Dr. Jeff Masters, a world-leading meteorologist, just finished a compilation of what he considered 2010’s top 20 extreme weather events. All in all, he considers 2010 to be the most extreme year for weather since records began and, unfortunately, with a good understanding of climate change, he hints at what we could be in for if we don’t turn things around quickly.
Here’s Dr. Masters’ intro:
Every year extraordinary weather events rock the Earth. Records that have stood centuries are broken. Great floods, droughts, and storms affect millions of people, and truly exceptional weather events unprecedented in human history may occur. But the wild roller-coaster ride of incredible weather events during 2010, in my mind, makes that year the planet’s most extraordinary year for extreme weather since reliable global upper-air data began in the late 1940s. Never in my 30 years as a meteorologist have I witnessed a year like 2010–the astonishing number of weather disasters and unprecedented wild swings in Earth’s atmospheric circulation were like nothing I’ve seen. The pace of incredible extreme weather events in the U.S. over the past few months have kept me so busy that I’ve been unable to write-up a retrospective look at the weather events of 2010. But I’ve finally managed to finish, so fasten your seat belts for a tour through the top twenty most remarkable weather events of 2010. At the end, I’ll reflect on what the wild weather events of 2010 and 2011 imply for our future.
And his top 20 extreme weather events:
- Earth’s hottest year on record
- Most extreme winter Arctic atmospheric circulation on record; “Snowmageddon” results
- Arctic sea ice: lowest volume on record, 3rd lowest extent
- Record melting in Greenland, and a massive calving event
- Second most extreme shift from El Niño to La Niña
- Second worst coral bleaching year
- Wettest year over land
- Amazon rainforest experiences its 2nd 100-year drought in 5 years
- Global tropical cyclone activity lowest on record
- A hyperactive Atlantic hurricane season: 3rd busiest on record
- A rare tropical storm in the South Atlantic
- Strongest storm in Southwestern U.S. history
- Strongest non-coastal storm in U.S. history
- Weakest and latest-ending East Asian monsoon on record
- No monsoon depressions in India’s Southwest Monsoon for 2nd time in 134 years
- The Pakistani flood: most expensive natural disaster in Pakistan’s history
- The Russian heat wave and drought: deadliest heat wave in human history
- Record rains trigger Australia’s most expensive natural disaster in history
- Heaviest rains on record trigger Colombia’s worst flooding disaster in history
- Tennessee’s 1-in-1000 year flood kills 30, does $2.4 billion in damage
For much more detail, graphs, & images, plus reflections on the year as a whole and what’s to come, check out: 2010 – 2011: Earth’s most extreme weather since 1816?.
But, before you do, let’s not forget, don’t try to make any connections….