Debunking the latest ‘climate changes causes hurricanes’ study

Posted by: ST on July 30, 2007 at 9:49 am

First, the study:

MIAMI (Reuters) – The number of Atlantic hurricanes in an average season has doubled in the last century due in part to warmer seas and changing wind patterns caused by global warming, according to a study released on Sunday.

Hurricane researchers have debated for years whether climate change caused by greenhouse gases from cars, factories and other human activity is resulting in more, and more intense, tropical storms and hurricanes.

The new study, published online in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, said the increased numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes in the last 100 years is closely related to a 1.3-degree Fahrenheit rise in sea surface temperatures.

The influential U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in a report this year warning that humans contribute to global warming, said it was “more likely than not” that people also contribute to a trend of increasingly intense hurricanes.

In the new study, conducted by Greg Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Peter Webster of Georgia Institute of Technology, researchers found three periods since 1900 when the average number of Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes increased sharply, and then leveled off and remained steady.

Now the debunking, courtesy of Paul at Wizbang and Brian at Iowa Voice.

First it was “global warming reduces hurricanes.” Now it’s “global warming causes hurricanes.” I wish these ‘experts’ would make up their minds. Oh, and so much for that ‘consensus’ we keep hearing about …

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  • 21 Responses to “Debunking the latest ‘climate changes causes hurricanes’ study”


    1. Severian says:

      Well, that’s the typical liberal hypocrisy that manifests itself fully in the global warming advocates. Anything out of the ordinary, if it’s bad, is caused by global warming or proof of global warming. Get a week long hot spell, GLOBAL WARMING they shriek. Get a month long coldest winter on record and record snowfall, that’s just an isolated incident and not proof that global warming is false. If it support the argument, it’s gospel, if it doesn’t, it’s dismissed and ignored.

      Just like Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.

    2. Leslie says:

      Somebody’s going to have to explain to me how we can make any conclusions about hurricanes over the last 100 years when the satellites that can accurately detect them have been up only since the late 1970s.

      Before that, I would very much suppose there isn’t enough data. But then, again, I’m no scientist.


    3. Yax K'uk Mo' says:

      It’s obvious, and the data prove it: Weather satellites cause hurricanes.

    4. steveegg says:

      They can’t make up their minds because they have to remain flexible enough to blame everything on us eeeeeeeeeeeevil conservative American capitalist pigs (not to be confused with members of the bipartisan Party-In-Government).

      Leslie, while we’ve only been able to detect every tropical storm for the last 30 or so years, we’ve had varying levels of worldwide shipping running into tropical storms for 600 years. Of course, the fact that shipping tries to avoid them skews the numbers downward.

    5. Tom TB says:

      The Human caused global warming crowd crowd loses it when they say the Earth’s oceans are absorbing “extra” heat, as if well over 70 percent of the globe is a fish tank, and we can do something to twist the knob on the thermostat!

    6. Severian says:

      I’m still waiting for an adequate explanation of how humans, who contribute less than a third of a percent (about 0.28 percent) of total “global warming” gases, can be responsible for driving the entire climate change process. We are an ant fart in a hurricane compared with natural sources of GW gases not to mention solar effects.

      People are too willing to extrapolate from local effects (yeah, humans can really screw up a local environment with pollution, although CO2 is not a pollutant) but assuming that this means we can have any appreciable effect on a global system is ludicrous.

    7. Baklava says:

      I’m so tired of you’se conservatives mucking up the world and then not taking responsibility for it. You all should be tried and convicted to spend the rest of your lives farming in a third world country to feed the poor that you don’t care anything about..

      [How’d I do? Was I just like Tommy or what? :d – No I haven’t started smoking Mary Jane]

    8. Ryan says:

      You know, I think I’m buying this chickenhawk thing. Since I haven’t served, I cannot support the war or say anything about it.

      Since I’m not the sun, a cloud, wind, or rain, I cannot comment on the climate.

    9. Great White Rat says:

      Geez, Bak, don’t scare us like that! For a second I thought you had a really serious head injury or something!! :-ss

    10. That was pretty good, Bak! You left off the peace sign, though :)>-

    11. Baklava says:

      I was on a date Sat night with a Bush hater. Maybe it rubbed off on me a little…just kidding. I forwarded the New York Times Op Ed piece to her this morning.

      I also told her I think she’s a great woman who deserves a great guy but we aren’t a good match I said. No, I’m not opposed to other view points – but I did a lot of tongue biting…

      Oh yeah. :)>-

    12. Ryan says:


      I’ve had many-a-date with Bush haters. I actually met one who had to “clear it” with her friends that she was going out with a conservative. At one point I actually asked her, “Are you happy? Do you ever have fun? Or do you just rant about politics all the time?”

      Needless to say it didn’t last very long.

    13. Severian says:

      but I did a lot of tongue biting…

      The wrong tongue too I bet! :d

      Had to clear it with her friends? Now there’s a rock solid individual with a firm grasp of what she wants in life. NOT! 8-|

    14. Baklava says:

      Oh my. You’re more bold than me. I wouldn’t have asked those questions… You know what it is? It’s an extreme negativity that just makes me want to walk right out of the room. Maybe we are all guilty of being negative sometimes but lordy that outlook is extremely tough to fathom.

      To bring it back to this topic, it’s the same thing with nature and climate. I do not think based on science that we are causing irreversible damage to earth. I do think we have an impact. Additionally, understanding economics, I don’t believe the leftists solutions will help matters but will actually cause more problems as I’ve said in other posts. I’m solutions oriented believe it or not so it gets extremely frustrating talking to a lefty who can’t reason or logic out a solution and must keep on bashing instead of working towards the solution.

