Global warming may reduce hurricanes hitting U.S.


Reuters – January 23. 2008

What in the world is going on here?!?!?! Do we understand so little about our climate and environment that we can’t even figure out for sure if hurricanes are going to be less frequent or more frequent with global warming? I repeat my call for more effort to truly understand our climate before we spend trillions of dollars to try and change the environment – a sum that will likely cause the death of thousands of people.

This also flies directly into the face of former Vice President Al Gore and his film “An Inconvenient Truth” perhaps Mr. Gore should consider giving back his Nobel since one of his strongest statements and most concerning images in the movie was the certainty that hurricanes would increase and cause more catastrophes such as New Orleans.

I have a new ad campaign for Exxon “Drive more inefficient cars and save New Orleans!”

Of course, if you read this site frequently then you know that this is not really new.  I have mentioned this concern several times (here and here).  This study also flies in the face of RealClimate and their relatively inhospitable stance towards this site as they defended Mr. Gore’s statement of increase hurricanes due to a warmer world.

Rising ocean temperatures linked to global warming could decrease the number of hurricanes hitting the United States, according to new research released on Wednesday. The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, challenges recent research that suggests global warming could be contributing to an increase in the frequency and the intensity of Atlantic hurricanes.

The new study suggests that warmer seas, caused by greenhouse gases blamed for a rise in global temperatures, are linked to an increase in vertical wind shear, a difference in wind speeds at different altitudes that can tear apart nascent cyclones.

But the new study, by oceanographer Chunzai Wang of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Sang-Ki Lee, a scientist at the University of Miami, examined 150 years of hurricane records and found a small decline in hurricanes making landfall in the United States as the oceans warmed.

“The attribution of the recent increase in Atlantic hurricane activity to global warming is premature. … Global warming may decrease the likelihood of hurricanes making landfall in the United States,” the researchers wrote.

The two effects compete, but the net impact is an increase in wind shear in the main Atlantic hurricane development zone, from the west coast of Africa to Central America.

You can read the entire news article here.

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