Hurricanes are not the result of human-induced climate change (as attested by the world’s foremost hurricane experts)

It’s been another lackluster hurricane season, with the exception of the hurricane currently teasing the east coast, Dorian.

Nonetheless, the global whiners are using this storm to tout their (failed) theory of human-caused climate change.

Here’s a snippet from my bestselling book, Climategate:
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If you want to observe a branch of meteorology where there is virtual consensus regarding global warming, look no farther than to those who actually study and forecast hurricanes.  This community of scientists knows Gore is prancing about au naturel.

Re-enter Dr. William Gray, unquestionably the world’s foremost hurricane forecaster.  He founded the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University in the 1960s, where he developed the fine art of forecasting hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin, including the Gulf of Mexico.  Numerous times Dr. Gray has told my radio audience, “I am of the opinion that global warming is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people.”

Gray’s opinion is not based on a gut feeling—it’s based on the science. And he is not alone.

“All my colleagues that have been around a long time—I think if you go to ask the last four or five directors of the National Hurricane Center—we all don’t think this is human-induced global warming,” says Dr. Gray.[1]
Indeed, another pioneer in hurricane research, and a thirteen-year Director of the National Hurricane Center, Dr. Neil Frank, told the Washington Post,“It’s a hoax.”[2]
When asked if he thought increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could actually be a good thing he replied, “Exactly!  Maybe we’re living in a carbon dioxide-starved world.  We don’t know.”[3]

COUNTING HURRICANES

When the Gulf of Mexico coastline took its direct hit from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a columnist for the Boston Globeblamed the storm on global warming.  “The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service.  Its real name is global warming,” he wrote.[4]
Actually, if the buffoonish columnist wanted to accurately name Katrina, he would have taken off his tin-foil cap and called the storm “normal weather.”
Hurricanes are the fascinating grand dames of earth’s natural weather machine. To pin their frequency and intensity on global warming is foolish, but to the uniformed, it’s a sexy sell.
In 2004 and 2005, the global whiners received costly gifts from the global warming gods.  The 2004 hurricane season saw a near record six hurricanes striking U.S. soil.  Of those, a record three were classified as major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).  In 2005, six hurricanes also made landfall in the United States, with a new mark of four reaching major status—the most devastating, of course, being Katrina.

While it may seem compelling to link these natural disasters to global warming, recall from Chapter Three that 2005 was the 16thhottest year on record, and 2004 didn’t crack the top 20. Historically, these two devastating hurricane seasons need to be placed in proper perspective:

 

Total Hurricanes Striking United States

Number                                          Year
7                                         1886

6                        1916, 1985, 2004, 2005

5                        1893, 1909, 1933

4                        1869, 1880, 1887, 1888

1906, 1964

3                        31 years have 3 strikes

Major Hurricanes Striking U.S.

Number                                        Year

4                                      2005

3                        1893, 1909, 1933, 1954,

2004

2                        1879, 1886, 1915, 1916,

1926, 1944, 1950, 1955,

1985

 

The left half of this chart indicates that 2004 and 2005 both experienced six hurricanes strikes in the United States.  If global warming was to blame for those busy seasons, how do you explain the equal number of hurricanes that came ashore in 1916, one of the colder years on record?  And could the record sevenstrikes in 1886 caused by man’s burning of fossil fuels?   Obviously not; it was nearly as cold as 1916.

The right side of the chart indicates that 2005 holds the record of four major hurricanes hitting our shores.   However, one must ask if an unnatural increase in CO2is to blame. What was driving the three major storms that hit the U.S. in 1893 and 1909?  Again these were very chilly, post-Little Ice Age years that have no link to carbon dioxide.  Admittedly, 1954 was a hotty, but our proof-by-association exercise is running out of gas.
It should also be noted that despite the frequency and intensity of the hurricanes during the 2004-05 period, the following two hurricane seasons were tame.  Nohurricanes touched U.S. soil in 2006, and 2007 would also have been hurricane-free were it not for the last gasps of Humberto, which limped into Texas with winds of 90 mph. All told, 2006 produced a mere five hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin (the lowest since 1997) and 2007 only six—kind of a bummer if you’re in the hurricane research biz, and even more so if your using hurricanes to raise money to fight global warming.  The year 2008 was a bit more active with 8 hurricanes, and only one hitting Galveston as a Cat-2.

