Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The real apocalypse is unfolding slowly

Just as everyone was about to forget last week's Rapture hoax, here in Oklahoma we saw genuine apocalyptic forces at work yesterday afternoon. At least 13 people died in tornadoes that roared across the Midwest and South on May 24. This followed a tornado that killed more than a hundred people in Joplin, Missouri the day before.

Mother Jones environmental blogger Julia Whitty makes a convincing case that this month's dramatic increase in killer tornadoes has been fueled by a warming ocean:
Unusually warm surface waters in the Gulf of Mexico—about 2 degrees Fahrenheit/3.6 degrees Celsius warmer than normal—may be a factor in this season's tornado frequency and strength, according to National Weather Service director Jack Hayes.

Add that to an uncommonly southward jet stream track, reports Scientific American, and you've got a recipe for the kinds of disasters we've been seeing so far this year.
Her entire post, which includes many useful links and graphics, is well worth reading.

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