For years some climate scientists have been warning of a link between stronger tornadoes and climate change.
“It is irresponsible not to mention climate change,” said Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in 2011 after a series of large tornadoes. “The environment in which all of these storms and the tornadoes are occurring has changed from human influences.”
350.org founder Bill McKibben appeared on Democracy Now! in May 2011, the deadliest year for tornado outbreaks in the United States since 1953, with more than 500 people killed.
“What’s happening is we’re making the earth a more dynamic and violent place. That’s, in essence, what global warming is about,” McKibben said. “We’re trapping more of the sun’s energy in this narrow envelope of atmosphere, and that’s now expressing itself in many way. We don’t know for sure that any particular tornado comes from climate change. There have always been tornadoes. We do know that we’re seeing epic levels of thunderstorm activity, of flooding, of drought, of all the things that climatologists have been warning us about.”