Amazing How a 2 x 4 Upside the Head Focuses the Mind. Media Starts Asking “What the *bleep* Happened?”

October 31, 2012

NBC, in this case, actually states the question, “What is happening to our world?” – goes to Kevin Trenberth and Katharine Hayhoe for answers.  As the East Coast media picks itself up and spits out teeth, look for more of this. Take a look at this AP piece that found its way on to Fox News’ website…

Fox News.com

WASHINGTON –  Climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer stood along the Hudson River and watched his research come to life as Hurricane Sandy blew through New York.

Just eight months earlier, the Princeton University professor reported that what used to be once-in-a-century devastating floods in New York City would soon happen every three to 20 years. He blamed global warming for pushing up sea levels and changing hurricane patterns.

New York “is now highly vulnerable to extreme hurricane-surge flooding,” he wrote.

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“The ingredients of this storm seem a little bit cooked by climate change, but the overall storm is difficult to attribute to global warming,” Canada’s University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver said.

Some individual parts of Sandy and its wrath seem to be influenced by climate change, several climate scientists said.

First, there’s sea level rise. Water levels around New York are a nearly a foot higher than they were 100 years ago, said Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann.

Add to that the temperature of the Atlantic Ocean, which is about 2 degrees warmer on average than a century ago, said Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University. Warm water fuels hurricanes.

After years of disagreement, climate scientists and hurricane experts have concluded that as the climate warms, there will be fewer total hurricanes. But those storms that do develop will be stronger and wetter.

Sandy took an unprecedented sharp left turn into New Jersey. Usually storms keep heading north and turn east harmlessly out to sea. But a strong ridge of high pressure centered over Greenland blocked Sandy from going north or east, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University, an expert in how a warming Arctic affects extreme weather patterns, said recent warming in the Arctic may have played a role in enlarging or prolonging that high pressure area. But she cautioned it’s not clear whether the warming really had that influence on Sandy.

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On Tuesday, both New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said they couldn’t help but notice that extreme events like Sandy are causing them more and more trouble.

“What is clear is that the storms that we’ve experienced in the last year or so, around this country and around the world, are much more severe than before,” Bloomberg said. “Whether that’s global warming or what, I don’t know. But we’ll have to address those issues.”

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27 Responses to “Amazing How a 2 x 4 Upside the Head Focuses the Mind. Media Starts Asking “What the *bleep* Happened?””


    • It is NO because the question is “Hurricane Sandy caused by global warming?”

      It should be like the BASF slogan

      Global warming did not make the extreme weather. It made the extreme weather greater.

      • guylacrosse Says:

        Technically true, but without global warming it would most likely went out to sea because then there wouldn’t have been the blocking pattern in the jet stream and it wouldn’t have been as large or intense.


        • yes.

          Looking at the temperatures (SST) in the 1950s & 1960s I would go with it would have broken down just after it left the Caribbean and the remnants would have gone out to sea.

          Remember, we are fighting a war on two fronts of disinformation 1) The false information and 2) the wrong information.


  1. I think using the word “cause” is very problematic. No particular weather event is “caused” by global warming. But all weather is affected by it. We have now so changed the atmospheric composition that all weather is different than it otherwise would be in the absence of those excess GHGs.

    An analogy I like is the one to baseball players on steroids. In 2001 Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs. That is more than he would have hit without taking steroids. Which 15-20 homers he hit were the ones that were “caused” by steroids? Can we say that some homer he hit on August 1st, say, was “caused” by steroids? No. But we know for certain that he was juiced and he hit more and hit them farther.

    Likewise with extreme weather events. The weather is now on steroids. Can we say that any particular weather event was “caused” by global warming? No. But we can certainly say that, like Mr. Bonds, the steroids we’ve added to the weather has made extreme weather events both more frequent and stronger.

  2. ktorsten Says:

    Maybe Rex Tillerson has an engineering solution to this kind of problem. And the money to implement it. After all, it’s just something people will adapt to.


  3. […] is strange that climate change has not, until a few days ago, figured much in the campaign. As the climate blogger Peter Sinclair has been pointing out, climate change should be at the top of the political agenda […]


  4. […] Amazing How a 2 x 4 Upside the Head Focuses the Mind. Media Starts Asking “What the *bleep* Ha… […]


  5. […] Amazing How a 2 x 4 Upside the Head Focuses the Mind. Media Starts Asking “What the *bleep* Ha… […]


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