Media Connecting The Dots On U.S. Storms, Heat And Wildfires: ‘This Is What Global Warming Looks Like’

Who’s connecting the dots on the extraordinary bout of extreme weather events hitting the U.S.? No, it’s not the “liberal” media. It’s Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report, the popular conservative news aggregation site.

Here’s the Drudge Report highlighting a fantastic story from the Associated Press today:

The U.S. is getting hit by a range of powerful extreme weather events this summer. Record droughts in the West and Midwest are fueling historic wildfires, putting pressure on farmers, and driving up crop prices. Extreme “hurricane-like” storms took eastern states by surprise over the weekend, knocking out power to millions of people and leaving them sweltering in an ongoing heat wave. Across the country in June, more than 3,000 heat records were broken. That was after an off-the-charts heat wave in March where heat records blew out cold records 12-1.

With all these events occurring simultaneously, climate scientists are being more blunt than ever — and journalists are finally connecting the dots in their stories. In the last few days, we’ve seen a number of excellent pieces making the connection between these events and climate change. The latest is from Associated Press science writer Seth Borenstein:

So far this year, more than 2.1 million acres have burned in wildfires, more than 113 million people in the U.S. were in areas under extreme heat advisories last Friday, two-thirds of the country is experiencing drought, and earlier in June, deluges flooded Minnesota and Florida.

“This is what global warming looks like at the regional or personal level,” said Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona. “The extra heat increases the odds of worse heat waves, droughts, storms and wildfire. This is certainly what I and many other climate scientists have been warning about.”

“What we’re seeing really is a window into what global warming really looks like,” said Princeton University geosciences and international affairs professor Michael Oppenheimer. “It looks like heat. It looks like fires. It looks like this kind of environmental disasters.”

Oppenheimer said that on Thursday. That was before the East Coast was hit with triple-digit temperatures and before a derecho — an unusually strong, long-lived and large straight-line wind storm — blew through Chicago to Washington. The storm and its aftermath killed more than 20 people and left millions without electricity. Experts say it had energy readings five times that of normal thunderstorms.

Greenhouse gases from man-made sources are putting a lot of extra energy into the atmosphere. In fact, the radiative forcing of all the CO2 humans have dumped into the air is equal to about 1 million Hiroshima nuclear bombs per day.

Scientists often compare that extra energy to a baseball slugger on steroids. While it’s difficult to look at a specific home run and say steroids were the only reason it happened, it’s much easier to show that the drugs increased the likelihood the ball made it over the fence. The same is true for climate steroids like CO2. All that extra energy in the atmosphere increases the probability and intensity of extreme weather events, making the droughts, storms and wildfires Americans are facing this summer far more likely and far more destructive.

As NBC Washington’s Chief Meteorologist, Doug Kammerer, explained on air “If we did not have global warming, we wouldn’t see this.”

Also helping connect the dots on these events, PBS recently featured a six-minute interview with Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Trenberth does an excellent job explaining the combination of factors that make extreme weather events more likely, finishing the interview with a blunt warning: “This is a view of the future, so watch out.”

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

“I don’t think there has been anything quite like this before….the odds are changing for these to occur with…the global warming from the human influences on climate.”

“You look out the window and you see climate change in action. This is the way it gets manifested…now we’re in the peak of the heat season and now we’re going outside the realm of conditions previously experienced. And so that’s when the damage really comes extreme and we get all these wildfires, houses have been burned, tremendous damage to the environment, and maybe some other consequences to come. These are all manifestations of climate change that we expect to see more of as time goes on.”

“It’s easy to break an individual record because the weather system happens to be at that particular location. With an unchanging climate you expect that the number of highs and the number of low temperature records are about the same. And that was the case in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. And then by the 2000’s, we were breaking high temperature records at a ratio of 2 to 1 over cold temperature records. But this year, we’ve been breaking high temperature records at a rate of about 10 to 1. Ironically, there are still some cool spots — mainly in the Pacific Northwest and cold temperature records continue to be broken. So breaking records is not an indication of climate change, but breaking records at a rate of 10 to 1 versus the cold records, that’s a clear indication of climate change.”

“This is a view of the future, so watch out.”

It’s good to see such a broad range stories connecting the dots between climate change and extreme weather. Unfortunately, it usually happens when the problem is on doorstep.

