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Tornados and Climate Change. Michael Pateman And Drew Vankat. Introduction. Investigation of tornadic frequency and magnitude in the United States in relation to the El Nino/Southern Oscillation and US climate change. Hypothesis.

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Presentation Transcript
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Tornados and Climate Change

Michael Pateman

And

Drew Vankat


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Introduction

  • Investigation of tornadic frequency and magnitude in the United States in relation to the El Nino/Southern Oscillation and US climate change


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Hypothesis

  • Global warming, along with increased El Nino and La Nina cycles mean more plentiful and powerful tornadoes

  • But…What role does technology play in increased detection?


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Research Relevance

  • If a relationship with climate cycles can be found, perhaps emergency funding can be set aside in advance for victims

  • Findings can be translated to other weather phenomena such as thunderstorms, flooding, or hurricanes

  • Authorities can take necessary precautions to minimize economic and human losses

  • Provide a more convincing argument for the need to rethink the way we treat our environment.


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What is a tornado?

  • An intense, rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm cloud to the ground.

www.spc.noaa.gov


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ENSO

  • The ENSO (El Nino/ Southern Oscillation) cycle refers to the coherent, large-scale fluctuation of ocean temperatures, rainfall, atmospheric circulation, vertical motion and air pressure across the tropical Pacific.

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/


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What is El Nino?

  • A disruption of the ocean-atmosphere system in the Tropical Pacific

  • Development of abnormally warm sea surface temperatures across the eastern tropical Pacific

  • Consequences can include increased rainfall in some areas and extreme drought in others


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What is La Nina?

  • Characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific

  • USA: warmer southwest winters, colder Northwest


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Materials and methods

  • Data retrieved on tornado and ENSO activity

  • Downloaded into Excel, Statview, and Cricket Graph


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Tornado Frequency by Decade

Spearman Rank Correlation p-values:

Texas-Nebraska p=.1096

Texas-Ohio p=.0719

Nebraska-Ohio p=.0719


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Frequency of Tornadoes in El-Nino Years

Spearman Rank Correlation p-values:

Texas-Nebraska p=.4902

Texas-Ohio p=.1837

Texas-USA p=.0170

Nebraska-Ohio p=1983

Nebraska-USA p=.0785

Ohio-USA p=.1223


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Tornado Frequency in non-El-Nino Years

Spearman Rank Correlation p-values:

Texas-Nebraska p=.1096

Texas-Ohio p=.1615

Texas-USA p=.0719

Nebraska-Ohio p=.3173

Nebraska-USA p=.2301

Ohio-USA p=.0719


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Tornado Frequency in La Nina Years

Spearman Rank Correlation p-values:

Texas-Nebraska p=.0422

Texas-Ohio p=.1474

Texas-USA p=.0376

Nebraska-Ohio p=.1117

Nebraska-USA p=.0751

Ohio-USA p=.0438


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Tornado Frequency in non-La-Nina Years

Spearman Rank Correlation p-values:

Texas-Nebraska p=.0719

Texas-Ohio p=.0719

Texas-USA p=.0455

Nebraska-Ohio p=.1096

Nebraska-USA p=.0719

Ohio-USA p=.0719





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Data

  • http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwEvent~Storms

  • All Tornado Data downloaded from this site.


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Tentative conclusions

  • Overall increase in tornado frequency

  • P-values indicate little relationship in frequency for El-Nino years

  • P-Values indicate a relationship in frequency for La-Nina years


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Still To Come…

  • Spearman Rank Correlations for tornado frequency per year in each state

  • Analyze magnitude


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Future Research

  • Incorporate climate change and global warming

  • Any questions or suggestions?