Are Hurricanes Due to Global Warming?

hurricanePeople keep repeating the “expert” opinions that this year’s bumper crop of hurricanes are caused by global warming. The NOAA, source of the much of the data and the models that make up modern climate science, aren’t so sure. Their Global Fluid Dynamics Lab has published a report titled Global Warming and Hurricanes. Here’s what they have to say:

It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity. That said, human activities may have already caused changes that are not yet detectable due to the small magnitude of the changes or observational limitations, or are not yet confidently modeled (e.g., aerosol effects on regional climate).

In other words, there is no statistical evidence that global warming has had any impact on hurricanes at this time.

Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause tropical cyclones globally to be more intense on average (by 2 to 11% according to model projections for an IPCC A1B scenario). This change would imply an even larger percentage increase in the destructive potential per storm, assuming no reduction in storm size.

By 2100, according to climate models, global warming will only make hurricanes 2 to 11% more intense. What is the A1B scenario? The A1 family of scenarios is characterized by:

  • Rapid economic growth.
  • A global population that reaches 9 billion in 2050 and then gradually declines.
  • The quick spread of new and efficient technologies.
  • A convergent world – income and way of life converge between regions. Extensive social and cultural interactions worldwide.

A1B assumes a balanced emphasis on all energy sources. In other words, it is a middle of the road scenario.

Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause tropical cyclones to have substantially higher rainfall rates than present-day ones, with a model-projected increase of about 10-15% for rainfall rates averaged within about 100 km of the storm center.

Presumably based on A1B as well.

If you claim your belief in man made global warming is scientific, you are basing your claim on the IPCC models, to which the NOAA is a major contributor. If you want to claim that man made global warming caused this year’s hurricanes (or even contributed to them), you are on shaky ground, scientifically.

Update: In 2019, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Global Warming and Hurricanes, it is still premature to conclude  that human greenhouse gas emissions have had a detectable impact on hurricane activity.

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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