Is Climate Change Causing Extreme Decrease In Tornadoes?


Tornado and Rainbow Over Kansas
Image Credit & Copyright: Eric Nguyen (Oklahoma U.),

I got that picture from NASA’s astronomy pictures of the day.  If you like really cool pics, you can get lost just looking at the neat pics there. 

Well, I feel like I’m a day late and a dollar short on this.  Yesterday I was going to look about our tornadoes, but I noticed Paul had beat me to it.  Still, I was going to write a little post directing people there, but, beer got in the way of me doing that, yesterday.  And, now today, I see posts on tornadoes all over the place!  Prolly because of this and this

There really isn’t much to add to what’s been stated already, except for a couple of things.  First, let’s examine this graph…….


I sincerely wish people would quit doing that.  It adds to the allusion that we know what the tornado counts were in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  We don’t, we didn’t, and we have no way of going back in time to calculate such numbers.  The only thing we can note is that if we actually counted the tornadoes above in those decades then we know the actual numbers would have been significantly higher.  Of course, the thought occurs to me that we didn’t count these and the graph of that time period is simply some extrapolation from some insidiously stupid mode.  I would dig a bit deeper and see where they derived these numbers from but, convincing people we don’t know what the record of weather events were prior to and even beyond the advent of the satellite era is a near impossible task.  Even the old satellites weren’t as capable as the ones today, so I would caution people not to conflate these things. 

I don’t know why it takes bloggers and commenters to point these things out.  Yesterday, I showed a map of all of the GHCN thermometers we had in 1850.


And, yet, people pretend we know what the global average temp was back then.  We don’t.  We can’t.  And we never will.  We do the same with the Ocean Heat Content…..


They know no such thing. 

Previously, I mentioned early generation satellites.  They weren’t nearly as sensitive as modern ones today.  I don’t remember where the comment is, but, in discussions with NOAA scientists, frequent commenter Latitude was able to get an admission of this in regards to measuring our ice extent.


Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying the arctic ice hasn’t decreased a bit.  But, the simple fact is that early generations weren’t as accurate in determining the ice percentage in the peripheral ice.  Meaning, simply by making the improvements in our instrumentation, it biases the data for a lower ice extent. 

There is no better egregious example of conflating data derived from unlike instruments than our sea-level determination…..


Again, has our sea level generally risen?  Of course.  It’s been doing that since we exited the LIA and perhaps longer.  But, to pretend we know to the hundredth of a millimeter how much it’s risen is simply sophistry to the hundredth power. 

So, what has all of this have to do with tornadoes?  Other than the obvious?  My point is this, all of the calculations about determining our climate, either in the past or projections of the future, derived from calculations in the past are simply in error.  They’re wrong and they can never be correct.  Are extreme weather events increasing or decreasing?  We have no way of ever knowing.  My intuition tells me that over a period of a few decades that there is no change in such events.  The record number of tornadoes in 2011?  I’d bet my bottom dollar the previous record set in the early 70s surpassed by a significant number.  But, we don’t know and can’t know.   Droughts, floods, temps, sea levels, ice extent, tornadoes, hurricanes, CO2 levels, OHC, and all of the rest of the data from which we base our calculations and projections are all based on anecdotal evidence, conflation of unlike data, and supposition, or more descriptive, superstition. 

It’s time to put the anti-science, math hating, book burning nutters in the place they properly belong ………  in the dust bin of history next to the witch-burners, and phrenologists.   

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12 Responses to Is Climate Change Causing Extreme Decrease In Tornadoes?

  1. gator69 says:

    We now interrupt this broadcast for an important announcement.

    The debate is over! Man made CO2 helps prevent hurricanes and tornados.

    We will now return you to your previous power generation. 😉

  2. Latitude says:

    The biggest change was Doppler……and nothing compared to Doppler 3
    There’s is absolutely no way they counted tornadoes 20 years ago, like they do now…
    What would have been one tornado, can now be several.
    Not to even mention the ones that were missed entirely, counted as one when they were a band, etc
    Now that Doppler has dropped analog, it’s even in the spotter planes..

    • suyts says:

      Exactly. While that top graph may be appealing for some, it in no way reflects reality.

    • miked1947 says:

      Even the doppler is not really accurate. That is why they still have to do a survey of the area to know if a tornado really hit and what the intensity was. A few years back they claimed over fifty tornadoes during one storm, when examining they found three had hit the area.

    • PhilJourdan says:

      Tornadoes, like fish storms. Instead of appreciating that we are not able to accurately measure things like ACE, the number of Tornadoes, they try to alarm us by the fact they are now accurate.

  3. cdquarles says:

    James, I think we can use counts of EF1+ storms that caused enough damage to make the newspapers to get an idea of the relative differences, but there is no way to know how many spin up EF0s there were in the past nor will we know how many EF1+s there were that didn’t cause damage to property or people because there weren’t enough people in the area for it to make the news at the time.

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