given the variety and violence of both short-term weather events and longer-term effects like a Southwestern drought that has lasted years, more scientists say climate itself seems to be shifting and weather extremes will become more common.
"A warmer atmosphere has more energy to power storms. We've loaded the dice," said Jeff Masters, co-founder and director of meteorology for Weather Underground, Inc, speaking on Wednesday at a news conference on climate. "Years like 2011 may become the new normal in the United States in coming decades." read more »