Much of the world's climate is now changing. Because of global warming, there has been an increase in severe weather in some regions. Hurricanes in some areas are expected to not only increase, but become even stronger. Not only hurricanes are increasing in activity though. Climate change is said to be the culprit in increased tornado activity.
Researchers are looking into the trend of increasing tornado activity. There has also been an observed increase in tornado severity. The trends that have shown much increase show that tornadoes are having more extreme outbreaks.
Michael Tippet, associate professor of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at Columbia Engineering has made the study of increased tornado activity. He also wondered about the possible effect climate change would have to severe thunderstorms. He also said that the warming climate might have implications on tornado activity that isn't much understood yet.
For the study, the researchers used data from NOAA on tornado reports as well as meteorological quantities associated with it. Chiara LePore, co-author of the study and associate research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory said that past studies have only focused on the tornado reports but not on the meteorological aspects of tornado outbreaks.
The recent study not only shows that there is an increased tornado activity, but that faster and more extreme tornado activity is on the rise as well, according to the Columbia Engineering site. The researchers used models based on extreme value distributions. The parameters for the values have been varied in order to match trends in the data.
Joel Cohen, the co-author of the study and director of the Laboratory of Populations, said that it is not yet clear what is driving the rise in tornado activity. Climate science is not sure yet why this is happening. The models made about tornado activity increase so far do not see global warming to be a factor, as Science Daily Reports.
One possible factor that is affecting tornado activity is wind shear. An earlier report has said that wind patterns could predict when a tornado would hit. So far the study isn't clear why it is happening, and if global warming might be somehow involved with it. It might be that climate change is the culprit in increased tornado activity, but that will have to be known in further studies.