This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

Twisted logic: What tornadoes don’t have to do with global warming

In recent weeks, devastating tornadoes have hit the South and the Midwest. The Joplin, Mo., twister last Sunday was the single deadliest tornado in more than 60 years. The massive tornado that hit Tuscaloosa, Ala., last month went through six states and killed nearly 300 people.

What caused this? More specifically, is climate change a factor? Be it from environmentalists, bloggers or pundits on the political left, right and center, there was no shortage of opinion about these questions this week.

Rather than listen to political arguments, we thought we’d go to a place where research on climate change is being conducted: the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla., where meteorologist Harold Brooks talks to Need to Know’s Win Rosenfeld about whether there is validity to the claim that climate change has been a contributing factor to these recent environmental disasters.

  • Differing views on fracking's impact
    Studies conducted on the counties above the Marcellus and Barnett Shale for example — where extensive drilling has already taken place — present mixed economic results.
  • thumb
    Too much solar energy?
    The proliferation of privately owned solar has large power companies in Germany worried.
  • thumb
    Nominee has industry ties
    Energy secretary nominee had deep connections to industry, including as a paid adviser to BP until 2011.