Russian Meteor Crash Consistent With Global Warming

  • Date: 25/02/13
  • Roger Pielke Jr.

Scientists indicate that the recent meteor strike in Russia may have been connected to global warming.

In comments sent to reporters, NCAR Distinguished Senior Scientist and Nobel Prize winner Kevin Trenberth stated that the 4% increase in water vapor in the atmosphere can lead to up to a 10% increase in precipitation, and probably even more if it all converges on one spot. “If this is not massive precipitation, then I don’t know what is” said Trenberth. When pressed by reporters on the magnitude of the effect, Trenberth was reluctant to give an answer, noting only that it undoubtedly made the impact worse.

NCAR Senior Scientist Gerald Meehl added that the strike was like throwing a rock into a pond “on steroids.” Sales and illicit use of steroids were reported to have surged following Meehl’s remark.

Trenberth and Meehl’s comments were quickly reported by blogger Joe Romm of “Climate Progress”, who headlined his piece “Bombshell on Russian Meteor”. The headline prompted Russian and U.S. forces to go to a higher state of military alert.

Not far behind Trenberth and Meehl, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University stated to reporters that the meteor strike was precisely the kind of extreme event expected from climate change. Noting that the meteor strike was directly associated with a rapid decline of (lake) ice, Francis concluded that the ice loss had caused the meteor.

Jeff Masters of the Weather Underground provided an extensive summary of the event in a blog post. Masters emphasized the higher energy content of the atmosphere connected to global warming as a likely cause of this extreme event. While acknowledging that a much larger meteor strike had occurred over 100 years earlier, Masters stated “this recent occurrence shows a clear upward trend since the middle of the last century”. He added that the fact that this upward trend coincides with the global warming trend – and particularly that it occurs at the end of the record – provides clear evidence of the role of human-caused climate change.

Full story