Ogmius Newsletter

Recent Center Publications

Gratz, J., Church, R., and E. Noble, 2004.  Event managers should consider the safety of spectators when lightning threatens a large outdoor gathering.  Meteorological Applications of Lightning Data Conference, Paper prepared for 2005 AMS Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Excerpt: Large outdoor stadiums face a significant and growing vulnerability to lightning due to increased size and frequency of events. This growth is not paralleled in the knowledge and management of spectator safety. To date, there have been few casualties in the United States from direct lightning strikes to a stadium or from the mass movement of spectators when lightning threatens. However, if no further action is taken, stadium managers are overlooking an opportunity to prevent a potential disaster as the probability of a tragic event continues to increase while the costs of intervention remain substantially low.

Pielke, Jr., R. A. 2005. Consensus about climate change?  Science, 308: 952-953.

Excerpt: In the discussion motivated by [Naomi] Oreskes’ Essay [in the Dec. 3, 2004 issue of Science], I have seen one claim made that there are more than 11,000 articles on “climate change” in the ISI database and suggestions that about 10% somehow contradict the IPCC consensus position.  But so what? If that number is 1% or 40%, it does not make any difference whatsoever from the standpoint of policy action.

Pielke, Jr., R.A., and R.A. Klein, 2005.  Distinguishing Tropical Cyclone-Related Flooding in U.S. Presidential Disaster Declarations: 1965–1997 .  Natural Hazards Review, May, 55-59. 

Abstract: A problem exists in that the classifications used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for weather-related disasters do not always allow analysts to clearly link declared disasters to their ultimate meteorological cause. This research focuses on those disasters related to flooding resulting from tropical cyclones. Neither FEMA nor the states that request federal disaster aid distinguish flood disasters by their meteorological origin, making it difficult to assess the contributions of various meteorological phenomena to the incidence and severity of Presidential Disaster Declarations. The data presented in this initial analysis indicate that the flood-related impacts of tropical systems are considerably broader and undoubtedly larger in economic magnitude than documented in the official records kept by FEMA.

Pielke, Jr., R. A., C. Landsea, K. Emanuel, M. Mayfield, J. Laver and R. Pasch, in press. Hurricanes and global warming. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Excerpt: At the end of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, many scientists, reporters and policymakers looked for simple answers to explain the extent of the devastation, which totaled more than $40 billion according to the National Hurricane Center. Some prominent scientists proposed that the intense 2004 hurricane season and its considerable impacts, particularly in Florida, could be linked to global warming resulting from the emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (e.g., Harvard Medical School 2004; NCAR 2004). But the current state of climate science does not support so close a linkage.