May 26, 2011

No Long-term Trend in Atlantic Hurricane Numbers

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

Long-debated has been whether or not there is a long-term trend in the number of Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes.

The answer to this seemingly straightforward question turns out to be complicated because there have been changes in the observing practices over time—including changes in the spatial coverage of observing systems as well as the technologies employed. Therefore, teasing out the real climate signal from the noise induced by the changing nature of the observations has proved challenging and lends itself to a variety of methodologies producing a variety of results.

Of top of this less than perfect solution is the desire (for some at least) to want to try to involve anthropogenic global warming, hoping to find that anthropogenic climate change is leading to more tropical storms and hurricanes. But thus far, the evidence for this is scant, to say the least.

And now, it just got scanter. (We know the word is “scantier” but the one we concocted rhymes with our pugilistic friend in climate hyperbole, Ben Santer).


April 20, 2011

Climate Coup

We are pleased to announce the latest addition to our blogroll category of “Books”—that being Climate Coup: Global Warming’s Invasion of Our Government and Our Lives—a fine publication edited by our own Dr. Patrick J. Michaels.

Climate Coup is published by the Cato Institute and is available through Cato or through Amazon.

Here is how the Cato Institute describes Climate Coup:

Global warming alarmism is invading nearly every aspect of our society. Despite convincing evidence that climate change does not portend an apocalyptic future, children are inundated with that idea in schools. Poor countries shake down rich ones in the name of climate “justice.” Lawmakers try to impose tariffs and sanctions on nations that don’t agree with their environmental views. The military uses climate change as a reason to enlarge its budget. And courts are compelling the government to restrict the amount of energy we use and the way we use it.

Climate Coup provides an antidote to this, gathering together myth-breaking insights and data from a team of experts on the pervasive influence global warming alarmism is having on health, education, law, national defense, international development, trade, and academic publishing.

”Global warming’s reach has become ubiquitous,” writes the editor, Patrick Michaels. “This book documents how far unelected bureaucracies have pushed this issue into our lives.”

Each author details the width and depth of the impact global warming alarmism is having on his or her area of expertise. The coverage includes:

-How the Constitution’s limited government restraints have been torn away, allowing global warming policy to be dictated by the president.

-The deliberate abdication of legislative authority by Congress to further concentrate regulatory power in the executive and judicial branches.

-How outrageous exaggerations of global warming fuel budget expansion within the Defense Department.

-How students are subjected to forms of climate change education that are akin to social engineering.

-How trade policies do nothing about climate change but erode market freedoms.

-Ending the myth that global warming reduces the quality of life in developing countries.

-An examination of the unrealistic and unsupported public health claims made about global warming.

Climate Coup confronts the exaggerations, opportunism, and myths about global warming that are all too pervasively altering the shape of our lives and provides the tools and insights necessary to push back against the takeover.

Climate Coup is edited by Dr. Patrick Michaels, senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute. According to Cato, “Dr. Michaels is widely acknowledged by climate alarmists as today’s most effective synthesizer of the nonapocalyptic view of climate change. He is a distinguished senior fellow in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University and a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists. He has also authored multiple books on global warming, including Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know.”

Climate Coup includes individual chapters contributed by:

Roger Pilon
Evan Turgeon
Ross McKitrick
Ivan Eland
Sallie James
Indur M. Goklany
Robert E. Davis
Neal McCluskey

For those interested in hearing more about what Climate Coup is all about, the Cato Institute is hosting a Book Forum on Wednesday May 4, 2011. The Book Forum will be streamed on-line, and will feature speakers Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, MIT and Bob Ryan, Fellow and past president of the American Meteorological Society and meteorologist for WJLA / ABC 7 News. The discussion will be moderated by Patrick J. Michaels.

Be sure to tune in to see all the fun!

October 14, 2010

No Trend in Global Hurricane Activity

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

How much evidence will it take to quiet the claim that hurricanes are increasing in frequency due to global warming?

Global Warming crusaders are particularly fond of promoting the idea that we are having a profound impact on hurricane activity—they seem to never let an event go unclaimed. At World Climate Report (WCR), we have reviewed dozens of papers from the leading scientific journals presenting scant evidence to support a strong link between global warming and hurricane activity, and we hope you never get bored with these essays.

The literature never sleeps, and yet another major article has appeared recently in a leading journal with results well-suited for our never-ending review of this subject.


March 30, 2010

Southern Hemisphere Hurricanes – Not Changing?

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

Have you heard of all the hurricane activity going on right now in the Southern Hemisphere? We are moving into the hurricane season for the Southern Hemisphere, and if you haven’t heard much about it, the reason is that right now there is zero hurricane activity anywhere on the planet. Of course, there will be a hurricane in the Southern Hemisphere in the coming weeks, and some reporter will immediately invoke global warming – this is our guaranteed prediction!

The latest research on trends in hurricanes in the Southern Hemisphere comes from a team of seven scientists from Australia’s National Climate Centre and the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research. Kuleshov et al. begin with the usual proclamation that “Trends in tropical cyclone (TC) occurrences and intensity, and possible physical mechanisms for change, have been discussed widely in recent years.” That is an understatement – we at World Climate Report have posted no end of essays on the topic based on articles on the subject that seem to appear in the literature over and over. Kuleshov et al. review key articles suggesting a substantial increase in intense TC’s for the globe, the North Atlantic, and the northwest Pacific. However, they state “Other authors have rejected these findings, mainly on the basis of the argument that changes have been so great in observation technologies and analysis techniques that the reported changes are artificial, and not due to any actual trends.”


