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CNN Meteorologist: This ‘Strange Spring’ Where Extremes ‘Become The Norm’ Is The ‘Climate Change We Are Seeing’

By Joe Romm on April 4, 2012 at 11:25 am

"CNN Meteorologist: This ‘Strange Spring’ Where Extremes ‘Become The Norm’ Is The ‘Climate Change We Are Seeing’"

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CNN meteorologist Alexandra Steele said Tuesday that in fact all this extreme weather we are seeing is due to climate change.

Host Carol Costello said, it’s “such a strange spring,” leading Steele to say

“It really is. That’s kind of the climate change we are seeing. You know, extremes are kind of ruling the roost and really what we are seeing, more become the norm.”

Costello said it made her “afraid” about what might happen next spring, to which Steele replied:

“This global warming is really kind of a misnomer. It’s global climate change. So the colds are colder and warms are warmer and severe is more severe.”

Watch it:

Thanks to this off the charts extreme weather and the growing body of scientific literature attributing it to human-caused global warming, we are starting to see more and more journalists, meteorologists and climate scientists make the connection.

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16 Responses to CNN Meteorologist: This ‘Strange Spring’ Where Extremes ‘Become The Norm’ Is The ‘Climate Change We Are Seeing’

  1. Sasparilla says:

    “we are starting to see more and more journalists, meteorologists and climate scientists make the connection.”

    Such an important point Joe – its hard to ignore the changes in the climate, and this is where climate change will still get acknowledged in the media as its effects play out.

    At some time we’ll cross that threshold when climate change will become something the average person starts thinking we have to do something about climate change – now. I don’t know when that will be (years for sure), but with a constant acknowledgement of the effects that people are seeing and experiencing, I know we’re getting closer, which is a good thing.

    Maybe we won’t have to wait for the ocean to flood NY and DC to get to the point where the politicians in the US (both parties) are pushed forward by its citizens.

  2. Gail Zawacki says:

    Same thing happened this year as last – the spring peepers came out early (mid-March) because it was so warm, then we had a couple of frosts, and now I hear exactly zero.

    They used to make a deafening chorus for weeks.

    Be very afraid.

    • Paul Magnus says:

      The last year around here earthworms seem to have vanished. They usually crowed the footpaths around now. It is worrying. The bee and wasp count is way down also.

  3. Leif says:

    My simplistic take away is more energy in the system, ~1 million Hiros a day, will manifest itself somehow. It is not like humans evolved looking at climatic disruption. I think that may be a big factor in the denier camp. Nothing in past history has primed man to see climate change on such a large rapid scale. There for it cannot be happening. Kind of like looking for mushrooms in the woods. As soon as you see one the rest are all around. Once we accept the fact of climate change, the reality becomes obvious on many facets. Perhaps even mistaking other tufts as mushrooms, but that is a different story and that does not prove mushrooms do not exist!

    Ross Douthat in the NYT today ended his defense to Super PAC with this line.
    “… look like a case where more money in politics might be just what the democratic process needs.”
    My reply:
    NOT. The only way that will work is if “We the People” take the profits out of the pollution the commons. Corporations appear apolitical only because they answer to a higher calling. MONEY! Democrat or Republican makes no difference to Corpor/People as long as they do the bidding of the Puppet master. Damn the torpedoes, improve the bottom line. That is no foundation to build a viable economic base in an era of dwindling resources. Look at what we have reaped Ross. Polluted air, water, earth, oceans and food for starters. Stop profits from the pollution of the commons. Humanity deserves nothing less.

  4. SecularAnimist says:

    Joe wrote: “CNN meteorologist Alexandra Steele said Tuesday that in fact all this extreme weather we are seeing is due to climate change.”

    Actually, all this extreme weather we are seeing is not “due to” climate change — it IS climate change. It is “due to” global warming. We call it “extreme weather” now — when we look back at 30 years of it, will call it “climate change”.

  5. Chris says:

    So the colds are colder and warms are warmer and severe is more severe.

    And he should also add that the warms are happening much more often than the colds.

  6. Paul Magnus says:

    Context is everything. There was no way that societies world view was going to change with out some impetuous. Problem as we all know with GW is reaction is way too inadequate. It becomes fruitless.

    That is why it was/is so important that we had leadership in this matter. Something that is still no where in sight to the require level.

  7. Myron Mesecke says:

    If the La Nina years of 2011 and 2012 outbreak of tornadoes is due to climate change then what caused the La Nina year of 1974 super outbreak of tornadoes? Remember that 1974 was in the middle of the global cooling fear.

    I learned in the National Weather Service Skywarn class that it is the interaction of cold dry air above and warm moist air below that fuels storms. The normal southern wind off of the Gulf of Mexico was in place. A cold front moved through the area which provided the instability needed for storms to form.

    Being a trained storm spotter I received an email that the NWS had forecast the potential for severe weather in North Texas on Monday and Tuesday.

    I would appreciate learning what the difference is between a massive outbreak of tornadoes almost 40 years ago and a massive outbreak of tornadoes today.

  8. Peter Bollwerk says:

    To be clear, it is Global Warming that causes Global Climate Change. The terms are not technically interchangeable. One causes the other.

    • Joe Romm says:

      Well, I’m not sure that is a technical distinction.

      • SecularAnimist says:

        I believe that Peter Bollwerk is correct.

        “Global warming” refers to the warming of the Earth system as it retains more of the Sun’s energy as a result of the anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

        “Climate change” refers to the effects of that warming on the Earth’s climate.

        • prokaryotes says:

          Climate change defines a change of the global climax state. Global warming or global cooling are the type of state change (plus/minus). And this is possibly why Dr Lovelock chosen an analog model (Daisyworld) to model particular the earth Albedo. Albedo is the main environmental constant when it comes to thermal distribution – when assessing climate states.

    • Mark Shapiro says:

      I agree tentatively with Peter. Higher CO2 traps heat in the troposphere, warming it and then the land and the oceans. The extra heat changes the climate via all the mechanisms discussed here and elsewhere: more evaporation, higher humidity, ice melt, lower albedo, biosphere changes.

      Higher CO2 causes warming, which in turn causes climate change. Not the only way to define it and certainly not the only way to frame it, but correct in a sense.

  9. Timeslayer says:

    “This global warming is really kind of a misnomer. It’s global climate change.”

    I really agree with this statement. We all understand that “global warming” is what is causing our climate to change, but it’s a poor term to describe the cause of the recent extremely cold winter in parts of Europe, as just one example.

    TS

  10. John Hartz says:

    Given the humongous amount of money spent by the Fossil Fuel Industry on advertising on CNN, I supect that Alexandra Steele’s days as a CNN meterologist are numbered.

    The folks in Deniersville are all in a tither about this incident.

    • CW says:

      You may be right, but in her defense, she did not say that it was human caused climate change.

      Remember, even Dick Cheney admitted climate change is happening. He just said that it wasn’t due to human activity.

      As good as it is to see ‘climate change’ mentioned, the bigger connection that needs to be made here is humanity’s role in it all.