Sunday, May 10, 2015

Missing Hurricanes Not Evidence Against Climate Change

Climate change deniers typically pull out the same false arguments over and over again. I don't believe I've heard a truly original claim in several years. Take a look at the submissions to the Global Warming Skeptic Challenge to see what I mean. That is one of the reasons I was so confident about putting up my own money. Based on what I have seen I knew my money was safe.

One of these recurring claims they make to 'prove' manmade global warming isn't real is the fact there has been a lack of hurricanes striking the U.S. It has been since 2005 that the U.S. was hit by a major hurricane - beating out 1861-1868 as the longest period in history without a major strike. This is a false argument for a number of reasons. For instance, we're discussing 'global' warming, not U.S. East Coast warming. Plus, when you look at the worldwide history of tropical cyclones the record shows the level has remained the same for the last 20 years. However, the energy released by all storms combined has apparently increased by as much as 70% over the last 35 years. 

Now, a new study indicates even the current drought of U.S. landfalls is just a random chance - nothing more.  The researchers used the historical data to calculate how often a nine-year drought in U.S. landfalls would occur and they determined it is once in 177 years. It has been 147 years since the last major drought, so the current situation falls well within the realm of statistical probability.
The results suggest that there is nothing unusual underlying the current hurricane drought. There’s no extraordinary lack of hurricane activity, for example.

“When we looked qualitatively at the nine-year drought, they aren’t inactive seasons,” said Hall. There has been no significant change in the number of North Atlantic tropical cyclones, the amounts of energy powering them, nor any other hurricane metric.
I would say the deniers will have to revise their claim, but I already know the scientific evidence doesn't matter to them so it is highly unlikely they will change. In fact, my guess is would occur only once in 177 years, but that is within the realm of probability.

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