Monday, September 26, 2011

Is the Weather Getting Worse? No!

Readers have been surprised to read my assertions that the weather is not getting worse due to 'global warming.' Here is the hurricane index from Dr. Ryan Maue:
Index based on number and strength of hurricanes worldwide. 
Now, a new study shows that death rates worldwide due to storms are plummeting. In the U.S. and a few developed nations, this is due to storm warnings. But most nations do not have storm warnings for their citizens so there is a correlation between extreme weather and deaths worldwide. The study says,

To put the public health impact of extreme weather events into context, cumulatively they now contribute only 0.07% to global mortality. Mortality from extreme weather events has declined even as all-cause mortality has increased, indicating that humanity is coping better with extreme weather events than it is with far more important health and safety problems. 

The entire study is here. Here is the trend in worldwide weather mortality.

Hat tip: WattsUpWithThat.

ADDITION: 9:15pm. More evidence there is no increase in hurricanes landfalls from an actual meteorologist and climate scientist.


  1. The conclusion is that:

    These improvements, which occurred despite increases in the populations at risk, can be attributed
    largely to the combination of greater economic development and technological change. Together
    they enable society to protect against—and cope with—adversity in general, and extreme weather
    events in particular.

    Yet you say that means the weather isn't getting worse. The report says nothing about the weather or climate change. It just addresses our ability to better deal with extreme weather.

  2. Hi FarmerG:

    Agree with your first paragraph in so far as developed nations are concerned. However, to take one example, rural Guatemala does not know a hurricane is coming significantly more now than they did 100 years ago. They have no electricity.

    So, outside of the developed world, deaths are -- at least to an extent -- a proxy for the severity of weather.

    Also, if Al Gore and others blame the high death toll of the April 27 tornadoes on 'global warming' (and Gore has done just that) then -- using his reasoning -- fewer deaths worldwide mean global warming is not a problem or a lesser problem than he proclaims. Note: I do not agree with that line of reasoning.


  3. I'm just stating that using this study for any discussion of climate change is a fallacious argument. They have nothing to do with each other other than the correlation that Mike reads into it. The study itself makes no mention of any correlation in its conclusion.

    Grasping for straws.

  4. Keep in mind the first paragraph was not my words. They were the conclusion from the study that Mike links to that he seem to think somehow reflects on whether climate change is real.

    I enjoy his comments on current weather situations. I find his logic on climate change severely lacking.

  5. FarmerG,

    Appreciate comments that disagree with me. However, you are not commenting on the totality of my post nor are you apparently aware of the statements (previously discussed on this blog) about deaths and giant human migrations caused by global warming (e.g., ).

    If death rates are down and decreasing, then it falsifies, at least for the near to medium term, the hypothesis that there will be giant ("exceeding all previous [human] displacements") global-warming migrations.

    People leave when there are high, rather than low, mortality rates. People die from weather when it is adverse, not benign -- especially in undeveloped nations which is where the majority of humans live.

    The hurricane index from Dr. Ryan Maue is the worldwide authoritative index on the subject. Hurricane activity is down since 2005. This has been yet another Atlantic season with weak activity.

    Contrast this with the predictions from the pro-GW people after Katrina about how the world was entering an era much more numerous and stronger hurricanes. Typical article (2005, 3 days after Katrina) here:

    I appreciate the comments, but I suggest you comment on the totality of my post rather than, for example, twice stating that the study didn't talk about GW. If you read what I wrote, I never stated otherwise. This post is my interpretation of the hurricane + study results.

    Thanks again for your comments.


  6. Goklany does good work -- I have read his book on how U.S. air quality was improving BEFORE the EPA.

    There is a perception that weather is getting worse, more dramatic, more variable.

    But this is explained more by enhanced media than worse weather: we have media outlets reporting 24/7, billions with cell phone video cameras, and YouTube. Any extreme weather event is likely to be recorded and posted, something unlikely just 10 years ago, and certainly unheard of 50 or 100 years ago.


  7. Totally agree with Trey. Media will latch onto the latest "crisis" and milk it for all its worth. Severity of storms has not increased but the robustness and real time coverage by an expanding media has increased exponentially (along with the documentation of inherent human suffering).



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