Saturday, February 03, 2007

Natural Tornado Coincides with Global Warming Report's Release

Does anyone else find it odd and suspicious that the Florida tornado came out of the blue, unexpectedly, to coincide with the Friday, February 2, 2007 release of the United Nation's Report on Global Warming?

Did anyone else catch one of the storm's victims who said ... somebody should look into global warming...

Maybe American Morning had that report... or more likely Anderson Cooper, I'll bet that's where I heard the man being interviewed say somebody should look at global warming...

Throughout watching SciFi's Interdiction?

CNN Coverage

Saturday Morning News

Deadly Florida Storms; Britain Confirms Lethal H5N1 Bird Flu Strain on Turkey Farm in Suffolk
Aired February 3, 2007 - 07:59 ET

Cooper's program lengthy...

COOPER: Officials say killer tornadoes swept across central Florida, cutting a path of destruction across Sumter, Lake, Seminole and Volusia counties.

GOV. CHARLIE CRIST (R), FLORIDA: Early this morning, we had a significant weather event. The state emergency operations center obviously is in full mode.

COOPER (on camera): The storms arrived in the dead of night, around 3:00 a.m. Most of the people around here were asleep. The National Weather Center says that warnings were issued about an approaching storm, but that came as news to many of the residents here, who said they had no idea what was about to hit.

IRENE MARTIN, RESIDENT OF FLORIDA: It seemed, like all of a sudden, it got very, very windy. And, then, for even a minute there, it just got -- it seemed like not even a minute, maybe a second -- and it got very, very quiet, and, then, all of a sudden, bam, just a big, big explosion...


Perhaps you have been noticing the information that we have been showing at the bottom of the screen, numbers to call if you would like to help the people down here. You can also find a complete list on our blog. The address is Again, that's

The power of even the smallest tornado is staggering. We are going to take a look at that now, as well as the forces that drive them.

For that, let's turn to CNN's Reynolds Wolf in the Weather Center -- Reynolds.


This -- what we have been seeing here is very consistent with an El Nino pattern. And to -- to give you a better explainer of that, let's talk about El Nino very quickly.

And what that is, is basically an unusual warming of the ocean's water in the Pacific. And, when you have that buildup of warm water, it can wreak havoc with the southern and northern branch of the jet stream. The northern branch of the jet stream will keep a lot of that cold air to the north.

But the subtropical jet stream, well, what that can do is, that can enhance storms. On any given situation, when you have a cold front move through parts of Florida, with a lot of that moist air, you have a good chance of strong storms, a good chance of a lot of thunderstorm activity.

But, when you have the strong jet aloft, what that will do is, that will enhance lift. That's going to give it more energy, more of a boost to produce some of these strong storms. And this scenario is precisely what we saw around 3:00 this morning.

Take a look at this Google Map animation that we have for you, then also kind of lays out the path of this storm. It took nearly a 70-mile jog across parts of central Florida, the counties of Sumter, Lake, Seminole, even Volusia County.

Now, unlike the storms that you often see in parts of the Central Plains that's almost like a giant wrecking ball that will roll through the Plains, this storm was a little bit different. It kind of -- it made a touchdown. Then, it kind of hopped, skipped, and jumped through the area. You can see some of the widespread devastation on one corner of the screen -- and, again, very, very fortunate.

It's awful -- awful -- that 19 people lost their lives. But, with very little warning -- or no warning whatsoever -- it's a miracle that there weren't more fatalities -- Anderson.

COOPER: Reynolds, at this point, do we know how many tornadoes were involved in this storm?

WOLF: That's the million-dollar question. The National Weather Service, out of Melbourne, Florida, definitely thinks there were at least five tornadoes, maybe more. It is so hard to say right now.

We did have this one big tornadic system, this one large cell that really began to develop, began to rotate, say, around 3:00 this morning. It really made landfall near -- not landfall -- but made a touchdown near Lady Lake, that community, around -- I think around 3:30 this morning.

Very tough to say, but I would say at least five -- at least five

just happenstance a major tornado unexpectedly pummels Florida to coincide with the release of the United Nation's report on global warming... hmmm...

clips from American Morning notice storm, tornado, global warming report one after the other...

American Morning
Global Warming Report
Aired February 2, 2007 - 06:00 ET

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. Destructive storms and possible tornados are rolling through central Florida early this morning.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hot off the presses. A report released overnight says our planet is heating up, seas are expanding and rising, and it's all our fault...

...Now to Paris and an urgent call to action from some of the smartest minds on the planet. This morning they're weighing in with an unequivocal report on global warming. That it is real, the consequences are potentially catastrophic and that our addition to fossil fuels is to blame. The report released just a few hours ago, authored by scientists from 113 countries. It estimates global temperatures will rise somewhere between three and seven degrees in this century. Sea levels are expected to rise seven to 23 inches in this century. And they're calling this report a milestone moment. When the focus shifts from whether it is happening and who or what it is blame to what we should do about it. CNN's Jim Bittermann was there for the briefing in Paris. John Vause is in Beijing, on its way to surpassing the U.S. as the biggest greenhouse gas emitter. We'll get to him in a moment. Let's begin with Jim.

Jim, hello.


In fact, environmental campaigners are calling this an alarm bell, another alarm bell and a series of alarm bells about the dangers of rising greenhouse gases and rising temperatures around the globe. The report leaves little question. This group of 2,500 scientists coming to the conclusion that humans are responsible. Here's the way Susan Solomon put it this morning.


SUSAN SOLOMON, NOAA SENIOR SCIENTIST: When we look at this dramatic rise that is so different from the behavior in thousands of years, there can be no question that the increases is these gases, these greenhouse gases, are dominated by human activity.


