With every natural disaster that occurs, whether it is Katrina devastating New Orleans in 2005 or recently, the extreme death toll created by Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and the record setting pace of the 2008 severe weather season in the United States it seems many in the environmental movement are quick to claim human induced Global Warming and climate change as the cause for all these event to help promote awareness.
I will say it is true on the other side of the debate when we have normal or cooler seasons or a cooler than average month. Those who call global warming a hoax will use those events to promote their idea. I disagree with both. You have to be very careful using any particular weather event as proof for or against global warming.
To be honest, because we live in an “on demand” world with 24/7 news cycles, severe weather is being reported a lot more than it was 10 to 20 years ago. Plus more people have access to cameras and technology. The national weather service is issuing more severe weather warning because of technology advances. Also we live in places that 10 to 20 years ago weren’t developed and this increases the chance of tornadoes and severe weather to impact more people.
What has really frustrated me in the last few days is a few trying to link the China earthquake to climate change and global warming. As a meteorologist I understand the atmosphere and with my background in earth sciences I have good basic understanding of geology and how earthquakes work. I will be honest, I don’t believe that in any way the earthquake in China has any connection to climate change and global warming.
Here are a few examples of what I have found:
What’s it going to take to get our government to wake up to the crisis of global warming?
We’ve had Hurricane Katrina, now Burma’s got Cyclone Nargis and there’s a big earthquake in China.
Now maybe not every single one of these events can be attributed to global warming, but scientists have been warning us for years that these are precisely the events that would become more pronounced as a result of climate change.
Then ABC6 in Providence, RI was asking its viewers if all of the recent disasters, like the China earthquake, were our (man’s) fault or “Bad Luck”
Mother Nature has really been unkind to us as of late.
Could some of these events be linked to drastic environmental changes due to global warming, or is the devastation just a coincidental downward trend? What do you think?
As I was researching this and reading various news and blog posts some of the comments by everyday people really scared me. There appears to be a lot of average Joe’s who believe there is a connection between all of this and global warming. I also came across publications that link earthquakes to global warming. Here are a few I found:
In case you don’t know what my view is on global warming as a meteorologist, I will tell you. I don’t argue that global temperatures are rising. I don’t even argue with the point that man is playing a role in the current warming. What I do question is how large of a role. I also think that there are other causes and because the study of climate and what we know is still so early in its stages that there is more for us to find out. We are just starting to understand severe weather better because of technology. We are learning more about hurricanes and tropical weather and the natural warming and cooling cycles in all parts of the earth’s ocean.
I am for taking care of our environment. I want renewable forms of energy and more efficient forms of energy. I believe all of us are called upon to make smart choices and be good stewards to our planet and not be wasteful. I just feel it is very irresponsible for those on both side of the GW argument to use one event one season to justify its position. In the end, it just confuses people and causes them to believe something that may not be factual.