Is global warming cr…
Is global warming creating stronger hurricanes? Some studies have said “yes”, but a new study to be published in the journal Science, co-written by the aptly named Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center, questions the data those findings are based on.

The paper, co-written by Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center in West Miami-Dade, challenges earlier findings that hurricanes have grown more powerful in the last 30 years.

It says those studies failed to account for technological improvements that now produce more accurate — and often higher — estimates of a storm’s power than were available in the past.

‘If you say, `Hey, the number of Category 4 and 5 storms has doubled since 1970,’ you have to ask where is that coming from and can we accept that as true,” said Landsea, one of the nation’s leading hurricane researchers, who now serves as science and operations officer at the hurricane center.

His answer: Probably not, because the databases used for historical studies are so skewed.

It’s being skewed by the fact that we get better, and more often stronger, estimates of hurricane strength than we did 30 years ago.

In 1975, only two geostationary satellites monitored hurricanes. Now, eight more powerful satellites serve in that capacity, often prompting forecasters to produce higher wind estimates than might have been reported for a similar storm in the past.

‘More satellites with improved imagery mean that you get `stronger’ hurricanes without the hurricanes changing at all,” Landsea said.

Scientists generally do not credit/blame global warming for the increased number of hurricanes. The studies that Landsea is questioning were measuring the strength.

No connection has been found between global warming and the number of hurricanes. Many scientists believe that the current period of hyperactivity is caused mostly by long-term natural cycles unrelated to global warming.

Landsea agreed that the accumulated power of Atlantic hurricanes has increased, but said that was largely because the natural cycle has produced more storms. He said the accumulated power of hurricanes has remained constant elsewhere in the world, casting doubt on global warming as a cause in the Atlantic.

He and his team also agreed that global warming might be enhancing hurricane winds, but only by 1 or 2 percent, which is nearly impossible to measure and represents a much lower rate than [Kerry] Emanuel [MIT climatologist] suggested.

Read the whole thing for an example of a hurricane that, while it killed 300,000, wasn’t even counted as a hurricane.

But in spite of this clear problem, you will continue to hear environmental doomsayers, and you’ll hear the media parrot, this claim over and over, especially as we deal with this year’s hurricane season.

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