What’s Up Hurricane?

Here’s a quote of a quote of a quote. I was reading Dr. Jeff Master’s weather blog this morning. He put numbers on the tropical weather of 2006.

In a word – average

The Atlantic was down. The Eastern Pacific was up. The rest of the world helped make the average… well, average.

Strong storms are up numerically, but experts now think strong storms were vastly underestimated in the pre-satellite, pre-radar, era. We were pretty blind back then.

Then, he quoted a recent statement from the World Meteorological Organization concerning hurricanes and global warming.

A consensus of 125 of the world’s leading tropical cyclone researchers and forecasters says that no firm link can yet be drawn between human-induced climate change and variations in the intensity and frequency of tropical cyclones.

In a statement issued in Costa Rica at the World Meteorological Organization’s 6th International Workshop on Tropical Cyclones, it was also declared: No individual tropical cyclone can be directly attributed to climate change. Tropical cyclone is the umbrella name for hurricanes, typhoons or cyclones.

The recent increase in loss of life and damages from tropical cyclones has largely been caused by rising concentrations of population and infrastructure in coastal regions.

In other words, if you build on the coast, you’re going to be hit when coastal storms come along. Period. End of story.

There’s no need to use global warming as a stalking horse to invoke fear. There will be devastating ‘big ones,’ because people have aggregated where big ones have always come in the past.

The Gulf Coast, from Florida through Texas, is alive with people. Same thing for the East Coast. Sure, Florida has been populous for a long time, but now there’s major development farther north in Florida and into Georgia and the Carolinas.

Even here in Connecticut… no, especially here in Connecticut, our shoreline is crammed with people, few of whom have heard of, much less remember the devastation of the Hurricane of ’38.

You don’t need to worry about ‘Super Storms.’ What Mother Nature naturally packs is bad enough already. You’ll see.

4 thoughts on “What’s Up Hurricane?”

  1. I’m glad to see this come out from the WMO. It’s been tiring to continually see a finger pointed at GW from events such as Katrina.

    I often wonder if people believe that if everything was reset to “normal” that floods, drought, tornados, and hurricanes would no longer be deadly forces.

  2. Hey Geoff,

    I am really scared of your outlook on global warming. After watching your weather forecasts and other stations it is almost rediculous. The last time New York City went without snow this long was in the 1800’s, we are going to break records for consecutive above average temperatures. And while temps soar sky word, stations love to talk about how people are golfing in January and walking around in shorts. This doesn’t scare you at all? Have you seen “An Inconvienant Truth?” by Al Gore? It seems that you are going against the tide with the rest of the scientific community that our climate change is due to something besides global warming. I’m afraid that what is a story today about golfing in Connecticut in January will lead to something far more horrible in the future.

    Love to see you blog about it,


  3. Ben,

    You put your finger on it. Why did this happen in the 1800’s? It was pre-global warming. If it was natural then, why isn’t it natural now?

    There have been many unexplained warm-ups and cool downs throughout time. Alas, my 56 years is but a blink of an eye to Earth.

    I predict the temperature every single day. I can’t be as accurate tomorrow as they claim to be at the end of the century And we’re using similar technology… except mine uses much better algorithms and more dense data.

    I’m with you. I want cleaner air and a nicer environment. And, I’m willing to pay for it. But I don’t need, what I consider a specious threat, to scare me into it.

    And, where do the restrictions stop? Car mileage? How about distance you can legally drive to work? Maybe a limit on number of children or the size of your house? All of these are good ways to cut back on energy use.

    I was even invited to the White House to see Al Gore give his presentation (and thought he was great) and still came back unconvinced, as did the vast majority of my fellow operational meteorologists.

    Ben – I’m not an oil company flack. Trust me, it would be much easier socially to buy into the whole GW argument.

    All the best,

    Geoff Fox

  4. I’m with you, Geoff. I guess all that has changed in the last few hundred years is that we can, to a very modest extent, modify the natural cycle a bit by changing our consumptive behavior. We can offset the growing release of carbon back into the environment, and we probably should; but if the newly burgeoning economies in the East don’t kick in their fair share, our 0.3B residents won’t make the slightest dent against 2.5B in China and India, for example.

    ‘S not so easy to work it all out, izzit?

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