Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Latest Global Warning Worry -- Refuted

Some media outlets are getting excited about hurricanes again: Not the 2010 hurricane season but as a result of 'global warming.'

Caribbean Storm Damage Costs May Rise 50% With Global Warming

Roger Pielke Jr. effectively refutes this contention here.

You may remember that, since Katrina, we have been bombarded with predictions of ever-increasing losses from ever-worsening hurricanes.  Courtesy of Florida State University's Dr. Ryan Maue , here is the ACE index which combines both number and intensity of hurricanes (click to enlarge):
The upper (green) curve is the worldwide index value. The lower (gray) is North America. The index goes back to 1979 because that is when we first had worldwide surveillance of hurricanes and is up-to-date as of July 31st. The index has steadily declined since Katrina (2005) and is heading into record low territory.

This does not say we won't have more hurricanes this year (we almost certainly will) and that they might be strong. The ocean water temperatures are high.  Hurricane Andrew occurred in a less-than-normal hurricane season.

At what point does this increasing divergence between apocalyptic predictions of increasing numbers and intensity of hurricanes and atmospheric reality start sinking in?

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