Monday, August 9, 2010

Global Warming to Cause Catastropic Hurricanes?

The following is from a speech by Al Gore at the National Sierra Club in San Francisco on September 12, 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:
There are scientific warnings now of another onrushing catastrophe. We were warned of an imminent attack by Al Qaeda; we didn't respond.  We were warned the levees would break in New Orleans; we didn't respond.  Now, the scientific community is warning us that the average hurricane will continue to get stronger because of global warming.  A scientist at MIT has published a study well before this tragedy showing that since the 1970s, hurricanes in both the Atlantic and the Pacific have increased in duration, and in intensity, by about 50 %.  The newscasters told us after Hurricane Katrina went over the southern tip of Florida that there was a particular danger for the Gulf Coast of the hurricanes becoming much stronger because it was passing over unusually warm waters in the gulf.  The waters in the gulf have been unusually warm. The oceans generally have been getting warmer.  And the pattern is exactly consistent with what scientists have predicted for twenty years.  Two thousand scientists, in a hundred countries, engaged in the most elaborate, well organized scientific collaboration in the history of humankind, have produced long-since a consensus that we will face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming. [applause]  It is important to learn the lessons of what happens when scientific evidence and clear authoritative warnings are ignored in order to induce our leaders not to do it again and not to ignore the scientists again and not to leave us unprotected in the face of those threats that are facing us right now. [applause]  ...Ladies and gentlemen, the warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long time.  We are facing a global climate crisis. It is deepening. We are entering a period of consequences.
Let's check out what has happened since his speech.  Here is the current Hurricane Energy chart:

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Hmmm. Looks like we are now down to 1970's levels.  We are currently at a 30-year low.  The hurricane season so far this year has been almost non-existent.  There is no sign of any increase whatsoever from so-called global warming.

Al says that the oceans will warm.  Here is the current sea temperature anomaly chart almost 5 years after his speach:

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The oceans are cooler than normal, not hotter.

And even the Arctic, which has been described as the "canary in the coal mine" of global warming, is building more ice.  According to the Danish Meteorological Institute, this has been the coldest summer in the Arctic above latitude 80 deg N since 1958:

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The north polar sea ice is recovering well from a low in 2007:

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Sea ice at the south end of the globe is well above normal and has been trending gradually upwards for many years.

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So, five years after Al Gore's speech, there is no evidence of any effects from global warming, certainly not stronger or more frequent hurricanes.  In fact, there is really no evidence for the existence of global warming itself, since according to Phil Jones of the Climate Research Institute, weather station temperatures show no statistically significant increase in the last 15 years.

And if you use only raw "uncorrected" rural measurements, temperatures actually appear to be declining.  Global warming is only evident after some really sketchy "corrections" are applied to the measured data.  These corrections almost universally make older data cooler and recent data warmer, for each station,  creating a warming slope where there is none in the raw data.

More on that later.

As H. L Mencken said in 1918:
Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.


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