March 5, 2010

European Storms

The winter of 2009-2010 has produced its fair share of winter storms in the Northern Hemisphere – recall that President Obama arrived back in Washington from his appearance at the Copenhagen climate conference only to find the White House grounds buried under near-record amounts of snow. Europe and Asia have seen their share of large winter storms as well during the 2009-2010 winter. Hardly a large storm goes by without someone, somewhere suggesting that whatever we are seeing, it is related to “climate change”. If one looked no further than the Technical Summary of the IPCC, they would discover that the IPCC is rather quiet on this subject with no claims whatsoever that winter storms will increase in frequency, magnitude, duration, or intensity due to the ongoing changes in atmospheric composition.

Two new articles are out that further confirm that global warming has not and will not be causing mid-latitude winter storms to become some new destructive result of the greenhouse effect.


January 27, 2010

Upward Trend in Hurricane Damage in China?

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

A recent article has appeared in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society regarding trends in tropical cyclone damages in China. The article was generated by three Chinese scientists from the China Meteorological Administration’s National Climate Center and Nanjing University’s Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster. The authors note that “This research was supported by Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China through the National Science and Technology Support Project and the National Natural Scientific Foundation of China.”

Let’s start with a key figure (Figure 1) in which Zhang et al. reveal an upward trend in damage from tropical cyclones (a.k.a., hurricanes, typhoons) over the 1983 to 2006. They note that “In addition to the heavy economic losses in individual years, the time series shown” “contains an upward trend over the past 24 yr, which is statistically significant at the 95% level. On average, the losses caused by landfalling tropical cyclones in China mainland increased by 1.19 billion yuans each year.” We could see this result spun several different ways. On one hand, we could write about how poor China is being ravaged by hurricanes fueled-up thanks to global warming. On the other hand, we could say, see, China is now the world leader in greenhouse gas emissions, and they are suffering the consequences. As we are about to see, there is a lot more to this story about increasing damages in China.

Figure 1. Estimated direct economic losses caused by landfalling tropical cyclones in billion yuans (thin, inflation adjusted to 2006) and the corresponding 5-yr running mean (thick) (from Zhang et al., 2009).


January 21, 2010

More or Less Intense Hurricanes?

[see update at bottom of post]

A new article has just been published in the January 22, 2010 issue of Science magazine which finds that there will be a large increase in the frequency of the strongest hurricanes in the Atlantic basin as the climate changes from increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. But a closer look at the results shows that this model-based result is produced by a hurricane model which under-simulates the frequency of strong storms in today’s climate. And that, despite the projected increase in intense hurricanes, the frequency of those storms projected by the model to occur by the end of the 21st century is considerably less than the frequency of intense hurricanes actually observed in the current climate. If the model doesn’t work for the present, why should we trust it for the future?


January 14, 2010

Listening to Johnny Chan

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

OK – who is Johnny Chan? Thanks to ESPN stations, many Americans have come to know Johnny Chan as one of the world’s best and most entertaining poker players. He is on television as much as Tiger Woods, still going strong since winning the championship event of the World Series of Poker in 1987 and 1988. Chan has won 10 overall World Series of Poker bracelets thereby tying him for second with the great Doyle Brunson in that category. Chan was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2002, and he appeared as himself in the movie Rounders. You might be wondering what Johnny Chan has to do with the climate change debate … well, it depends on which Johnny Chan we are talking about!

One of these men is Johnny Chan the poker expert and the other is Johnny Chan the hurricane expert – can you decide?


December 27, 2009

Winter Storms Update

Filed under: Extratropical Storms

If we happen to see an unusually large number of winter storms this year, we suspect some reporter or some scientist will insist we are witnessing the effects of global warming, or at least declare we are witnessing climate change before our very eyes. Oppositely, if this year’s winter storms are infrequent, we will expect to learn from someone that we have seen the effects of climate change. In fact, in a recent paper in the International Journal of Climatology, the authors begin their piece noting “One area of growing concern in climate science is the impact that global warming could have through modulations of the nature and characteristics of naturally occurring extreme events, such as severe mid-latitude storms.” In the very next sentence, the research team from the United Kingdom and Australia state “However, both observational and modelling studies of historical and future storminess patterns and scenarios are divided on the role that global warming has played, or could play, in changing patterns of mid-latitude storms”. Once again, we find any straightforward link between global warming and winter storms is a bit more dicey than originally thought … there is always more to the story.


February 9, 2009

1,000 Years of Boston Hurricanes

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

The next highway from Boston to Los Angeles can be paved with articles at odds with the notion that hurricanes are becoming more fierce or frequent or longer-lived thanks to you driving an SUV or flying to Hawaii for a vacation. Our World Climate Report achive is so chalked-full of material on this subject, we wonder if it can stand any more? If the greenhouse crusade would for once say they are wrong on this subject, we would give it up. But with literally millions websites still loudly promoting the link between hurricanes and warming, we are going to stay in business for another essay on the topic.

A research team from the University of Massachusetts, the University of Pittsburgh, and institutions in Germany and Québec focused on hurricane activity near Boston over the past 1,000 years with substantial funding from NSF, NOAA, and UMass. Besonen et al. begin their article noting “The natural variability of hurricane activity on centennial and longer timescales is poorly known because instrumental records extend back just ~130 years, and aircraft reconnaissance and satellite observations only began in the mid-1940’s. Interest is heightened in light of studies suggesting that hurricane activity may increase due to anthropogenic global warming, and, more recently, that such an increase is already perceptible.”


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