Tornadoes, pests … sounds like the start of a list of plagues. But it’s not a Biblical passage I’m referencing. It’s this morning’s news wires.
Reuters has an article by Sharon Begley about the possible connection between global warming and early, severe tornado outbreaks:
According to some climate scientists, such earlier-than-normal outbreaks of tornadoes, which typically peak in the spring, will become the norm as the planet warms.
“As spring moves up a week or two, tornado season will start in February instead of waiting for April,” said climatologist Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Whether climate change will also affect the frequency or severity of tornadoes, however, remains very much an open question, and one that has received surprisingly little study.
Meanwhile, the AP takes off the rose-colored glasses and takes a look at one downside of this unusually warm winter:
The mild winter that has given many Northern farmers a break from shoveling and a welcome chance to catch up on maintenance could lead to a tough spring as many pests that would normally freeze, have not.
Winters are usually what one agriculture specialist calls a “reset button” that gives farmer a fresh start come planting season. But with relatively mild temperatures and little snow, insects are surviving, growing and, in some areas, already munching on budding plants.