Recent Center Publications
Pielke, Jr., R.A., S. Agrawala, L. Bouwer, I. Burton, S. Changnon, M. Glantz, W. Hooke, R. Klein, K. Kunkel, D. Mileti, D. Sarewitz, E. Thompkins, N. Stehr, H. von Storch, 2005. Clarifying the Attribution of Recent Disaster Losses: A Response to Epstein and McCarthy, Bull. Amer. Met. Soc. 86(10), 1410, Oct.
Excerpt: “The December 2004 issue of BAMS contains an article warning of the threats of abrupt climate change (Epstein and McCarthy 2004, hereafter EM04). The article seeks to raise awareness of the risks of an abrupt change in climate related to human influences on the climate system, but, in doing so it repeats a common factual error. Specifically, it identifies the recent growth in economic damages associated with weather and climate events, such as Hurricanes Mitch and Jeanne and tornadoes in the United States, as evidence of trends in extreme events, arguing “the rising costs associated with weather volatility provide another derived indicator of the state of the climate system . . . the economic costs related to more severe and volatile weather deserves mention as an integral indicator of volatility.” Although the attribution of increasing damages to climate changes is but one of many assertions made by EM04, the repetition of this erroneous claim is worth correcting because it is not consistent with current scientific understandings.”
Epstein and McCarthy’s reply, from the same issue of BAMS, can be found here.