Friday, September 02, 2005

U.S. Hurricanes Getting Worse Due to Global Warming? No

Read The Belmont Club

The Imperfect Storm
The Imperfect Storm 2
The Imperfect Storm 3

James Glassman argues that the frequency of giant storms has actually been decreasing over time, based on NOAA data.
“Giant hurricanes are rare, but they are not new. And they are not increasing. To the contrary. Just go to the website of the National Hurricane Center and check out a table that lists hurricanes by category and decade. The peak for major hurricanes (categories 3,4,5) came in the decades of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, when such storms averaged 9 per decade. In the 1960s, there were 6 such storms; in the 1970s, 4; in the 1980s, 5; in the 1990s, 5; and for 2001-04, there were 3. Category 4 and 5 storms were also more prevalent in the past than they are now. As for Category 5 storms, there have been only three since the 1850s: in the decades of the 1930s, 1960s and 1990s.”

See MIT researcher Kerry Emmanuel's comments “results suggest that future warming may lead to an upward trend in tropical cyclone destructive potential” however his web site includes “Neither basic theory nor numerical climate simulation is well enough advanced to predict how tropical cyclone frequency might change with changing climate, and both give conflicting results on the change of tropical cyclone frequency on doubling atmospheric.”

A New York Times article citing Emmanuel says: In an article this month in the journal Nature, Kerry A. Emanuel, a hurricane expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote that global warming might have already had some effect. The total power dissipated by tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic and North Pacific increased 70 to 80 percent in the last 30 years, he wrote. But even that seemingly large jump is not what has been pushing the hurricanes of the last two years, Dr. Emanuel said, adding, "What we see in the Atlantic is mostly the natural swing."

See Prior Post: U.S. Hurricane Strikes by Decade

2 Comments:

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September 02, 2005  
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