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A tanker rests on Staten Island's southern shore after being swept onto land by a storm surge due to Hurricane Sandy.

A tanker rests on Staten Island's southern shore after being swept onto land by a storm surge due to Hurricane Sandy.

Photograph by Jonathan Atkin, Sipa/AP

Willie Drye

for National Geographic

Published September 5, 2013

A sprawling global team of meteorologists who examined the marquee extreme weather events of 2012—including Hurricane Sandy, drought in the U.S. Midwest, and melting arctic ice—found that human-induced climate change was a factor in half of the dozen events they studied.

The scientists, who published their findings Thursday in the Bulletin of the American Meteorology Society, acknowledged that determining how much influence climate change has on particular extreme weather events is an evolving science, and that better tools are needed to measure that influence.

"(W)hile climate models may indicate a human effect is causing increases in the chances of having extremely high precipitation in a region (much like speeding increases the chances of having an accident), natural variability can still be the primary factor in any individual extreme event," the authors said.

Thursday's report was written by 18 teams comprising 78 meteorologists from around the world.

Here are four of the major events analyzed by the meteorologists:

1. The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. The authors were especially interested in how climate change affected Sandy's storm surge, which caused massive destruction on the coast of New Jersey and flooded parts of New York City. They concluded that the surge—a mound of water formed by a hurricane's winds and forward motion and pushed in front of the storm as it approaches landfall—was worse than it would have been in 1950 because sea level has risen in the past 60 years.

That rise in sea level has been attributed to warming temperatures and melting arctic ice. And that rise means that future storms less powerful than Sandy are likely to cause more damage than they would have decades ago.

2. The melting of arctic sea ice. Some computer simulations have predicted that arctic ice will disappear during the summer by the middle of this century. The report's authors said it is "extremely unlikely that the disappearance of arctic sea ice has been caused by natural climate variability."

3. Extreme heat and drought in the U.S. The authors said climate change had little to do with the drought in the central U.S. last year. But they added that climate change was a factor in the unusually warm weather that accompanied the drought. And climate change makes it much more likely that periods of extreme heat will happen. (Watch related video: Droughts 101.)

4. Unusually high rainfall in parts of Europe and elsewhere during 2012. The scientists reached a split decision about whether climate change was to blame for heavy rainfall in some places. Fluctuations in rainfall are normal, they said. But unusually warm sea water—which produces higher humidity and is linked to heavier rainfall—is likely caused by climate change.

The full report can be viewed here.

16 comments
John McGeachie
John McGeachie

No kidding Lewis, what the hell is all this bunk?

Keyto Clearskies
Keyto Clearskies

Mark Goldes, starting in the mid-seventies, engaged for several years in the pretense that his company SunWind Ltd was developing a nearly production-ready, road-worthy, wind-powered "windmobile," based on the windmobile invented by James Amick; and that therefore SunWind would be a wonderful investment opportunity.

After SunWind "dried up" in 1983, Goldes embarked on the long-running pretense that his company Room Temperature Superconductors Inc was developing room-temperature superconductors; and that therefore Room Temperature Superconductors Inc would be a wonderful investment opportunity. He continues the pretense that the company developed something useful, even to this day.

And then Goldes embarked on the pretense that his company Magnetic Power Inc was developing "NO FUEL ENGINES" based on "Virtual Photon Flux;"  and then, on the pretense that MPI was developing horn-powered "NO FUEL ENGINES" based on the resonance of magnetized tuning-rods; and then, on the pretense that his company Chava Energy was developing water-fueled engines based on "collapsing hydrogen orbitals;" and then, on the pretense that he was developing ambient-heat-powered "NO FUEL ENGINES." Goldes has even claimed that Jacob T. Wainwright already patented an ambient-heat-powered engine 100 years ago - even though Wainwright himself certainly never made any such claim, at all. Wainwright's only patent for a turbine or engine was not for any ambient-heat-powered engine, but for a pressurized-gaseous-fluid-powered engine. The innovation of the patent was the use of water to reduce speed - not any use of ambient heat.

Goldes' forty year career of "revolutionary invention" pretense has nothing to do with science, but only with pseudoscience and pseudophysics - his lifelong stock-in-trade.

Lewis L
Lewis L

Looks like all the crazies have migrated to the NatGeo comment section (sorry, I'm pretty sure I saw 1-2 rational comments).  Where do you people come from honestly? Limiting wireless communication? Have you being taking the book "Zoo" to heart? I'm betting a good portion of you nut jobs got you education through youtube.

deng xinghao
deng xinghao

how about the influence exerted by solar radiation?

Babu Ranganathan
Babu Ranganathan

THE WHOLE EARTH AT ONE TIME HAD A UNIFORM TEMPERATURE AND CLIMATE. The Bible in Genesis 1:6 teaches that there was water above the sky. This condition doesn’t exist today because that water fell upon the earth during the great Noahic flood.

