Energy

EPA Chief: Global Warming Means More Hurricane Joaquins

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

Hurricane Joaquin is only the beginning of a future filled with extreme weather, according to EPA Chief Gina McCarthy. She warned that global warming will only make storms more intense and cause more damage to people’s property.

To make her point, McCarthy’s tweet linked to the government’s third National Climate Assessment which was published last year. The NCA claims “[t]here has been a substantial increase in most measures of Atlantic hurricane activity since the early 1980s, the period during which high-quality satellite data are available.”

“These include measures of intensity, frequency, and duration as well as the number of strongest (Category 4 and 5) storms,” according to the NCA.

Interestingly enough, the NCA’s claim regarding extreme weather contradicts the findings made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations’ climate bureaucracy.

“Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century,” according to the IPCC’s 2013 report. “No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin”

“[A previous IPCC report] concluded that it was likely that an increasing trend had occurred in intense tropical cyclone activity since 1970 in some regions but that there was no clear trend in the annual numbers of tropical cyclones,” the IPCC noted.

The IPCC, however, does note that “[r]egional trends in tropical cyclone frequency and the frequency of very intense tropical cyclones have been identified in the North Atlantic and these appear robust since the 1970s,” but adds that “argument reigns over the cause of the increase and on longer time scales the fidelity of these trends is debated with different methods for estimating undercounts in the earlier part of the record providing mixed conclusions.”

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