You just knew that it would take no time at all for the climatistas and President Biden to politicize the awful tornado that ripped through Kentucky a few days ago, claiming that it was somehow caused or worsened by you-know-what. So far the death toll is around 70, though one fears that more fatalities will be found as rescue crews work through the devastation.
As bad as this disaster is, it is not even close to the worst tornado episode in American history, which was the 24-hour period in April 1974, when 30 F4/F5 tornadoes were observed, and 148 tornadoes overall. Ripping across 13 midwestern and eastern states, the “super outbreak,” as it was called, 319 people were killed.
This occurred, it should be noted, well before the sharp warming period of 1980-1998 commenced. Has this warming increased tornadoes? Roger Pielke Jr notes in a tweet:
This data come ultimately from NOAA, and is compiled by Steven Koonin in his terrific book Unsettled. Koonin’s conclusion:
If anything, US tornadoes have become more benign as the globe has warmed over the past 75 years, and we have no credible method for projecting future changes. Unfortunately, that is not an unusual situation in climate science. Remember that the next time you hear someone, whether a scientist or a weather presenter or a politician, proclaim that humans are making our storms stormier and our weather worse.
P.S. Koonin also notes: “Annual US deaths from tornadoes have fallen by more than a factor of ten since 1875 (currently about 0.02 per 100,000 people), largely due to improved radar warnings.”