Discussion Board

Discussion Board

1.

The tornadoes that hit the southeastern US in April 2011 were devastating in terms of loss of human lives and destruction of infrastructure. Tornadoes are not uncommon in parts of the US, especially from April through June, but why was the system of tornadoes that hit the southeast so powerful that it has been called the “perfect storm” by some meteorologists? What factors do you think combined to make the recent southeastern tornadoes a “perfect storm” of destruction (hint: more than the usual suite of factors occurred)? Was this an unusual event or do tornadoes of this extent and intensity occur more often than we realize?

2.

Let’s assume that the debate over global warming is done and that society has accepted it as reality and that we need to do something about it – but what? Other than curbing greenhouse emissions from fossil fuels (i.e., don’t focus solely on greenhouse gases as your main post), some think that we as a society must plan now for future changes in the Earth’s climate and ecosystems to avoid catastrophes. Do you think it’s really possible to adequately prepare for future climate change when that change may be decades (or more, or less) in the future? Why or why not? Be specific with details to support your argument. Are there any specific steps you would take to plan for future climate change? Try to think big and bold (e.g., go beyond recycling and other local, but useful, activities) but realistic.