What do you get when you mix fire and a tornado? Apparently, you get a firenado. One recently popped up in California. Have a look:
Now, I'm well aware that it's scientifically illegal to say that any single weather event was caused by global warming, this is exactly the sort of thing to expect from a warming world. More drought, more severe drought, more fires, and more firenadoes.
This also reminds me of something one of my grad school professors used to say (well, probably still says). He noted that he thought "global warming" was a big messaging blunder. "Warm" sounds nice. We like warm. Making the world a bit warmer sounds good. "Global heating" would have been better at getting our attention and stimulating people to act in order to prevent the catastrophes to come. For some reason (I'm not sure why), this fire tornado brought me back to that argument.
For a bit more info on fire tornadoes (aka firenadoes, fire whirls, and fire devils), Wikipedia writes:
A fire whirl consists of a core—the part that is actually on fire—and an invisible pocket of rotating air that feeds fresh oxygen to the core. The core of a typical fire whirl is 1 to 3 feet (0.30 to 0.91 m) wide and 50 to 100 feet (15 to 30 m) tall. Under the right conditions, large fire whirls, several tens of feet wide and more than 1,000 feet (300 m) tall, can form. The temperature inside the core of a fire whirl can reach up to 2,000 °F (1,090 °C)—hot enough to potentially reignite ashes sucked up from the ground. Often, fire whirls are created when a wildfire or firestorm creates its own wind, which can turn into a spinning vortex of flame.... Fire whirls can last for an hour or more, and they cannot be extinguished directly.
Here's another screenshot of the video above that is good for sharing with friends who don't like videos:
After writing this article, I just noticed that Michael wrote about fire devils back in 2012. More info and videos can be found here: Tornado + Brush Fire = Fire Devil (Video)