Utne Blogs > Environment

The Winds of Change

by David Doody

Tags: tornadoes, oceans, global warming, climate change, Paul Epstein, environment, The Atlantic, David Doody,

tornado-weather-serviceToday kicks off a four-part series on climate change at The Atlantic. Part one comes from Paul R. Epstein, co-author of the book Changing Planet, Changing Health. Epstein tells us just how changing temperatures in the oceans can lead to more severe weather in the middle of the U.S., like the calamitous tornado earlier this year in Joplin, Missouri.

Epstein cautions against assuming that any of this means a predictable increase in severe weather. In fact, the unpredictability is the point here. There may be years when severe flooding and tornadoes seem much milder than the previous year. “But,” Epstein writes, “it is clear that changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions underlie the changing patterns of weather—and that the stage is set for more severe storms, including even more punishing tornadoes.”

Keep an eye out for the other three parts in this series from The Atlantic.

Source: The Atlantic