OPINION: Hurricane Hyperbole — Politicizing Tragedy

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Gregory Wrightstone Author of Inconvenient Facts: The Science That Al Gore Doesn't Want You To Know
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If it is mid-September, it is peak hurricane season, and the climate-alarmist community anxiously awaits the first really good hurricane to strike the American mainland.

Hurricane Gordon was something of a disappointment to the proponents of catastrophic man-made warming since it was downgraded to a tropical storm before coming ashore on the Mississippi-Alabama border the first week of September. True enough, it brought with it rain and flooding, but not the devastation needed to portray an unusual and unprecedented weather event that was caused and strengthened by CO2-driven warming.

No, the leaders of Alarmism need a couple of major storms — or better yet, three or four — to make landfall in order for them to convince people that events like this never happened with this severity or in this number before we caused temperatures to rise by burning fossil fuels and adding that malicious molecule CO2.

With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, opinion pieces have likely already been written by advocates of anthropogenic warming with only the details needing to be filled in when the storm actually hits. Those will state with fervent conviction that the damage and deaths were caused by or enhanced by human actions. The first media reports of impending doom came five days ahead of landfall, with predictions “by some experts as having the potential to be one of the worst natural disasters ever seen in the United States.”

Global warming enthusiasts contend that our warming oceans will lead to an increase in both the number and power of hurricanes. The connection between warming and hurricane activity is superficially plausible — a seemingly reasonable prediction that warming oceans would fuel more and perhaps more intense storms. The facts, however, say otherwise.

Inconveniently for the promoters of Thermageddon, both the long-term data going back hundreds of years and more recent data from the last several decades reveal that there has been no increase in frequency of tropical storms or hurricanes. In fact, there is a strong case that hurricane frequency has been in slight decline despite warming temperatures and increasing CO2.

The evidence is so persuasive that the reliably alarmist Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agrees that there is no evidence supporting linkage between these storm events and warming. In fact, the IPCC’s latest report stated, “…Projections under 21st-century greenhouse warming indicate that it is likely that the global frequency of tropical cyclones will either decrease or remain essentially unchanged…”

Data from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, dating back to 1880, provides clear proof that both the total number of hurricanes and those making landfall have been in a significant long-term decline. Backstopping this are compelling charts from noted hurricane expert Dr. Ryan Maue for the number of tropical storms and hurricanes (cyclones) worldwide showing a clear decrease in both over the last 40 years.

So what are supporters of man-made global warming to do when they just can’t get the data to cooperate with their preconceived notions? Promote the idea that, while maybe the number won’t increase, then intensity will.

Christopher Landsea, a meteorologist for NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, has quantified what a warming-driven increase in the intensity of major hurricanes may mean. His work indicates that the warming over the last several decades translates into an increase in intensity of about 1 percent.

For a Category 5 hurricane like Katrina, the wind speed would increase by 1 to 2 miles per hour (mph). I am not sure about you, but if I were in New Orleans when Katrina hit, I don’t think that I could differentiate between 119 mph and 120 mph.

Rest easy and be assured that, no matter what happens with Florence and the remainder of the 2018 hurricane season, you will not be to blame, it will be Mother Nature unleashing her fury just as she has for many millions of years.  

Gregory Wrightstone is the Author of Inconvenient Facts – the science that Al Gore doesn’t want you to know

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.