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Oh, the weather outside is frightful...and it might be a good idea to get used to it
December 29, 2011 6:27 PM   Subscribe

"From extreme drought, heat waves and floods to unprecedented tornado outbreaks, hurricanes, wildfires and winter storms, a record 12 weather and climate disasters in 2011 each caused $1 billion or more in damages". The US National Weather service has put together a great online exhibit of what was a whirlwind (*ahem*) year for extreme weather events. The exhibit has lots of videos and photographs of these events, such as satellite imagery of the Grounhog Day Blizzard from back in February and a picture of a car damaged by a tornado in Ft. Benning, GA.
posted by MattMangels (20 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Just want to make a note - this appears to be just the tally for the US. If you want to include Australia (cyclone, floods, drought), SE Asia (floods), Africa (drought) and who knows what else...
posted by Jimbob at 6:30 PM on December 29, 2011


That car picture is terrifying.
posted by Trurl at 6:31 PM on December 29, 2011


In my mind this is forever the year with the baby earthquake and the hurricane in one week. Noted more in my mind for the Subway shutdown apocalypse in NYC!
posted by lyra4 at 6:32 PM on December 29, 2011


Trurl, is it just me or is that a gutter pipe that is sticking out that car's rear end?
posted by MattMangels at 6:34 PM on December 29, 2011


Your guess is as good as mine.

I'm not sure which sickens me more: the idea of whatever-it-is being rammed that hard into the car or something that was inside the car being sucked that hard out.
posted by Trurl at 6:40 PM on December 29, 2011


If anyone missed it, there are many good links in the methane plumes thread , especially towards the end.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:12 PM on December 29, 2011


This is all gay marriage's fault.

Either that or massive amounts of heat-trapping gases and assorted pollutants being pumped into the atmosphere for a century by a reckless species just begging for a cataclysmic mass die-off.

Nah. Gay marriage.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:25 PM on December 29, 2011 [9 favorites]


GOOGLE CHEMTRAILS!!! IT'S A GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY FROM OBAMA!!!

-a comment section of a well known conservative "news" website
posted by Mister Fabulous at 7:42 PM on December 29, 2011


I'm sure it's just a coincidence.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:05 PM on December 29, 2011


So, when will the insurance industry figure out that global climate change is bad for business. I guess it's good for the construction industry. But businesses are supposed to pay attention to costs, and the costs are only going to increase. This isn't about saving an obscure snail darter; it's, well, global.
posted by theora55 at 8:16 PM on December 29, 2011


So, when will the insurance industry figure out that global climate change is bad for business.

From about five years ago (though with the usual disparity between the European and American outlooks).
posted by pompomtom at 8:28 PM on December 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Actually, the car just got out of ranger school.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:49 PM on December 29, 2011


What's truly amazing to me, as a self-centered New Englander, is that this list doesn't include the June 6th tornadoes in MA or the October Nor'easter that hit most of Sourthen and Central New England.

I mean, I understand that they didn't make the cut cost-wise, but...this year, we had crippling snowfall (something like 73 inches in six weeks) at the onset, then four tornadoes, including a deadly one that went 39 miles, then a hurricane, and then a freak snowstorm that dumped over 30 inches of snow on the region while the trees still had almost all of their leaves. Oh, and this December we've had three thunderstorms here in Central MA, and no snow whatsoever.
posted by rollbiz at 8:54 PM on December 29, 2011


It'll buff out?
posted by roboton666 at 9:59 PM on December 29, 2011


BitterOldPunk: This is all gay marriage's fault.

Hey, I know a song about that!

Jeff Masters has been doing good coverage of the 2011 disasters - including an entry about the NOAA report.

What's going to be increasingly interesting is the years where baseline warming from AGW is combined with shorter term cycles and 'noise' such as a a strong el niño and|or the slight el niño type of even post solar maximum.

To extend the analogy in the Real Climate article about methane I posted in the previous thread: The car is speeding up, and the faster you go the less it takes to throw things out of kilter, pushing the running gear past what it can balance and damp.

Then it's just one pebble in the road and you are bouncing off the walls each side of the carriageway with the tyres roaring and the shock of inevitability filling your with impotent adrenalin, unable to do anything but watch as it all plays out.
posted by titus-g at 10:19 PM on December 29, 2011


Then it's just one pebble in the road and you are bouncing off the walls each side of the carriageway with the tyres roaring and the shock of inevitability filling your with impotent adrenalin, unable to do anything but watch as it all plays out.

Yeah, we're pretty much f*cked.

It will be interesting to see how climate denialism evolves if weather-related disasters continue at this pace, or that pace quickens. My parents basically watch two channels: Fox News and the Weather Channel. From Fox News they get that "global warming" is a farce and Al Gore is fat. From the Weather Channel they get the relentless coverage of these weather disasters. And that shakes their faith that climate change is a "scam." Even they can see that something's happening, and though they resist drawing conclusions, I don't think they can avoid the obvious forever.

But it'll all play out like the Iraq war did. They were foursquare in favor of it until it went south, and finally in 2008 my mother says to me: We never should have gone in there. But by then, of course, it was far too late.
posted by kgasmart at 7:07 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Harsh Political Reality Slows Climate Studies Despite Extreme Year
posted by homunculus at 11:41 AM on December 30, 2011


Political Reality?

Is that an oxymoron?
posted by BlueHorse at 1:37 PM on December 30, 2011


It will be quite beautifully horrfying to watch it all unfold...

Slowly...

And with a permenance...

At least in our shallow human timescales...

The changes that we have set in motion...

If there is a grand power watching from on high, and in judgement...

Forgive us, for we embraced the way of fools.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 10:49 PM on December 30, 2011


It will be interesting to see how climate denialism evolves if weather-related disasters continue at this pace, or that pace quickens.
posted by kgasmart at 7:07 AM on December 30 [1 favorite +] [!]

It will "evolve", I think, in the manner of punctuated equilibrium, in that there will be a tipping point, and when we pass that in some way that's undeniable even to the most denying of deniers, there will be the huge "spoink" of a mass cognitive-dissonance event and the new narrative will be that "yes, of course we know global warming is real but it's too late to do anything about it now".

Somehow, this will all be the fault of Gore, (both) Clintons, and Obama.
posted by kcds at 7:14 AM on December 31, 2011


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