Monday, April 28, 2014
Climate change feared to be reason for deadlier tornadoes
The longest beginning of a year since 1915 without a tornado was broken Sunday when an 11-year-old was killed in North Carolina. Seventeen more people were killed, 16 in Arkansas and one in Oklahoma.
The Weather Channel said the year started 126 days without a twister, the latest start since 1915.
The wide spread of the tornadoes, from Arkansas to North Carolina, also was odd. It raised questions about whether climate change was a factor.
Given that the strongly Fundamenalist South was hit it was ironic, as it is a haven for opponents to evolution.Police had to search through overturned semitrailers and homes in a half dozen state hit by tornadoes Sunday. All but two of the 18 deaths intitially reported were in Arkansas.
President Obama promised “Your country will be there to help you recover and rebuild, as long as it takes.”
Residents of the southern and southwest states could be forgiven if they began to worry that climate change is a reality.
In the town of Mayflower, near Little Rock, “an entire neighborhood of 50 homes or so (were) completely gone exception the foundation,” Congress Tim Griffin told Reuters.
The National Guard was mobilized. Matt DeCample, a spokesman for the Arkanas governor’s office, said there were many injuries.
“They’ve been pulling people out of the rubble all night,” he told the New York Times.
AP said it was “a violent kick-start to the nation’s tornado season.”
State troopers searched through houses and 18-wheelers blown over on Interstate 40.
The US tornado season actually varies from region to region. It can start as early as March in Sothern states and then heads to the north, ending only December in Tennessee and other areas nearby.
During the latest storms one death was reported in Quapaw, Oklahoma and one 700 miles away in Edenton, North Carolina.
Scientists fear climate change is playing a role. Scientific American quotes corresponded with climate scientist Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., as predicting changing climates will cause more tornados and make them stronger. More and intense hurricanes are likely in the Atlantic Ocean.
AccuWeather says the way tornadoes are tracked has made it harder to prove the connection with climate change.
Sometimes people ignore tornado warnings, making the improvements less effective.
On the other hand, residents of Tornado Alley have developed a keen sense for whan the twisters may be coming, and some have built underground shelters.