“But, Brian,” the worldly global whiner might interrupt, “you’re so Yankee-focused. How can you judge the hurricane seasons based on how many storms hit the United States?  The Atlantic Ocean and surrounding waters are a huge breeding ground for hurricanes.”

Well, let’s check the stats:

Hurricanes in Atlantic Basin

Number                                     Year

15                                    2005

12                                    1969

11                        1887, 1916, 1950, 1995

10                        1870, 1878, 1886, 1893,

1933, 1998

9                         1880, 1955, 1980, 1996,

2001, 2004

Major Hurricanes in Atlantic Basin

Number                                   Year

8                                    1950

7                             1961, 2005

6                      1916, 1926, 1955, 1964,

1996, 2004

5                      1893, 1933, 1951, 1958,

1969, 1995, 1999

 

 

To the left, we see that 2005 was an anomaly with a record 15 hurricanes forming in the Atlantic.  The Summer of Love experienced the second greatest number (and no, you can’t blame it on what was smoked at Woodstock, nor can it blamed on temperature—1969 was cool year).  Following those records, we see many years with a significant number of hurricanes, half of which occurred in the 1800s.

The right side of the chart illustrates that 1950 (another cool year) holds the record for the most powerful storms, with eight major hurricanes. Beyond that, we see a smattering of years with intense storms, most having played out prior to 1960.

Again, to try pin frequency and intensity on global warming is folly.  Like all kinds of weather, hurricanes simply happen.  On average, close to seven hurricanes every four years (1.8 per year) strike the United States, while about two major hurricanes cross the U.S. coast every three years.

Consider some other noteworthy hurricanes, noneof which occurred in particularly hot years:

Deadliest Hurricane:  More than 8,000 people perished September 8, 1900, when a Category 4 hurricane barreled into Galveston, Texas.  The storm surges exceeded 15 feet and winds howled at 130 mph, destroying more than half of the city’s homes.

Most Intense Hurricane:  An unnamed storm slammed into the Florida Keys during Labor Day, 1935.  Researchers estimated sustained winds reached 150-200 mph with higher gusts.  The storm killed an estimated 408 people.

Greatest Storm Surge:  In 1969, Hurricane Camille produced a 25-foot storm surge in Mississippi.  Camille, a Category 5 storm, was the strongest storm of any kind to ever strike mainland America.  When the eye hit Mississippi, winds gusted up to 200 mph.  The hurricane caused the deaths of 143 people along the coast from Alabama into Louisianaand led to another 113 deaths as the weakening storm moved inland.

Earliest and latest hurricanes:  The hurricane season is defined as June 1 through November 30.  The earliest observed hurricane in the Atlantic was on March 7, 1908, while the latest observed hurricane was on December 31, 1954.  The earliest hurricane to strike the United States was Alma, which struck northwest Florida on June 9, 1966.  The latest hurricane to strike the United States was on November 30, 1925, near Tampa, Florida.

Hurricanes, one of the favorite proofs that advocates of anthropogenic global warming use to validate their claims, have become earth’s biggest bogeyman.
Reporters can call names, Senators can make unfounded pronouncements, the Terminator can pump his biceps, and the U.N. can hold conferences on impending doom, but the only consensus regarding the connection of hurricanes and global warming is that there is no connection between the two.

However, like slick slip-and-fall lawyers, the Marxist elites pushing their social engineering agenda are not about to let a few facts thwart their plans.  There’s too much wealth at stake that needs to be spread around.

 

[1]Interview with Dr. William Gray on KSFO, San Francisco, April 7, 2007

[2]Joel Achenbach. “The Tempest,” Washington Post, Sunday, May 28, 2006.

[3]Ibid.

[4]Ross Gelbspan, “Katrina’s real name,” Boston Globe, August 30, 2005

Brian Sussman

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