Here are more details on the heat wave from Climate Central:

The heat wave that is now extending into early July has been remarkable in its intensity and geographical scope. Consider that during just the June 25-July 1 period, 1,851 daily high temperature records were set or tied in the U.S., along with 609 record warm overnight lows. This compares to 149 record cold daily highs, and 267 record cold overnight lows during the same period.

Of these records, 157 were all-time high temperature records, and nine were all-time records for warm overnight low temperature. In fact, most of the year’s all-time high temperature records were set or tied during the ongoing heat wave.

The year-to-date has seen at least 21,969 record daily highs set or tied, and 18,180 records for warm overnight low temperature. By comparison, only 3,395 records have been set or tied for cold daily high temperature, and just 2,443 records for cold overnight low temperature. This translates to a ratio of about 7-to-1 in favor of warm temperature records.

In a long-term trend that demonstrates the effects of a warming climate, daily record-high temperatures have recently been outpacing daily record-lows by an average of 2-to-1, and this imbalance is expected to grow as the climate continues to warm. According to a 2009 study, if the climate were not warming, this ratio would be expected to be even. Other studies have shown that climate change increases the odds of extreme heat events and may make them warmer and longer lasting.

And here are some stunning local records via Climate Central:

  • Atlanta, GA: Set an all-time record of 106°F on Saturday, June 30. This beat the old record of 105°F set in 1980.
  • Macon, GA: Tied the all-time record of 108°F on Saturday, June 30. The old record was last observed in 1980.
  • St. Louis, MO: Set a monthly high temperature record of 108°F on June 28. The old record was 105°F, set in 1936.
  • Indianapolis, IN: Set a monthly high temperature record of 104°F on June 28. The old record was 102°F, which was last recorded in 1988.
  • Ft. Wayne, IN: Tied the all-time high of 106°F on June 28.
  • Norton Dam, Kansas: Broke the all-time high with 118°F on June 28, beating the old record of 113°F.
  • Dodge City, KS: Set an all-time high of 112°F, beating old record of 110°F.
  • Washington, DC: Set a monthly high temperature record with 104°F on June 29, beating the old record of 102 F. This was just the 10th time on record that DC has reached 104°F or higher during any month of the year.
  • Charlotte, NC: Tied the all-time record of 104°F on June 30.
  • Columbia, SC.: Set an all-time record high of 109°F, breaking the previous all-time record high of 107°F.
  • Nashville, TN: Set an all-time record high of 109°F, breaking the previous record of 107°F.

Mother Nature is just getting warmed up.

59 Responses to Media Connecting The Dots On U.S. Storms, Heat And Wildfires: ‘This Is What Global Warming Looks Like’

  1. SecularAnimist says:

    It’s unfortunate that AP writer Seth Borenstein felt the need to include nonsense from discredited global warming denier John Christy for (false) “balance” in an otherwise good article focusing on the views of legitimate climate scientists who are, apparently, finally overcoming their reluctance to speak out.

    And Borenstein’s article is wrong on another count. Borenstein writes, “Europe, Asia and Africa aren’t having similar disasters now, although they’ve had their own extreme events in recent years.”

    Actually, “similar disasters” — flooding, droughts, fires, heat waves — are occurring now, all over the world. And it’s true that much worse disasters have indeed occurred all over the world “in recent years” — but in terms of climate, “in recent years” means “now”.

    This is far from “the worst of global warming”, as Borenstein puts it in his first sentence. It’s only the beginning.

  2. prokaryotes says:

    Why is nobody mentioning the russian wildfires which are worse then 2010 already?

    Sat iimages shows 1000 of smoke plumes – this is huge

  3. In the video I was struck by Judy’s comment that this was going to keep the scientists busy… as if this wasn’t a story of profound loss for the planet, and for us.

  4. Tom L says:

    Because even good people will cling to the illusion that we are somehow ‘in control’ until the bitter end. And looking directly at Global Burning hurts our eyes as SA pointed out above.

  5. M Tucker says:

    Yeah, the US media doesn’t really care about the rest of the world. US media would rather focus on the personal lives of TV and movie personalities, the elections, banking scandals and obesity.

    Northern India has been experiencing severe heat, water shortages and crop damage.

    Argentina has experienced severe drought damage to the corn and soy crops.