BITTERMANN: And, in fact, the implication of that is, Miles, that is human activity is responsible, then maybe humans can still do something to change things by cutting back on the amount of greenhouse gases that they create around the planet.

Now as kind of a demonstration of what humans can do last night that was a very small demonstration. A demonstration none the less. All across France last night at about five minutes to 8:00 p.m. local time, people turned off their lights. The electric company says about 1 percent of electrically -- there was about a 1 percent drop in the amount of electricity being used. Didn't really change things dramatically for the planet, but, nonetheless, a kind of a demonstration that there is some support out there for the kind of thing that's being expressed in this report this morning.


M. O'BRIEN: Aside from that symbolism, did the scientists talk about what individuals can do?

BITTERMANN: No. This is not the report that does that. This is simply to gather all the scientific data that is out there, put it in one place and come to an agreement on it. There will be reports -- in another three months there's one coming out in Brussels and then later in the year elsewhere that will describe what policy-makers should consider, what the options are for policy-makers. And those will be the actionable reports that policy-makers should probably take a notice of.


M. O'BRIEN: Jim Bittermann in Paris, thank you very much.

Nowhere are they watching news of this report more closely than in China. The economy there is booming and it is fueled in large part by the biggest greenhouse gas producer of all, coal. CNN's John Vause joining us live now from Beijing with more...

excerpts continued for effect

S. O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody.

Breaking weather news for you. Powerful storms, possible tornados moving across central Florida this morning.

M. O'BRIEN: Hot zone. A new report on global warning released just hours ago. The planet's heating up, the seas are rising, and it's our fault. So now what?...

excerpts continued for effect

S. O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody.

An update now on that severe weather in central Florida. A band of storms going right through, major damage we've been telling you about. Some reports say up to 100 homes absolutely destroyed. It's looking more and more likely that it was a tornado, and we've got some coverage from our affiliate WESH in live -- live for us in central Florida.

Let's dip in for a moment, listen to their coverage for a second.

AMANDA OBER, REPORTER, WESH 2 NEWS: But the woman who was in the car said she had been friends with that young girl, approximately 17- year-old who was killed, and she was extremely distraught, teary-eyed, said that she had walked to the bus stop with that girl every day.

Again, I need to keep stressing that we haven't had that specific death confirmed by the Lake County sheriff's office, but we do know there are several fatalities here, and are led to believe that that indeed is one of them. Live in Lady Lake in Lake County, Amanda Ober reporting, WESH 2 news.

S. O'BRIEN: The National Weather Service is reporting that as well, one fatality there, that report on the 17-year-old girl who was killed in her sleep.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office has now called in all of its officers.

There are reports, Chad, too, about a mobile home that was destroyed, a church completely distorted. Really a mess there.



M. O'BRIEN: "Melting Point" now. In Paris, just a few hours ago, an urgent call to action from some of the smartest minds on the planet.


M. O'BRIEN (voice over): It is a smoking tailpipe report. The world's leading scientists are no longer mincing words. The planet is warming, the consequences are potentially catastrophic, and our addiction to fossil fuels is to blame.

JERRY MAHLMAN, UNIV. CTR. FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH: I think it's going to be a wakeup call that is more effective than all of the other wakeup calls that have been released over the last few decades, OK? This is a no-brainer right now.

M. O'BRIEN (on camera): The scientific debate is over?

JAMES HANSEN, NASA GODDARD INST. FOR SPACE STUDIES: The debate that was occurring a decade or so ago, is this real and is it caused by humans, that's over.

M. O'BRIEN (voice over): Researchers from 113 countries are now 90 percent certain humans are to blame for rising global temperatures. Much more definitive than five years ago when they issued their last report.

ROBERT CORELL, AUTHOR, "ARCTIC CLIMATE IMPACT": Right now, we have put in since the industrial period began, predominantly from our fossil fuels, more CO2 in the atmosphere than we have seen for over 500,000 years.

M. O'BRIEN: A lot more CO2 -- a two to threefold increase since the industrial revolution. And because it lets the sun's energy in but then traps the heat, carbon dioxide and some other greenhouse gases are steadily cranking up our global thermostat, already one degree warmer over the last 30 years, somewhere between 3.75 and 7 degrees more in the next 100 years.

(on camera): Help us understand why we should be worried about a single degree Fahrenheit.

HANSEN: The effect on critical parts of the climate system is very important for changes of even a few degrees. And the most -- perhaps the most important one is the ice sheets and the eventual sea level rise.

M. O'BRIEN: The ice sheets are melting away at an alarming rate, the equivalent of a four-mile-high and four-mile-wide ice cube gone from Greenland and Antarctica every year. The big melt is just part of the sea level problem, because as the oceans warm they expand. The report predicts sea levels will rise between 7 and 23 inches in the next century.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we're likely to see hundreds of millions of what we'll call environmental refugees, people who no longer can live where they had lived for maybe thousands of years.

M. O'BRIEN: The report paints a dire picture if we do nothing -- mass extinctions; the polar bears perhaps on the thinnest ice; changes in migratory patterns and disease trajectories; huge shifts in productive land for farming; dry areas drier; wet areas wetter; the oceans acidic; and huge killer storms common.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I call climate change kind of a super tanker. And you've got to put the brakes on it as soon as you can because it will drift, it will move forward on these kinds of time scales, 10, 20, 30 years.

M. O'BRIEN (on camera): So is now the point at which action must be taken?

HANSEN: I think that's exactly right. I think we are now at the tipping point. Either we get on a different path now or it's going to be too late to prevent large climate changes.


M. O'BRIEN: In fact, the report said no matter how much we do right now to curb our production of greenhouse gas emissions, some of the warming will continue. The climate just doesn't turn on a dime -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: All right.

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