April 14, 2008

The Lack of Recent Hurricane Activity?

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

This hurricane issue never goes away and new websites appear every day warning us of more hurricanes in the immediate future. We cover this issue over and over, and no fewer than three more articles on hurricane activity have appeared in the scientific literature recently of interest to us at World Climate Report:

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April 8, 2008

Another Hurricane Update

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

A few months have passed since our last hurricane update, and sure enough, two more interesting articles have appeared recently in leading scientific journals. Despite a relative calm over the past few years on the hurricane front, the global warming crowd continues to insist on thousands of websites that hurricanes are becoming more frequent and intense due to the ongoing buildup of greenhouse gases. Their claims are looking more silly every day, but they fully understand that some other Katrina-like disaster is always in our future, so they seem to be patiently waiting for the next major photo opportunity.

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February 25, 2008

More on the Hurricane Hysteria

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

Our hurricane dialog never seems to end, and hardly a week goes by without another article appearing in a major journal on the subject of global warming and hurricane activity. In recent weeks, two more major articles have been published adding to the overwhelming evidence that the hurricane – global warming link cannot be supported on theoretical or empirical grounds. These two articles represent more nails for the coffin containing the popularized link between global warming and hurricanes!

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January 28, 2008

Warming Reduces Landfalling Hurricanes (Again)

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

World Climate Report could easily become World Hurricane Report given all of the articles we have featured in the last few years on the subject. Despite growing empirical and theoretical evidence to the contrary, the global warming advocates continue to insist that hurricanes will become worse in the coming decades. They argue that warmer seas will support more evaporation and more energy to spin-up and sustain more and/or stronger hurricanes. They rely heavily on a very few number of articles on this subject, and they disregard the bulk of material published in leading journals showing that global warming will likely not lead to any substantial changes in hurricane activity.

Yet another article has appeared in a leading journal of this subject. The piece is by Chunzai Wang and Sang-Ki Lee of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies at the University of Miami; the research was funded by NOAA. The begin their article noting “the 2005 hurricane season is the most active year on record, with 28 named tropical storms in the Atlantic basin and 15 of them reaching hurricane intensity. The recent increase in Atlantic hurricane activity has fueled a debate on the role of global warming in the increase.” (There’s the “d-word” again that we thought wasn’t used anymore!). The last sentence of Wang and Lee’s first paragraph tips the world off that this piece is not headed to the top of the hurricane alarmists’ lists. “This paper uses observational data to demonstrate that the attribution of the recent increase in Atlantic hurricane activity to global warming is premature and that global warming may decrease the likelihood of hurricanes making landfall in the United States.”

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January 17, 2008

Cycles in Landfalling U.S. Hurricanes?

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

To many global warming alarmists, every disastrous weather event becomes yet another piece of evidence of the coming man-made apocalypse. One only needs to look at their exploitation of Hurricane Katrina victims in the furtherance of the global warming crusade. Most average citizens are shocked to find out that at landfall, Katrina was not a record-setting Category 5 monster hurricane, but really a Category 3 storm—hardly unprecedented in intensity but devastating with respect to the landfall location and timing.

Most reasonable people believe that there exist natural cycles in climatic events, perhaps even hurricanes. But to the aforementioned alarmists, cycles are anathema—with increasing greenhouse gases, temperatures (and the related disastrous repercussions) must only trend inexorably upward. The declining (cooling) limb of any cycle is simply unacceptable.

This background is at the heart of the ongoing debate on trends in Atlantic hurricanes. While the alarmists see only trends in hurricane numbers and strength arising from warmer ocean waters, others point to evidence of cycles in Atlantic sea-surface temperature tied to something called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, a multi-decadal scale shifting in Atlantic temperatures between cold and warm phases.

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December 19, 2007

Warmer Seas But No Change in Hurricane Intensity?

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

We have visited this topic repeatedly over the past five years (e.g., here and here), and here we go again given the latest news. Every self-respecting presentation about global warming includes a claim that hurricanes are becoming more intense, and if you don’t believe it, you will be treated to images of the Katrina disaster as the final proof. Gore’s film clearly makes the case that burning fossil fuel equals higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration which equals higher atmospheric and oceanic temperatures. He claims in the film and during every stop on his global circuit that the warmer sea surface in the tropics clearly means more intense hurricanes and BANG … the Katrina horrors are unveiled. It seems to work every time, and despite a lot of research that suggests the relationship is not so clear, people have bought the intense hurricane pillar of the global warming scare. If you suggest that there is some debate on the subject, you will undoubtedly be told that the climate deniers are few in number, well financed from industry, and discredited by scientists the world over.