    Spain has also been experiencing drought. Regions in China finally got a little rain after a prolonged drought. Then there is Africa…

    It is not just the US. No one is safe. Global warming is global. It is an equal opportunity disaster and SecularAnimist is right, it is only the beginning. But four months from now only those who have lost loved ones, property or crops will remember and only a few of those will connect it with anthropogenic global warming.

  6. wallydanger says:

    And all those trees down? Surprised I have no seen mentioned the connection between rising Co2 and the effect that has on plant growth. Causes an increase in speed of growth, making branches overlong with more foliage – prone to cracking branches and splitting trunks.

  7. Richard Miller says:

    I was also struck by that. It was almost as if she viewed climate change as an interesting curiosity for scientists that had nothing to do with her or the rest of us. Bizarre!

  8. wili says:

    Good points.

    It’s the perfect circle of ignorance–since no one pays any attention to the ongoing climate mayhem going on around the globe, they assume it doesn’t exist. But then, when we actually have the uber-extremes here, MSM says–oh, but it’s just a passing local phenomenon–and since no one knows anything about the rest of the world, they don’t question it.

    Add to your list, Korea (both of them) which, up to a few days ago, was undergoing its worst drought in over a century.

  9. wili says:

    It means the end of another independent and (mostly) accurate source of information about climate, in all probability. I hear that Bain Capital is part owner of the new parent company.

    Big loss.

  10. wili says:

    The title needs a slight adjustment:

    “This is what _the very earliest stages of_ global warming look like”

  11. Luc Binette says:

    I’d like to point out that the independent news network DemocracyNow (Amy Goodman) made a similar point TODAY !

  12. John C. Wilson says:

    Go outside and look at a tree. This will work anywhere on planet earth although it may be less marked in the southern hemisphere. That tree is thin. You can see through it. It has been dropping branches. You’ve been paying landscapers to haul away all those branches. You can see the piles of branches clogging recycling centers, materials yards, any place they can be put. The trees are thin and the foliage is thin. There is no deep shade anywhere. There is dappled shade and barely shade.

    Please people who claim to care about nature. Go look at it. Look at a tree.

  13. Dano says:

    Surprised I have no seen mentioned the connection between rising Co2 and the effect that has on plant growth. Causes an increase in speed of growth, making branches overlong with more foliage – prone to cracking branches and splitting trunks.

    I have a degree in a specialized…erm…branch of forestry. I am unaware of this “connection” nor its manifestation on the ground.

    Evidence please.



  14. Paul Magnus says:

    Actually there are some ‘large’ disasters right now elsewhere…

    Indian monsoon floods leave 80 dead and 2 million homeless

    Huge Wildfires Burn on Opposite Sides of the Planet

    100 dead and 250,000 stranded in Bangladesh floods

    North Korea facing worst drought in 100 years – Telegraph

    Spain burns as global temperatures rise

  15. Don’t fall for such ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ hogstwaddle.

    Trees are breaking and falling because they are rotting, literally dying where they stand from tropospheric pollution (including ozone).

  16. petronelle says:

    To to “Wit’s End” blog RIGHT NOW and educate yourself!

  17. wili says:

    As to “connecting the dots”–I don’t see anyone connecting the dots between these extreme extremes, the similar bizarre anomalies this March, the extremes happening this year around the world, and the methane that was reportedly bubbling out of the Arctic Ocean last year as if the seas were boiling.

  18. Wit's End says:

    I suspect Wallydanger has a point because I have noticed the same phenomena. However, I think that effect of CO2, which is speculative although logical, pales in comparative impact to that of tropospheric ozone the level of which has been rising in tandem with CO2 and is a foreign poison to plantlife.

    I’m sure since Dano has as degree in forestry he knows the injury resulting from ozone HAS been extensively, in fact exhaustively, demonstrated during decades of scientific research, which has found it is extremely detrimental to vegetation including annual crops and especially longer-lived trees exposed to cumulative damage.

    Naturally as we all know, the weather is violently worse from climate change – but even more important in terms of lost power is that the TREES are different. They are all dying from air pollution, everywhere around the world. John Wilson is quite correct, it’s pretty obvious actually, if you just look at them. Their bark is falling off, they have cankers and holes like tumors, their leaves are small and burnt and shriveled.

