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August 10, 2007

Climate Forecasting Models Predict That Increasing Number of Weather Events Will Be Blamed On Global Warming

The science is quite settled on this point. NYC's downpour two days ago? Global warming. Or global wettening. Who knows.

As Jim Geraghty said, "Global warming is what we used to know as 'weather.'"

Did Global Warming Cause NYC Tornado?

Flooded subways? A tornado in Brooklyn? It was tempting to blame it all on global warming.

Plenty of public officials were doing just that in the aftermath of a short but violent thunderstorm that paralyzed the nation's largest mass transit network and tore the roofs off limestone townhouses. But in reality, it is not quite that simple, weather and climate experts say.

Don't worry, that caveat safely out of the way, he'll soon let us know it is, in fact, "quite that simple."

The storm, which gathered strength over Pennsylvania, drenched New Jersey and then pounded the city at sunrise Wednesday was strong but not particularly rare for a hot summer day, said Jeff Warner, a meteorologist at Pennsylvania State University.

Climate scientist James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies, agreed: "You cannot blame a single specific event, such as this week's storm, on climate change," he said.

"However," he added, "it is fair to ask whether the human changes have altered the likelihood of such events. There the answer seems to be 'yes.'"

James Hansen? Hmmm... where do I know that name from?

Storms, Hansen explained in an e-mail to The Associated Press, are fueled by heat and moisture, and our atmosphere is becoming warmer and more humid.

And that, other experts said, has tended to mean more rain and rain that is more intense.

Plenty of Brooklynites were thinking global warming. What else could be to blame for an honest-to-goodness twister in a place where the word "cyclone" usually means the roller coaster on Coney Island?

The city's top water and sewer official, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd, said the deluge may be evidence that the region is seeing an increase in the type of intense storm cells that used to roll through only once every five or 10 years.

Right. An "increase in the type of intense storm cells that used to roll through only once every five or 10 years."

Umm... when was did the last powerful storm like this rolled through NYC? I'm going to back-of-the-envelope it and say it was about "five or 10 years" ago... if not more.

And as his crews pumped millions of gallons of water from submerged train tracks, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Executive Director Elliot G. Sander said: "We may be dealing with meteorological conditions that are unprecedented."

When did the head of the NYC f'n' subway system become a climate change expert credentialed to authoritatively opine on weather? Probably about the same time he he got rapped for the system's nonexistent rider information system, and needed a scapegoat. As they say, everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it, and even better, controlling the weather is not his job, so he really can't be blamed for any of this.

Near article's end Gov. Spitzer claims NYC has had three powerful rainstorms in seven months, which seems to prove global warming is destroying NYC, but I can't seem to recall those previous storms making national headlines.

Incidentally, this article's author is one "David Caruso." Yes, David Caruso.*

Does global warming concern you? (sunglasses off)

Good. Because global warming should concern us all. (sunglasses on)

* Okay, David B. Caruso. Close enough.

Thanks to RobG.

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posted by Ace at 01:51 PM

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