Climate Change And The Blizzard: Nor'easters More Fierce With Global Warming, Scientists Say
Michael Mann, a climatologist who directs the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, compared a major storm like Nemo -- or Hurricane Irene or Superstorm Sandy, for that matter -- to a basketball slam-dunk with a lower net.Climate Astrology: Blizzard blamed on global warming?! Is there any weather event that is inconsistent with global warming? -- Climate Depot Round up | Climate Depot
"If you take the basketball court and raise it a foot, you're going to see more slam-dunks," Mann said. "Not every dunk is due to raising the floor, but you'll start seeing them happen more often then they ought to."
Michael Oppenheimer, a climate change expert at Princeton University, said global warming is increasing extreme storms. "Storms like this tend to be heavier than they used to be," he told HuffPost. "That's a fact."
In fact, Jeff Masters, a climatologist and founder of Weather Underground, noted that the number of intense nor'easters hasn't increased over the last three or four decades. A warmer climate, he explained, can decrease the length of the snowy season, and therefore the time window for nor'easters.
Penn State's Mann also likes to use baseball metaphors when describing climate's influence on major storms -- "home runs," he calls them. "What we're seeing now with climate change is weather on steroids."
UN IPCC's Michael Oppenheimer on his unused sled in 2000: 'Oppenheimer even had a tear-jerking personal angle on the 'absence of snow' in modern winters email@example.com -- NYT quoted 'Oppenheimer on the pathetic spectacle of the unused sled in his stairwell, symbol of a warming world: 'I bought a sled in '96 for my daughter,' said Oppenheimer, a scientist at the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund. 'It's been sitting in the stairwell, and hasn't been used. I used to go sledding all the time. It's one of my most vivid and pleasant memories as a kid, hauling the sled out to Cunningham Park in Queens.'