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Does Global Warming Climate Trigger More Storms?



The main aim of the study was to identify whether there is an increase in storms. Unlike other studies that use hourly weather data, this research did not aim to establish the overall change in yearly precipitation rates.

Although it is commonly accepted that the industrial revolution and the increase in concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere cause atmospheric warming, according to Jonathan Katz, PhD, professor of physics at Washington University in St. Louis, no study has yet presented real quantification of the change in these precipitation rates.

Katz and Thomas Muschinksi, a senior in physics, presented his data from a 70 years-long monitoring of precipitation earlier this week in Nature Climate Change, online. Their study showed that in the region of Olympic Peninsula in Washington, the steady increase in precipitation is obvious.

Because this area is characterised by very little rain, the trend could be clearly observed.

To get the required data, the team analysed images from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) database. These allowed them to collect historical data from the 1940s and monitor weather events at 13 specific locations with various climates.

The pint data were then analysed using the statistical techniques. Although for 12 of the locations the results did not indicate increase in storminess, the scientists are convinced that this is due to the generally stormier weather there.

Katz is now trying to average data from a larger number of sites in order to establish trends that cannot be observed from one site alone. The biggest challenge, however, would be to develop algorithms that can handle the large amount of data, while removing the corrupted values.


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