    The first thing trees do when they absorb ozone (air pollution) is allocate more resources to repairing damage to the leaves or needles. This reduces energy sent to the roots. Shrunken root systems mean the trees are more likely to fall over and also are more vulnerable to drought, which is happening more because of climate change. To top it all off, they lose natural immunity to insects, disease and fungus. Go ask a tree. It will tell you if you listen.

    The underlying reason the power is out, and wildfires are uncontrollable, is air pollution. It’s as simple and clear a causal connection as smoking tobacco leads to cancer, a truth that has been even more ruthlessly suppressed by the corporate overlords who seek to perpetuate the industrial destruction of nature until the very last second before she stabs them with her pitchfork. Just ask the authors of “An Appalachian Tragedy”.

    A short book about it can be downloaded for free:

  19. prokaryotes says:

    Given the association of extreme weather and climate events with rising global temperature, the expectation of new record high temperatures in 2012 also suggests that the frequency and magnitude of extreme events could reach a high level in 2012. Extreme events include not only high temperatures, but also indirect effects of a warming atmosphere including the impact of higher temperature on extreme rainfall and droughts. The greater water vapor content of a warmer atmosphere allows larger rainfall anomalies and provides the fuel for stronger storms driven by latent heat.
    – Dr James Hansen NASA 2010

  20. prokaryotes says:

    Get Ready for Super-Extreme Weather: “We Are Just Now Experiencing the Full Effect of CO2 Emitted [by] the Late 1980s”

  21. prokaryotes says:

    NASA’s Hansen: Would recent extreme “events have occurred if atmospheric carbon dioxide had remained at its pre-industrial level of 280 ppm?” The “appropriate answer” is “almost certainly not.”

    “It is likely that 2012 will reach a record high global temperature.”
    Our top climatologist has a must-read, chart-filled analysis, “How Warm Was This Summer?”
    The two most fascinating parts are
    Hansen’s discussion of how scientists should answer questions about the recent record-smashing extreme weather events
    Hansen’s analysis of what is coming in the next couple of years.

  22. Dano says:

    All I find is something about the FACE experiments and the stem elongation with a concurrent lack of wood is not a finding of the FACE work AFAIK.

    So simply directing someone to the site without any more pointers is not a good use of time. But thanks!



  23. Dano says:

    I agree it is hogwash and doesn’t make sense botanically. Especially in most forest which are N-limited or moisture-limited or both.



  24. wili says:

    I’m not sure what on that site you thought was relevant to the conversation, but this image from NASA of wildfires around the world, linked there, I found quite astonishing:

    What is happening in southern Africa??!! It looks like the whole place is going up in flames!

  25. Rob Jones says:

    You can add severe floods in India and Bangladesh to that list. Deep down most people know that increasing the amount of a heat trapping gas in the atmosphere has to increase the amount of heat trapped by that atmosphere.
    But who wants to change their fuel consuming lifestyles? The whole system is set up in such a way that unless you are prepared to walk away from everything and embrace crippling poverty you have no choice but to contribute. I drive too far to go to work, in a place that is too cold to live without heating. My fridge breaks down after a few years as does my car and toaster and just about every other item that I depend upon. I wan’t to stop using fossil fuel energy but I don’t have enough money to afford green power (it costs more).
    I have limited the number of children that I have but how many of us have done even that?
    The whole shebang is a product of too many people in the end but whats being done about it? There are two clear choices, 1 limit the number of humans and restore ecosystems world wide or 2, let nature sort it out. Option 1 is humane and difficult but option 2 will be a cruel slow death for billions from fire, flood, starvation, famine or disease. How can we claim to be smart?

  26. Doug Bostrom says:

    No kidding. The UK just posted historically large amounts of rainfall in June, the previous history having been made “way back” in 2007.

  27. prokaryotes says:

    Stunning observation, can we plot this to recent years?

  28. wili says:

    Prok, I asked about it on another thread, and apparently these are fires intentionally set during dry “fire” season every year to clear land cheaply and sometimes to as part of a hunting strategy. I know that something like this has been going on for a long time, but I’m not sure that they have been this widespread in the more distant past when there were fewer people living there.

  29. Add to the list extreme drought in northeastern Brazil.

  30. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    In the Rightwing MSM ‘balance’ only appears when the interests of the powerful are at stake. There is no ‘balance’ whatsoever in the lies peddled over Syria’s crucifixion, or in any other manifestation of Western geo-politics, but when it comes to the future of humanity they go all ‘Fair and Balanced’. Hypocrites.

