File this one under insanity.
Multiple tornados struck Milan, Italy, on July 29, and the resultant footage from one brave, albeit reckless, videographer of a twister kicking up debris outside his office window looks like something out of the Wizard of Oz or Storm Chasers. The last 30 seconds are truly harrowing.
According to the BBC, the twisters touched down in Greggazo, an industrial area outside of Milan, injuring 12 people. No deaths have been reported.
Known locally as tromba d'aria—that's whirlwinds in Italian—tornados are actually common in Italy. "The country sits in a transition zone between warm, humid air over the Mediterranean and cooler, drier air over continental Europe," reports The Washington Post.
If you find a map, and run your finger in a westerly direction from Milan, across the vast Atlantic Ocean, you’ll eventually run into Tornado Alley, which stretches from mid-Texas all the way up to North Dakota, give or take a few hundred miles in either direction.
Be they in Europe’s fashion district, or in the U.S. heartland, tornados are an extreme weather event that climatologists are still hesitant to link to climate change.
While the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajenda Pachauri, says that this tornado cannot be pinned on climate change, some scientists are starting to connect the dots between global warming and stronger tornadoes.
The IPCC’s special report on managing extreme risks states: “There is low confidence in observed trends in small spatial-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail because of data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems.”
In laymen’s terms: We don’t have enough data to measure, since the United States only began keeping reliable tornado records in 1953, and Doppler radar wasn’t used for weather until the 1970s.
On the other hand: An increase in tornadoes is consistent with the warmer, wetter world created by climate change, and particularly large and unprecedented tornado events may represent the results of climate disruption.
So even if our brightest minds need more concrete proof to link climate change with tornadoes, we laypeople ought to be able to put our simple minds together to agree on one thing: If a mother-freaking tornado is barreling down on your office, the very last place you should be standing is right next to a wall of windows!
Original source: takepart.com
- Nature & Environment
- climate change