Weather Whys topic of the week: Climate change and tornadoes

Weather Whys topic: Global warming and tornadoes
Weather Whys topic: Global warming and tornadoes(Climate Central)
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 1:08 PM CDT
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Typically, every Wednesday, Meteorologist Deitra Mckenzie answers the “why” to your weather questions. However, this week, it was postponed until today (Friday)...and climate change was the hot topic.

Specifically, Deitra was answering the question whether or not climate change has any affect on tornadoes. She started by defining climate change and how human influence plays a big role in our warming climate. According to NASA, climate change is “a long-term change in the average weather patterns that defines earth’s local, regional, and global climates.” Human influence has led to more greenhouse or “heat trapping” gases (specifically Carbon Dioxide) in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, etc. Many scientists believe this has led to a steady rise in global temps ( i.e. global warming).

Global warming stripes show that earth is heating up, and there is evidence to support climate change...from sea level rises to more extreme weather events. In terms of tornadoes, the data is not as strong. Deitra explained how it’s hard for researchers to spot reliable long-term trends. So, there’s no concrete data confirming that climate change is affecting tornado frequency or intensity. However, scientists are noticing some shifting patterns...and will continue to research the topic.

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