  31. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Buy ’em up and close them down. An old tactic of our Masters’.

  32. It is very, very important that mainstream media report on the worldwide crisis that is ongoing. Worsening ongoing crisis is our state of affairs until we begin serious work to deal with the problem.

    And for those who talk about adaptation… You can’t adapt to the violent forces that are being unleashed and the even worse effects down the road in 10,20, 50, 100 years. We are polluting civilization and many other creatures off the planet.

  33. squidboy6 says:

    Buy em up and spin the news is the MO these days.

  34. squidboy6 says:

    Most people around the US do not trim trees, they just wait until they fall. It’s a big industry in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles but in New Orleans they don’t do that and the trees are huge and lush. They reduce the temperature by ten degrees under the shade vs. the sun, or more.

    Trees aren’t going to grow a lot faster due to higher CO2, except in the early years, but monocots, shrubs and bushes, grasses probably will. Single celled plants, algae, will.

    Santa Barbara gets a ”Tree City” award all the time but the amount of trees is half of what it was thirty years ago. The City is warmer too. Old shacks and homes were built of redwood and some of those homes are still standing.

  35. O3 says:

    Its the beginning of the climate disruption and whats killing the trees and making them more vulnerable to storms is the O3 pollution. O3 weakens trees, wake up!

  36. A.J. says:

    This wouldn’t be the first time the anchors have seemed disconnected/dispassionate (or had few substantive follow-up questions). Maybe it’s become part of the culture over there to keep it low key and be good little newsreaders. Don’t know.

  37. Dano says:

    The assertion was that increased CO2 conc resulted in stem elongation and abcission. I was then sent to your site for confirmation, which was not to be found.

    I agree tree health in areas is in decline – LL O3, N deposition, acid rain, grazing, invasives, AGW, nutrient cycling changes from various factors, and so on. It is not CO2 AFAIK (and no one can confirm thus far).

    O3 is a different matter, and there is tons of evidence of the problem, including in the FACE studies you mention.

    Humans are, simply, using all the resources and the biosphere is in decline in many places. The evidence is overwhelming.



  38. Paul Magnus says:

    I have to agree. I have noticed rapid growth of greenery round here when we have wet seasons relative to previous.

  39. wallydanger says:

    Surprised then that you know nothing about this. I saw a couple of video documentary reports (though cannot recall the programs, most likely on PBS) many years ago on the research and some of the findings. There is a lot to find if you google “increased CO2 effects on trees. Though faster growth and increased foliage does not make a healthier tree, but more prone to damage.

  40. jyyh says:

    Yep, that’s the ‘slash and burn’ of the southern savannas. Looks pretty widespread this year. Good luck to any animals present. I do not know the exact method they’re doing that, the preferred method would of course be slash and char. The rainy season isn’t beginning for a while though to put any escaped fires out.

  41. wallydanger says:

    Trees are dying in different location for a multitude of reasons. I took a 3000 mile roadtrip around the western states last Fall and was horrified by the huge number of dead and dying trees. Many had been weakened by insect attack and further stressed by drought. I’d guess that overall, 1/3 of trees were dead or almost so. Very frightening. And it makes for good fire fuel.

  42. ndk says:

    I don’t think that’s fair; Stu Ostro certainly hasn’t been muzzled by the Weather Channel. I doubt Jeff Masters would be, or could be, even if TWCC wanted to do so — and I doubt they do. His freedom will bring readers and success.

  43. prokaryotes says:

    Society not ready for heat waves coming with climate change

    Even worse disasters happened in Europe in 2003, when 70,000 excess deaths were caused by an extreme heat event that lasted three weeks, and in Russia in 2010, when a heat wave caused 50,000 excess deaths.
    The USA has yet to experience such an extreme heat event, but some experts believe that with climate change it’s only a matter of time.
    Climate projections see global warming driving longer, warmer and more frequent heat waves for North America in coming years, says Princeton climate scientist Ngar-Cheung Lau.
    Essentially, global warming raises the odds of heat waves, and at the same time worsens their effects due to the warmer temperature it brings on average, he says. “One cannot attach certainty to any one weather event being driven by climate change, but this heat wave is certainly striking in its size, severity and duration, similar to the sort of heat waves seen in climate projections,” Lau says.
    Klinenberg says cities such as Washington, Philadelphia and New York City are ill prepared.
    “We need to make sure that cities can get through the worst heat wave,” he says. “In New York City, police officers drive through streets using loudspeakers asking people to turn down their air conditioning during the day. The power grid can’t handle it.”

