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Massive Tornado Hits Oklahoma Kills Dozens, Is There a Link to Climate Change?

May 20, 2013
Web Exclusive
May3

A huge tornado with winds of up to 200 miles per hour tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on Monday killing dozens of people. The Associated Press reports hospitals are treating more than 120 patients including about 70 children. The storm ripped up at least two elementary schools and a hospital. On Tuesday morning Democracy Now! will report on the latest.

Jeff Masters of the Weather Underground reports the tornado will "likely be one of the five most damaging tornadoes in history"

Livestream of KFOR in Oklahoma City:

For years some climate scientists have been warning of a link between stronger tornadoes and climate change.

"It is irresponsible not to mention climate change," said Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in 2011 after a series of large tornadoes. "The environment in which all of these storms and the tornadoes are occurring has changed from human influences."

350.org founder Bill McKibben appeared on Democracy Now! in May 2011, the deadliest year for tornado outbreaks in the United States since 1953, with more than 500 people killed.

"What’s happening is we’re making the earth a more dynamic and violent place. That’s, in essence, what global warming is about," McKibben said. "We’re trapping more of the sun’s energy in this narrow envelope of atmosphere, and that’s now expressing itself in many way. We don’t know for sure that any particular tornado comes from climate change. There have always been tornadoes. We do know that we’re seeing epic levels of thunderstorm activity, of flooding, of drought, of all the things that climatologists have been warning us about."

WATCH: Bill McKibben: From Storms to Droughts, Devastating Extreme Weather Linked to Human-Caused Climate Change


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