The water above the sky would have had a greenhouse effect so that the temperature around the globe would have been uniform and tropical, even at the North and South poles.

During the time of the Genesis flood, the Bible describes that the water above the sky fell and great amounts of water from under the earth broke through the surface. The violent combination of these forces produced the fossil layers and great canyons.

Because there was no longer the thermal protection from waters that existed above the sky, the Polar Regions became instantly frozen. There are frozen mammoths discovered with undigested food still in their stomachs. Obviously, these great creatures were frozen instantly.

Please read my popular Internet article, ARE FOSSILS REALLY MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD?  Evolutionary dating methods are not infallible and far from accurate.

Check out some of my Internet site, THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION

Sincerely,
Babu G. Ranganathan*
(B.A. Bible/Biology)

Author of the popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS

*I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I've been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who in The East" for my writings on religion and science.

Keyto Clearskies
Keyto Clearskies

Chronicles of Mark Goldes, Aesop Institute's Perpetual Scam Machine

1976: Goldes seeks investors with fraudulent claims to have developed a production-ready, road-worthy, wind-propelled, wind-rechargeable motorcycle that can reach 60 mph:

1998: Goldes fools the witless US Air Force with his "room temperature superconductor" scam, receiving over four hundred thousand dollars in "Innovative Research" grants. Goldes has never produced any superconductor.

2005: Goldes seeks investors with fraudulent claims that his company, MPI, is developing "Magnetic Power Modules":

2008: Goldes seeks investors with fraudulent claims that "MPI is also developing breakthrough magnetic energy technologies including POWERGENIE (Power Generation of Electricity by Nondestructive Interference of Energy)." The basic idea of POWERGENIE is to generate electricity from sound energy, by blowing a horn at a magnetized tuning rod. Goldes claims to have "run an electric car for more than 4,800 miles with no need to plug-in." According to Goldes, "[MPI] Revenues from licenses and Joint Ventures are conservatively projected to exceed $1 billion annually by 2012."

2009: Goldes seeks investors with fraudulent claims that his latest scamporation, Chava Energy, "has been developing enhanced theoretical and practical paths that lead towards commercialization of energy conversion systems that utilize hydrinos." He now claims to be "developing a Self Powered Internal Combustion Engine – SPICE(tm) powered by hydrinos."

"For over 20 years Mark Goldes has claimed his company MPI has been developing machines that generate energy for free. In over 20 years his company has not presented one shred of evidence that they can build such machines...

"For the past five years Mark Goldes has been promising generators 'next year.' He has never delivered. Like 'Alice in Wonderland' there will always be jam tomorrow, but never jam today."

- Penny Gruber, December 2008

- Gruber's comment was written almost five years ago - but it's just as true today - except that MPI, Goldes' corporation that he claimed would bring in one billion dollars in revenue from his imaginary generator in 2012, is now defunct, having never produced any "Magnetic Power Modules" - just as his company called "Room Temperature Superconductors Inc" is also now defunct, having never produced any "room temperature superconductors." Evidently there's a limit to how many years in a row the same company can claim it will finally have something to demonstrate "next year." Now Goldes has a new scamporation, Chava Energy.

Goldes' current favorite scam is an engine that would run on ambient heat - which is clearly  ruled out by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. But of course, the laws of physics always make an exception for the scams of Mark Goldes.

Mark Goldes is a textbook-ready example of a highly talented con artist who clearly takes pleasure in fooling people with his ludicrous claims, artfully peppered with pseudoscientific rubbish.

Keyto Clearskies
Keyto Clearskies

Most Ludicrous Scamvention: Mark Goldes' "POWERGENIE"

One of the most laughable of Mark Goldes' many invention scams is his "POWERGENIE" horn-powered generator. The brilliant idea of this revolutionary breakthrough is to blow a horn at a magnetized tuning rod, designed to resonate at the frequency of the horn, and then collect the electromotive energy produced by the vibrations of the rod.

I'm not making this up.

POWERGENIE tuning rod engine explained - from the patent:

[The device incorporates] "an energy transfer and multiplier element being constructed of a ferromagnetic substance possessing magnetostrictive characteristics, magnetoelastic characteristics,or both; and having a natural resonance, due to a physical structure whose dimensions are directly proportional to the wavelength of the resonance frequency..."

"In this resonant condition, the rod material functions as a tuned waveguide, or longitudinal resonator, for acoustic energy."

