Extreme Weather Hits Home – Weblog

January 8, 2008

Tornadoes in January

Filed under: Rising Temperatures — Tags: , , , — John Banta @ 4:19 am

Unseasonably warm weather has resulted in rare January tornadoes in Missouri, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Illinois and Oklahoma. More warm weather in the midwest and tornadoes are expected to continue for another day.

 Temperature records for January were set in Buffalo, Toledo, Atlantic City New Jersey and Chicago.


December 21, 2007

Increasing Incidence of Ice Storms

Filed under: Freezing/Melting — Tags: , , , — John Banta @ 6:35 pm

Extreme Weather Hits Home, Protecting Your Buildings From Climate Change  This may seem counter-intuitive, but the increasing incidence of ice storms is being connected with climate change. The December 9th and 10th ice storms in Oklahoma and surrounding states has set records for causing power outages. Oklahoma Gas and Electric has indicated that over half of their customers lost power due to the storms for the first time ever.

So how can an ice storm be associated with global warming? Warmer temperatures mean the upper atmosphere can hold more moisture. When this moisture condenses it begins to fall as rain. If surface conditions are below freezing, the rain drops freeze and become ice. When upper atmosphere temperatures are cold the water falls as snow not rain. Snow is less damaging since it weighs about 1/10th as much as ice. So global warming is resulting in more ice storms because the snow doesn’t form.

December 1, 2007

IPCC Final Report now available

Filed under: Global warming — Tags: , , , — John Banta @ 12:22 am

The final IPCC 4th report has now been posted at: http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-syr.htm (about two weeks ago I posted the draft address). It is still subject to final copy edit.

November 19, 2007

Draft of IPCC 4th Report Posted

Filed under: Global warming — Tags: , , , , — John Banta @ 8:11 am


The fourth and final part of the IPCC’s 2007 report has been posted in draft from and can be accessed at: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/syr/ar4_syr_spm.pdf

 Some highlights include:

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level,”

“Eleven of the last twelve years (1995-2006) rank among the twelve warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature (since 1850) … The temperature increase is widespread over the globe, and is greater at higher northern latitudes … Land regions have warmed faster than the oceans.”

Responses to some recent extreme events reveal higher levels of vulnerability than the Third Assessment Report. There is now higher confidence in the projected increases in droughts, heatwaves, and floods as well as their adverse impacts.”

An introductory slide show is at: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/presentations/pachauri-un_nyc_2007-09-07.pdf

October 14, 2007

Study ties Increasing Humidity to Global Warming


 The October 11, 2007 edition of the Journal Nature reported humidity levels are increasing and that this is consistent with predictions for global warming. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7038278.stm

This further supports my contention that many buildings in the northern part of the U.S. and Canada are going to be more likely to trap moisture in the walls and other building cavities. As buildings in the north experience higher levels of humidity, they will experience conditions more typical of the southern United States. The presence of a vapor barrier on the interior of a building is more likely to allow condensation moisture to form in wall cavities when outdoor conditions are hotter and more humid. I provide a much more detailed explanation of moisture flow in buildings in my book. I also discuss how to predict when conditions will allow moisture to become trapped and how to prevent the problem. One of the tools I suggest is the WUFI model for moisture flow in buildings. This can be downloaded at http://www.ornl.gov/sci/btc/apps/moisture/index.html

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