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The Future of Weather Disasters Dr. Jeff Masters Director of Meteorology The Weather Underground, LLC

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Presentation on theme: "The Future of Weather Disasters Dr. Jeff Masters Director of Meteorology The Weather Underground, LLC"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Future of Weather Disasters Dr. Jeff Masters Director of Meteorology The Weather Underground, LLC Dr. Jeff Masters Director of Meteorology The Weather Underground, LLC

2 Served as Flight Meteorologist for NOAAs Aircraft Operations Center, Publications:

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7 The comments section of Jeff Masters Wunderblog: Not for the faint of heart! Beware of trolls and nastiness, but also expect great links, commentary, news, and inspiration.

8 Major Inspiration: the Birth of the Portlight Disaster Relief Charity, Comments Section of my September 13, 2008 Post, Ike Makes a Direct Hit On Galveston

9 Most Expensive U.S. Weather Disasters Since 1980 Source: * Preliminary estimate, not from NCDC

10 $15+ Billion non-U.S. Weather Disasters Since 1980 Source:

11 Extremes Have been Rising Since the 1970s, and the Two Most Extreme Years in U.S. History Were Also the Two Warmest Years: 2012 and 1998

12 Percent area covered by summer temperature anomalies in categories defined as hot (> 0.43 standard deviations, 33% chance), very hot (> 2 standard deviations, 2.3% chance), and extremely hot (> 3 standard deviations,.13% chance.) Anomalies and standard deviation computed from a climatology. Extremely hot 3-standard deviation summers covered % of Earths surface in , but now cover 4-13%. From Hansen et al., 2012, "Perception of Climate Change. Since 2006, Dangerously Hot 1-in-741 Year Summers Have Expanded by 50 Times Compared to

13 There is More Moisture in the Air, and the Heavy Precipitation Events Most Likely to Cause Flooding are Increasing

14 Extreme Summer Jet Stream Patterns Have Doubled in Frequency in the Past 11 Years

15 Are Tornadoes Increasing in Frequency and Intensity? 2007 United Nations IPCC report: "There is insufficient evidence to determine whether trends exist in small scale phenomena such as tornadoes, hail, lighting, and dust storms."

16 However, Bouwer (BAMS, 2010) reviewed 22 disaster loss studies world-wide, published ; in all 22 studies, increases in wealth and population were the "most important drivers for growing disaster losses." Conclusion: human-caused climate change "so far has not had a significant impact on losses from natural disasters."

17 The Tornado Database is Highly Unsuitable for Detecting Long-Term Trends, but Shows no Change in EF-1 and Stronger Tornadoes

18 Trapp et al., 2007 Severe Thunderstorms are Predicted to Increase

19 Hurricane Igor of 2010 as seen from the International Space Station Are Hurricanes Getting Stronger? It remains uncertain whether past changes in any tropical cyclone activity (frequency, intensity, rainfall, and so on) exceed the variability expected through natural causesIt remains uncertain whether past changes in any tropical cyclone activity (frequency, intensity, rainfall, and so on) exceed the variability expected through natural causes Review Article by Ten Top Hurricane Scientists, Tropical cyclones and climate change

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21 Grinsted et al. 2012, "A homogeneous record of Atlantic hurricane surge threat since 1923." But, 1-in-20 Year Katrina-level Storm Surges are Increasing, and are Twice as Likely in Warm Years

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23 Expect a 5% increase in hurricane winds per °C of ocean warming (Emanuel, 2005). Expected increase in SST by 2100: 1-2 °C. Hurricane wind speeds should increase by 5- 10%. Difference in wind speed between a Cat 3 and Cat 4: 15%. Thus, major hurricanes in 2100 should do times more damage than they do now.

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26 Twelve Potential $100 Billion Weather-Related Disasters of the Next 30 Years Dr. Jeff Masters Director of Meteorology The Weather Underground, LLC Dr. Jeff Masters Director of Meteorology The Weather Underground, LLC

27 12) Tampa Bay Hurricane Probability: 20% Bayshore Drive, Tampa FL, after the 1921 Hurricane

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29 11) Japanese Super Typhoon Probability: 10% Flooding from Category 5 Super Typhoon Vera, September 26, 1959 Strongest typhoon on record in Japan: 160 mph winds, 5,098 killed

30 Potential tracks of a $100-billion Japanese super typhoon

31 China floods and landslides, 2010: 4245 killed, $51 billion damage 10) China Flood Probability: 20%

32 9) Galveston/Houston Hurricane Probability: 30% 1900 Galveston Hurricane damage

33 8) Miami Hurricane Probability: 40% Miami Beach, 1926 Hurricane

34 7) New Orleans Hurricane Probability: 30% New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, 2005

35 Northern China dust storm, April 6, ) China Drought Probability: 20%

36 Hurricane Sandy approaching New Jersey, October 28, ) New York City Hurricane Probability: 10%

37 Tropical Storm Irene over New York City, August 28, 2011

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39 South Ferry station after Hurricane Sandy; damage: $600 million

40 Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, N.J. on Oct. 30, 2012, after Hurricane Sandy.

41 New York's LaGuardia Airport after the November 25, 1950 Nor'easter

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44 June 4, 2004 levee breach in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta 4) California ARkSTORM Flood Probability: 20% 4) California ARkSTORM Flood Probability: 20%

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46 3) U.S. Drought Probability: 50% Midwest U.S. drought, 2012: $35 billion in damage

47 2012 Drought: 123 killed, $35+ billion in damage

48 1988 Drought: 7,500 killed, $71 billion in damage

49 Dust Bowl Drought: 5,000 killed, 2.5 million people displaced

50 The future of drought, 30 years from now?

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53 Old River Control Structure on the LA/MS border at normal water 2) Mississippi River Changes Course Probability: 10%

54 Interruption of Mississippi barge traffic to the nation's 1st, 6th, 11th, and 14th busiest ports: $300 million per day. Loss of 60% of U.S. grain exports. Interruption of 57 million tons per year of crude oil, chemicals, steel, concrete, fertilizers, rubber, plywood, etc. moving upriver. Inundation of 11% of Louisiana. Likely destruction of Morgan City (population 12,000) No fresh water for: - One million people, including all of New Orleans - Oil refineries that supply 14% of U.S. oil - Natural gas refineries that produce over 20% of U.S. natural gas - Petrochemical plants supplying over 20% of U.S. petrochemicals Costs of Mississippi River changing course

55 1) Volcanic or Nuclear Winter Probability: 10% Mt. Pinatubo eruption, June 15, 1991, Philippines

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57 Send us your wunderphotos, Thanks for listening!


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