The Ottawa Citizen

No link between tornadoes and climate change
The Ottawa Citizen

The United States is experiencing the deadliest year for tornadoes in nearly six decades, but a top US weather expert said Monday there is no link between the violent twisters and climate change.

Instead, the reasons for the spiking death tolls are more likely due to the rise in the number of mobile homes and the chance paths taken by a series of tornadoes that have happened to target populated areas. »This year is an extraordinary outlier, » said Harold Brooks, research meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma.

Brooks said this year is the deadliest for tornadoes in the United States according to the contemporary US tornado record, which dates back to 1950 and which he acknowledged « can be a difficult thing to work with. »

But when scientists examine the most complete records available and adjust for changes in how tornadoes were reported over time, « we see no correlation between global or US national temperature and tornado occurrence, » Brooks said.

Nor are the storms themselves getting larger than they used to be, even though it may seem so after learning of massive twisters like the one in Missouri that tore apart a six-mile (10 kilometer) long, half-mile deep stretch of land. The tornado record does not show a steadily increasing trend toward bigger deadlier storms, he said.