Saturday, 1 March 2008

Hurricanes not evidence for global warming

My previous post mentioned recent data showing cooling. I usually follow links to the source. I was either remiss or the DailyTech did not initially have the links. Either way, the compilation of the source data is here. The data has been further normalised and smoothed.

This site mentioned a recent press release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They have found that the number of hurricanes has not increased
...economic damages from hurricanes have increased in the U.S. over time due to greater population, infrastructure, and wealth on the U.S. coastlines, and not to any spike in the number or intensity of hurricanes.
and that there is no correlation between global warming and hurricane damage
There is nothing in the U.S. hurricane damage record that indicates global warming has caused a significant increase in destruction along our coasts.
The report appears to assume global warming.

Of course this press release has neglected to be mentioned in most news outlets.

The hurricane connection was always suspicious. When a link was not found in the all-hurricane data the analysis was restricted to category 4 and 5 hurricanes. This is suspect as multiple analyses will always lead to some apparent correlation that is purely chance. And better data collection means more recent hurricanes are likely to be graded higher than old ones of the same intensity.

Actually a warmer earth would likely lead to less hurricanes if the warming was predominantly the poles. This is due to the smaller difference in temperatures between the equator and the poles. Thermodynamics shows that work available is related to the difference in temperature. Hurricanes are quite complicated and not fully understood so this prediction is at the lowest level.

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