Thursday, Nov 26th

Last update08:55:49 PM GMT

You are here News Environment Global warming to make US conditions more ripe for tornado-making storms, study says

Global warming to make US conditions more ripe for tornado-making storms, study says

E-mail Print PDF

global warmingConditions that spawn severe thunderstorms – including tornado-makers – across the US are expected to appear more frequently by the end of the century, according to new research.

Until now, studies of the potential impact of global warming on severe and tornadic thunderstorms generally have concluded that a key element needed – a sudden change in wind speed or direction with altitude known as vertical wind shear – would weaken on average as the climate warmed.

This would deprive thunderstorms of the opportunity to grow to the most intense levels, even as three other key ingredients – warm surface temperatures, lots of moisture in the air near the ground, and cold air at higher altitudes – were abundant. It was tough to say whether global warming held the potential to boost the number of severe thunderstorms.

The new research confirms the general pattern of weaker shear over the US, on average, in a warmer world. But when the scientists conducting the modeling study burrowed into the numbers behind the average, they found that as the climate warmed, shear tended to strengthen on days when the other ingredients also were abundant. These other ingredients determine the potential energy available to form a thunderstorm – energy that climate and weather researchers refer to as convective available potential energy, or CAPE.


Most Recent Related Stories...

2015 set to be hottest year on record, WMO says

hottest year on reconrd - 2015This year is shaping up to be the hottest on record, and 2016 could be even...

Prince Charles: Climate Change Root Cause of Syrian War

Syrian draughtEngland’s Prince Charles told Sky News in an exclusive interview that climate change was a root...

First EPA chief accuses Republicans of ignoring science for political gain

Willlliam RuckelshausThe man considered the father figure of environmental protection in the US has attacked Republicans for...

Half of all tree species in Amazon 'face extinction'

Amazon treesMore than half of all tree species in the Amazon face extinction, warn international scientists.According to...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!