A prominent meteorologist once again threw water on wild claims being made by democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who claimed without evidence that a flood in Washington, D.C., was the result of “the climate crisis.”
Ocasio-Cortez made her remarks in response to a local area reporter who was reporting on heavy rain and some flooding that was occurring around the D.C. area.
“Unprecedented flooding is quickly becoming a new normal. Despite that, Republicans are tripling down on fossil fuels w/no plan to transition off them, or make the critical infra investments we need to prep for the climate crisis,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Each day of inaction puts more of us in danger. Climate change intensifies flooding, wildfires, & extreme weather. It’s more than 1 day or 1 storm; it’s all of them. Places are flooding where they haven’t before; there are 90-degree days in Alaska in June. The GOP will mock & sow confusion until it’s their home swept away.”
Ryan Maue, who has a Ph.D. in meteorology, responded to Ocasio-Cortez in a series of social media posts, writing: “First a tornado and now a flash flood. The Congresswoman does not miss an opportunity to turn a weather event she experiences into a political statement and blame Republicans. She’s right that cities need to invest in infrastructure but a slow-moving t-storm isn’t ‘climate.'”
“Where do you start the conversation with this premise? AOC: ‘It’s more than 1 day or 1 storm; it’s all of them. Places are flooding where they haven’t before; there are 90-degree days in Alaska in June. The GOP will mock & sow confusion until it’s their home swept away,'” Maue added in a follow-up tweet.
“You should resist the emotional temptation to blame EVERY weather event on climate change. Consult the National Academies ‘bubble chart’ on our understanding & confidence of weather events + climate change: Severe convective storms = low confidence & low understanding,” Maue continued. “Extreme rainfall is still low/medium confidence and medium understanding — pretty clear that in a warmer world, rainfall extremes will increase. But, attributing an individual t-storm or slow-moving area of rain to climate change is (currently) beyond our capability.”
Maue concluded by tweeting a screenshot from the National Academies: Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change, which stated:
Severe convective storms: The committee is not aware of any attribution studies. Observations of both individual events and trends are problematic. Climate models do not resolve the events, and some phenomena (e.g., tornadoes) are not resolved even by the highest-resolution models in use for operational weather forecasting. Physical understanding of the events’ relationship to climate change is limited. Statistical or dynamic downscaling offers promise of improvement.
Maue’s response to Ocasio-Cortez’s climate change claims came the same day that President Trump unloaded on her “Green New Deal.”
“While we’re focused on practical solutions, more than 100 Democrats in Congress now support the so-called Green New Deal,” Trump said in a speech at the White House on America’s Environmental Leadership on Monday. “Their plan is estimated to cost our economy nearly $100 trillion — a number unthinkable, a number not affordable even in the best of times. If you go 150 years from now and we’ve had great success, that’s not a number that’s even thought to be affordable. It’ll kill millions of jobs, it’ll crush the dreams of the poorest Americans, and disproportionately harm minority communities. I will not stand for it. We will defend the environment, but we will also defend American sovereignty, American prosperity, and we will defend American jobs.”