    Getting through the worst heat waves means massive sheltering – to hunker down for long durations in future years to come. During these episodes a lot can go wrong – like power outages or let’s say food or water shortages.

    Good luck

  44. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The ‘current affairs’ programs here are vacuous in the extreme, featuring much content concerning ‘Hollywood celebrities’ like ‘Pink’ (or was it ‘Puce’?)a young woman with no obvious talent and a fetching Mohawkish hairdo. Climate change is definitely a poor ratings choice. The plebs do not like engaging in mental activity.

  45. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    If the ‘meeja’ were sane, rational, humane and,like, cared for their own kids, the sustainability crisis for human civilization would be the only story. Unfortunately continued human existence clashes with the MSM’s owners’ religion of profit maximisation, so the hacks, being well-trained and obedient, keep their mouths shut.

  46. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Moral and intellectual cowardice run rampant when you are a wage slave whose owner can dispense with you at the drop of a hat. It’s called ‘freedom’ in our Orwellian discourse.

  47. Spike says:

    “The year-to-date has seen at least 21,969 record daily highs set or tied, and 18,180 records for warm overnight low temperature. By comparison, only 3,395 records have been set or tied for cold daily high temperature, and just 2,443 records for cold overnight low temperature. This translates to a ratio of about 7-to-1 in favor of warm temperature records.”

    The ratio is 6.5 to 1 for daytime records and about 7.5 to 1 for overnight temperatures – a fingerprint of AGW perhaps.

  48. Spike says:

    Wettest June since records began in 1910 according to Met Office

  49. Spike says:

    A manifestation of modern man’s radical disconnection from Nature and therefore reality, and his obsession with a monetised econometric view on everything, with a titillating fringe of celebrity hoo haa. Just look at how everything on the news is presented from the business/economy/money viewpoint – pure idolatry.

  50. Spike says:

    If Masters goes or is muzzled that will be a sign of the times.

  51. prokaryotes says:

    Fun with numbers … 0.75

    …when people talk about ‘climate change’ today, they mean the changes in temperature over the last 100 years caused by human activity. During this time, the average temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth’s surface has risen by about 0.75 degrees Celsius.

  52. Spike says:

    I hope you’re right – which is why I said “If”.

  53. Mark says:

    I am not a scientist, but, It where I live in central canada, we have had alternating drought, and flooding.

    It is very hard on the trees.

    throw in early springs, mild winters, and high summer temperatures, and you have a problem for trees.

    many trees around here died and continue to die, or are in a weakened state, and vulnerable to insects, as a result of prolonged drought last summer.

  54. mjm says:

    Just a note – CBS Evening News ran the heat wave and it’s potential link to Climate Change as it’s lead story last night (July 3rd). It’s still listing is as the lead story on the website. I’m heartened by the fact that it wasn’t just a story they covered, but was the lead. I was commenting to my wife last night before watching the news that it’s funny how often the weather is the lead one or two storied more times than naught, but how they never connect the dots. Maybe it’s finally happening…


  55. prokaryotes says:

    This is a positive venture i think. John Coleman is long gone and Master’s will keep doing what he’s done in the past, just to a bigger audience.

  56. Dano says:

    Surprised then that you know nothing about this. …Though faster growth and increased foliage does not make a healthier tree, but more prone to damage.

    I know nothing about it because it hasn’t manifested itself out in the biosphere, AFAICT.



  57. Joan Savage says:

    Just to keep things straight, the energy involved in net radiative forcing is solar energy that failed to escape from the earth’s atmosphere. The GHGs prevent the escape.
    It is not correct to say, “Greenhouse gases from man-made sources are putting a lot of extra energy into the atmosphere.” The GHGs don’t put the energy there, what they do is keep solar energy from escaping from the atmosphere.

    The comparison to Hiroshima bombs is misleading because it sounds like the energy is earth-sourced. The Hiroshima bombs analogy is only to give a sense of magnitude to the net radiative forcing.