Tornado Good and Bad
How can a tornado be a friend and an enemy to the
environment and people?
Since a tornado is not a person, I wouldn't think of it
as either a friend or enemy. It's a natural phenomenon
which we have to watch out for.
Tornados can have devastating effects on property,
people, and the environment, and meteorologists do
their best to provide warnings about them and instructions
on how to keep yourself safe in case a tornado is in your
Some natural disasters, although destructive in some
ways, can do good things. For instance, floods can
redistribute soil to make land downstream more fertile.
However, I can't say that tornados are good for the
environment, people, animals, or plants in any way.
So we would normally think of tornados as
an enemy, not a friend.
I can think of only two benefits of tornados; they give
people a chance to see the power that nature can exhibit
and they provide an exciting challenge for people who
chase them and study them.
David R. Cook
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory
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Update: June 2012