A series of prominent papers has been recently published claiming a link between global warming and increasing power of Atlantic hurricanes. These papers became very prominent largely because of the large number of strong hurricanes that have hit the United States in recent years. But, is global warming really the cause?
The public is certainly divided on this one. On his blog, Roger Pielke, Jr. reports on a recent Gallup/CNN poll that queried Americans on their beliefs about the relationship between global warming and hurricanes. The question was posed “Thinking about the increase in the number and strength of hurricanes in recent years, do you think global warming has been a major cause, a minor cause, or not a cause of the increase in hurricanes?” 36 percent of the respondents answered “major cause,” 29 percent answered “minor cause,” and 30 percent thought that global warming played no role whatsoever in the upswing in recent hurricane activity (the remaining 5% must not have made up their minds yet).