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Giving Compass' Take:
• In this story from Pacific Standard, author Kate Wheeling discusses the lack of research on the relationship between the behavior of tornadoes and climate change.
• What are the most important areas that the nonprofit sector can address to help victims of tornadoes? What additional research must we conduct to better understand the threat that tornadoes present right now and in the future?
• To learn about the best strategies for rebuilding after natural disasters, click here.
The American South is no stranger to tornadoes, which under the right weather conditions can occur anywhere on Earth, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But [recent] twisters were outside of what's historically been the most tornado-prone region of the United States, an ill-defined stretch of the southern plains known as Tornado Alley that covers ground between Texas, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska.
The U.S. seems to have entered an era of increasingly erratic and extreme weather of all kinds, from record-breaking hurricanes, to endless wildfire seasons, to extreme heat waves—all linked, in some way, to climate change. Which raises the question, could climate change also be influencing the behavior of tornadoes?
According to Noah Diffenbaugh, a professor of earth system science at Stanford University, there's been a "scientific revolution" over the last 15 years in researchers' ability to detect the influence of global warming on individual extreme events such as heat waves or droughts. But the same cannot be said for tornadoes.
Without long-term data researchers can't draw any conclusions about trends over time, or evaluate what the chances are that an individual, extreme event was just another case of natural variation or was made worse by global warming.
Read the full article about tornadoes by Kate Wheeling at Pacific Standard