Many would argue that Nature is the leading scientific journal in the world, and over the years, Nature has been an ally of the global warming crusade. A recent article in Nature begins with the sentence “The response of tropical cyclone activity to global warming is widely debated.” That sentence alone hints that the article may be somewhat atypical of Nature, since actual acknowledgement of the “d” word is greatly frowned upon by the crusaders. The second sentence states “It is often assumed that warmer sea surface temperatures provide a more favourable environment for the development and intensification of tropical cyclones, but cyclone genesis and intensity are also affected by the vertical thermodynamic properties of the atmosphere.” Once again, we get the hint that this presumed link between warmer oceans and more intense hurricanes may be more complicated than we’ve (or, rather, you’ve) been led to believe by the likes of Gore. We have been telling you this has been the case for several years.

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December 3, 2007

More on New York Hurricanes

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

Back in October, we reviewed an article dealing with hurricanes in New York over the past four centuries, and the researchers found that intense Big Apple hurricanes were more common during the much-colder Little Ice Age than today. We noted at the time that any hurricane striking New York will be greeted by the global warming advocates as the final nail in the coffin of the greenhouse scare, when in reality, such storms are relatively common and are possibly more frequent in cold periods, not warm ones.

Another article on New York hurricanes has appeared in Natural Hazards, and once again, we doubt the greenhouse crusade will be pleased with the results.

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October 24, 2007

Tropical Cyclones of China

Recently, former Vice President Al Gore won a share of the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to our understanding of the global warming problem. His film was seen as a masterpiece that certainly sealed the deal on his Nobel Prize. However, on the same day the Nobel committee honored Gore, world renowned hurricane specialist Dr. William Gray told a packed lecture hall at the University of North Carolina that humans were not responsible for the warming of the Earth and not responsible for alter hurricane patterns, as strongly suggested in the Gore film. Gray told the crowd “They’re going to the Gore movie and being fed all this,” and “It’s ridiculous. The human impact on the atmosphere is simply too small to have a major effect on global temperatures.” Dr. Gray said there were 101 hurricanes from 1900 to 1949 in a period of cooler global temperatures compared to 83 hurricanes between 1957 and 2006. Don’t look for Dr. Gray to receive a Nobel Prize anytime soon.

As we sit through a ho-hum year in terms of hurricanes (a.k.a., tropical cyclones) in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea, another article has appeared in the professional literature with results that call into question any prediction about more tropical cyclones in the future. The latest work comes from a team of scientists with China’s Shanghai Typhoon Institute and is published in the Chinese journal Acta Oceanologica Sinica (you may notice a few misspelled words and odd phrases in some quotes from the article). The work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Special Climate Project of China’s Meteorological Administration.

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October 5, 2007

Big Apple Hurricanes

Imagine if a large hurricane struck New York City during this tropical cyclone season – the devastation would be incredible and during and following the disastrous event, global warming would undoubtedly be blamed for the all that happened to the Big Apple. Believe it or not, this will happen sometime in the not-so-distant future, it’s a virtual lock! New York City has been struck many times in the past by tropical cyclones, and it is just a matter of time before another hurricane passes directly over the city. Officials there are fully aware of the threat, as this brochure attests, providing plenty of information about hurricane evacuation zones located throughout the metropolitan area.

As we have detailed many times in the past, there is a considerable debate in the climate community regarding the future of hurricane activity. There are several prominent scientists arguing that recent global warming has increased tropical sea surface temperatures (SSTs) that can support more hurricanes, stronger events with much higher destructive powers, and hurricanes that simply last longer. These scientists and their many followers have suggested that Katrina and other recent hurricanes have been made more destructive given the ongoing buildup of greenhouse gases. Many others have raised substantial doubts about the proposed link between greenhouse gases and hurricane activity (we have covered many of their research papers, for the latest, see here). Nonetheless, should a large hurricane pass over downtown Manhattan, scientists promoting the greenhouse link would breathlessly appear on our televisions 24 hours a day.

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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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