"Ferrite rod 800 is driven to acoustic resonance at the second harmonic of its fundamental resonant frequency by acoustic horn 811, resulting in acoustic wave 816 within the rod having two nodal points. Each nodal point exhibits instantaneous acoustic pressure opposite the other nodal point. Bias magnet 801 produces magnetic flux 802 extending axially through both nodal points developed within rod 800. Since both nodal points within the rod develop oppositely signed instantaneous acoustic pressure, the electromotive force developed via the magnetoelastic effect at each nodal point is oppositely directed. Coils 820 and 821 are wound oppositely and connected in electrical series, such that their developed electromotive forces add. The sum electromotive force of coils 820 and 821 develops electrical current and power in resistive load 830."

- But the patent doesn't tell us who is going to volunteer blow the horn at the rod all day. Perhaps it will come with an elephant.

Goldes claimed in 2008 that this wonderful triumph of human genius would bring his company, Magnetic Power Inc, one billion dollars in annual revenue by 2012. Magnetic Power Inc is now defunct, having never produced any "Magnetic Power Modules" - just as his company called "Room Temperature Superconductors Inc" is also now defunct, having never produced any "room temperature superconductors."

Paul M.
Paul M.

Why are news editors and politicians and a few remaining goose stepping believers the only one's who are saying a crisis is certain and WILL happen? Science has NEVER said it. Prove me wrong!

It's been a 28 year old scientific consensus of; "maybe" and "could be" and "likely" and "potentially" and not one single climate crisis warning has ever contained the words; "inevitable" or "eventual" or "unavoidable" or just "WILL" be a crisis. So what has to happen now for science to agree it WILL be a crisis after all? Unstoppable warming when it’s too late?

Science can end this costly debate now just by giving us a real warning for a real inevitable crisis because so far 28 years of a “could be” consensus proves it “won’t be” a crisis. The real crime in all of this climate blame Reefer Madness was “wanting this misery to have been real”

  *Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.

Daniel Thompson
Daniel Thompson

One day it will be realized that one of the human activities involved in climate change is our wireless communication that permeates the atmosphere with non-stop and growing energy frequencies, especially limiting night time cooling.  It will be vigorously denied, of course, but nature doesn't care if we accept or deny anything, it just does what it does, and energy is energy from any source so it reacts to it.

Michael Bauernfeind
Michael Bauernfeind

We need to cut back our electromagnetic transmissions: 1) If extraterrestrials are nearby then they can find major communication systems. 2) It can be used to create hydrogen, which can be positive or negative.  I would be more concerned with the first because communication is necessary in times of peril.   

Mark Goldes
Mark Goldes

An engine has been invented that will run on atmospheric heat, a form of solar energy.

Since this engine needs no fuel, it can help to accelerate the superseding of fossil and radioactive power.

See http://www.aesopinstitute.org for more about this engine and several other highly improbable innovations with enormous implications.

Small plastic versions of the engine are expected to sit on a desk power a radio and charge cell-phones and other hand-held devices.

That could begin a perpetual commotion - which will help to accelerate mass production of seemingly impossible technology that can slow climate change.

 

Mister Science
Mister Science

@Paul M. if you're looking for absolutely sure, you're looking for religion, not science.  Science is tentative and skeptical.  Unlike public relations flacks and preachers, scientists speak in terms of probability distributions and degrees of confidence.  Nevertheless, science is the most reliable process we have for acquiring knowledge of the world around us.  If you reached adulthood without learning things like that, our school system failed you.

Phillip Noe
Phillip Noe

@Paul M.  Sorry AGAIN paul or whatever name you are using, science is not about absolutes.  Did you miss that in school?

All the world's respected scientific institutions concur that humans are warming the planet.  The consequences are not good, yes, this is another overwhelming consensus.

There is no credible debate over these issues.  The fossil fuel industry would like the public to think there is but among those that actively study climate patterns, it settled science.

Chris Crawford
Chris Crawford

@Paul M. Oh no, it's Paul Merrifield, man of many aliases, back with his standard complaint that scientists refuse to say that climate change is "absolutely, positively certain" to wreak damage. Scientists, aware of the limitations of data, say only the it is "extremely likely" that climate change will prove destructive in the future. But "extremely likely" isn't good enough for Mr. Merrifield: he demands "absolutely, positively, certain" before he'll take it seriously.

Mister Science
Mister Science

@Daniel Thompson, sorry, but you're mistaken.  The broadcast from a cell phone (averaged over a few seconds or more, for you pedants)  or wi-fi node is in the milliwatts.  The broadcast from a cell phone tower is in the low kilowatts.  The thermal emission from a typical car is in the tens of kilowatts.  Consider how many cars there are for each cell tower.  People who refuse to do arithmetic are doomed to talk nonsense.

Mister Science
Mister Science

Goldes describes a type of scam known as a perpetual motion machine.  Those imaginary inventions violate the laws of physics, as summarized in the second law of thermodynamics.  That's why the patent office rejects them.

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