      There is a LOT being done with respect to climate change and the environment. For instance this administration has $3 billion per YEAR spent on climate change and that is more than any other nation yet all we hear from leftists and the press is negativity. The private companies and public investment into energy research in this country dwarf other countries. So much progress has been made with engine efficiencies just about doubling along with power ratings in the last 2 decades. On top of that particulates out of engines have gotten close to 0.

      It is through prosperity that we are able to do so much. Putting a hurt on our economy would dampen our ability to do anything for the environment. This is a failure that Bush administration critics fail to see when they give his administration an “F” when the actual facts and results are BETTER than before he took office. They rate what they think his intentions are and they don’t even know his intentions… they are just negative.

    15. Great White Rat says:

      Bak says:
      I do not think based on science that we are causing irreversible damage to earth. I do think we have an impact.

      You’re probably right. Sev is definitely right when he says the human impact is minimal. i don’t doubt some degree of global warming is happening. But given that, the right questions to ask are these:

      (1) Is this caused by man? (the scientific question)
      (2) Is it a bad thing? (the non-scientific question)

      Your average global warming alarmist will scream YES to both without giving either one much thought (hiya, Tommy, wherever you are). The real answers are (1) maybe a small amount, and (2) almost certainly no.

      Almost all the Global Warming devotees argue that the warming is caused by modern conveniences that have changed our lifestyle – the SUV’s, readily available air transportation, higher energy use in our homes and offices, etc. What they do not consider is that all the technology advances that make these changes possible have added immeasurably to our standard of living.

      Consider what the standard of living was like in 1907 – life expectancy, abundance of food, quality of homes, etc. Measure it by constant dollars of average income or any other way you want…conservatively, we probably have a 300% increase in the quality of life. In that same period of time, the average temperature has increased about half a degree.

      Even if you assume man is 100% responsible for the 0.5 degree increase – and I don’t – is it worth it for the benefits gained?

      0.5 degrees warmer in exchange for 300% better lifestyle? I’ll take that deal any day.

    16. Baklava says:

      You are so right GWR. Our life expectancy in 1906 was 45 for men and 49 for women. That has increased by 30 years. Life expectancy in 2006 is now 75 and 79 for men and women in this country.

      That is due to A/C and heating systems, transportation advances, computing and refrigeration advances as well as medical and environmental breakthroughs. All of which couldn’t have been accomplished without our standard of living and prosperity.

    17. Severian says:

      Human society does much much worse in a colder climate than in a hotter one. If you compare solar maximum and minimum cycles, and their resultant climatic maxima and minima, you see the climate warm periods corresponding with the rise of great civilizations and the climate cold spells corresponding with downturns in human civilization, the collapse of cultures, mass starvation and deprivation.

      And you can handle either extreme pretty well if you have a lot of cheap energy and a technical infrastructure. Hot or cold, enough energy lets you cope. The way to get ready for either extreme is not to hamstring your energy infrastructure by finding reasons to not build more power plants, nuclear or coal fired. And that’s doubly true for the developing, or third, world where they don’t have enough of anything.

    18. Baklava says:

      huh. Who would’ve thunk Sev? When it’s cold I was sure people would want to warm up and there is one sure fire way to warm up. :d

    19. Baklava says:

      Michael R. Fox Phd. on ‘warming’ realities:

      The climate forces which have led to the estimated 0.6C degree temperature increase over the past 100 years or more (according to the International Panel on Climate Change) have been assumed to be man-made CO2 emissions from advanced nations including the U.S. We know this can’t be true for several reasons.

      The first is that water vapor provides 95 percent of the total of the greenhouse gases, not CO2. The total of the CO2 represents less than 3 percent of the total. The second is that of the total atmospheric CO2 inventory, the manmade fraction is less than 3 percent of the CO2 total and therefore far less than 1 percent of the total greenhouse gas inventories. Third, studies of the recent climate variations are finding, for example, (See article by J. Oestermans, Science, p. 375, April 29, 2005) that glaciers have been receding since 1750 or so, well before any significant man-made CO2 emissions occurred.

      The mid 1700s were at the very depths of the Little Ice Age, which we have learned was the coldest climate over the last 5000 years. Obviously, other warming forces were at work before humans had anything to do with it.

      oh man? Another nut job who WANTS to hurt mother nature and I’m sure he’s getting paid by the oil companies… I don’t care what the substance is of his words… they have to be false. :-w
      /end liberal reaction

    20. Great White Rat says:

      Moonbat vs. Moonbat on global warming:

      First, this from George Monbiot, the man whose last name is said to have inspired the term:

      It wasn’t meant to happen like this. The climate scientists told us that our winters would become wetter and our summers drier. So I can’t claim that these floods were caused by climate change, or are even consistent with the models.

      So the British floods were not caused by Global Warming, or predicted by its models.

      But not so fast….so’s your mother, says the UK Telegraph’s “Environment Editor”:

      both the Bush Administration and the leaders of China and India, whose combined emissions already eclipse America’s, still appear to calculate that they have more to gain from industrial growth than they have to lose from climate change.

      For the rest of us, though, this is not so much an argument about GDP as whether we get flooded out of our homes more often.

      Watching these people when they’re out of power is actually entertaining. The problems start when they get the power to enact their fantasies.