October 2, 2007

Hurricane/Global Warming Link Weakened

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

“Given this state of affairs, projections of changes in [tropical cyclone] intensity due to future global warming must be approached cautiously.”

This is the concluding sentence of a just-published article by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Kyle Swanson in which he carefully examined the historical relationship between sea surface temperatures and tropical cyclone intensity in the Atlantic and western Pacific ocean.

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August 21, 2007

Tellus More About Hurricanes

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

Tellus is a professional scientific journal published on behalf of the International Meteorological Institute in Stockholm and is highly respected by atmospheric scientists throughout the world. A recent issue is devoted to hurricanes (a.k.a., tropical cyclones), and three articles in the issue are of significant interest to us at World Climate Report.

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April 19, 2007

Hurricane/Global Warming Link Weakens Further (not much left)

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

The atmosphere above the major hurricane formation and intensification region in the Atlantic ocean continues to evolve in a manner that is virtually opposite to the way it is projected to evolve by climate models run with increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other anthropogenic emissions. This fact suggests that the role played by natural variability in the recent upswing in hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean (including storms striking the U. S. coastline) is likely large and significant. A just-published paper further adds to this evidence.

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February 27, 2007

Global Hurricane Intensity NOT Increasing

Filed under: Hurricanes

Global hurricane intensity not increasing…so concludes a just-published paper by University of Wisconsin atmospheric scientist Jim Kossin and colleagues. In order that we can’t be accused of misrepresenting the authors’ meaning, here is the complete conclusion section of their Geophysical Research Letters paper [we added emphasis just for fun –eds]:

The time-dependent differences between the UW/NCDC and JTWC best track records underscores the potential for data inconsistencies to introduce spurious (or spuriously large) upward trends in longer-term measures of hurricane activity. Using a homogeneous record, we were not able to corroborate the presence of upward trends in hurricane intensity over the past two decades in any basin other than the Atlantic. Since the Atlantic basin accounts for less than 15% of global hurricane activity, this result poses a challenge to hypotheses that directly relate globally increasing tropical SST to increases in long-term mean global hurricane intensity.

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May 26, 2006

Hurricane/Global Warming Linkage Takes Another Hit

Filed under: Hurricanes

We have covered many papers in the recent scientific literature that do not support the hypothesis that global warming has led, or will lead, to large changes in the intensity of tropical cyclones (see here and here and here). Michaels et al. (2006), Pielke Jr. et al. (2006), and Hoyos et al. (2006), all present evidence that the tropical cyclone regime, at least in the Atlantic basin, during the past 20-30 years, is a complex combination of the interactions of several different environmental factors that include sea surface temperatures (SST), vertical wind shear, and atmospheric stability, among others. The variations and trends of these parameters are often not what has been projected by models for anthropogenerated global warming. The climate models also project far more modest changes in hurricane intensity than are being observed. This is further evidence that factors other than those directly related to anthropogenic climate change are influencing observed trends and variations in tropical cyclones. These other factors include cyclical, or quasi-cyclical, oscillations as well as possible observational biases in the record resulting from changing technology and observing practices that have evolved over the past century or so.

These results do not support the hypotheses of Emanuel (2005) and Webster et al. (2005) that link large changes in the intensity of tropical cyclones primarily to increased SST caused by global warming

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May 10, 2006

Major Hurricanes: More, but not Stronger

Filed under: Hurricanes

We have a new paper in Geophysical Research Letters in which we find that it is plausible that a future rise in sea surface temperatures (SST) in the tropical North Atlantic Ocean will lead to a greater number of major hurricanes (categories 3 through 5), but that it should not lead to an increased intensity of these storms (Michaels et al., 2006).

The ultimate intensity that a storm achieves is less dependent on the underlying SST than it is on a myriad other environmental factors, such as vertical wind shear and atmospheric stability—which that are less clearly related to anthropogenic greenhouse-related changes than is SST. Our results call into question how significantly future global warming will impact Atlantic tropical cyclones and whether or not such an impact is currently detectable.

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January 20, 2006

Donald Kennedy: Setting Science Back

Filed under: Climate Politics, Hurricanes

Donald Kennedy, the Editor-in-Chief of Science magazine, lately seems more bent on setting science back rather than advancing it.

His editorial page rants on global warming are as predictable as the content of most of the climate change articles in his journal. It hasn’t been lost on many in the science community that he simply refuses to print any “perspectives” piece that doesn’t go along with his take on climate change. If other points of view are so uninformed, why doesn’t he let them out so that they can be held up to ridicule?

But now, observers of the global warming war are beginning to question Kennedy’s competence.
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October 31, 2005

Hurricanes and Global Warming: Do Not Believe the Hype

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

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).
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