The Greensburg tornado disaster was just the perfect excuse for another global warming item on ABCNews.com.
After all, the Associated Press and CNN have focused on an Iraq angle to devastating tornado damage, but finding an Iraq angle to everything is so, I dunno, 2004.
At any rate, on his "Science and Society" blog at ABCNews.com yesterday, reporter Ned Potter set out to find why tornado touchdowns have increased in the past few years.
I called the National Weather Service, which says that as of today it knows of 69 dead in tornadoes since Jan. 1, compared to 49 up to this point last year, and 38 deaths for all of 2005. It's worth looking around NOAA's Storm Prediction Center site; find it HERE.
Is there a reason? Shifting weather patterns? Shifting population patterns? Global climate change? Clayton Sandell was asked to put together some notes.
Sadly for the media, Potter found out that "for all they know, global warming might even change atmospheric patterns and conditions in such a way to lead to fewer tornadoes."
Yet Potter didn't walk away completely empty-handed. He found a scientist to say that global warming could increase the moisture in the atmosphere and produce more "heavy rainfall events."
I'll have to remember that this summer when we're bound to see the media reporting on the nation's "parched" farmlands and "tinder box" conditions in Western forests as proof-positive of global warming.