Global Warmists Might Explain Why No Hurricanes Midway Through 2013 Season
By James Taylor, Forbes, 8/29/13
This week marks the halfway point of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, yet not a single hurricane has formed anywhere in the Atlantic. This year’s lack of hurricanes continues an ongoing, beneficial trend of fewer hurricanes coinciding with moderately warming temperatures as the planet continues its recovery from the Little Ice Age. The decline in hurricanes also coincides with global warming alarmists ramping up a deceptive public relations campaign designed to convince the public that global warming skeptics are causing more hurricanes.
The lack of hurricanes so far in 2013 is remarkable in several particulars.
First, as mentioned, hurricanes have posted a giant goose egg so far on the 2013 hurricane scoreboard. This isn’t just hurricane strikes in the United States; this is hurricane formation anywhere in the Atlantic. Halfway through the entire 2013 hurricane season, an Atlantic-wide hurricane goose egg is quite remarkable.
Second, this year’s hurricane inactivity continues what was already a record lack of recent hurricanes. Although President Obama is well into his fifth year in office, the Obama administration is tied for the fewest number of U.S. hurricane strikes for any one or two term presidency in history.
Third, the silent 2013 hurricane season extends an amazing record regarding major hurricane strikes of Category 3 or higher. The United States is currently undergoing its longest period in history without a major strike. Major hurricane strikes are particularly important because they are the ones that inflict the most death and damage. It has been nearly 2,900 days (7 years, 10 months) since a major hurricane struck the United States. This easily smashes the previous record of 2,250 days (6 years, 2 months).
Fourth, the record lack of major hurricane strikes continues a longer-term decline. During the past five decades, an average of 5.6 major hurricanes struck the United States per decade. During the preceding five decades, and average of 8.4 major hurricanes struck the United States. Major hurricane strikes occurred 50 percent more often 50-100 years ago than they have during the past 50 years. ()
Fifth, a fairly typical number of small tropical storms continue to form in 2013, but the tropical storms are not growing into hurricanes. Six tropical storms have formed so far in 2013, which is pretty close to average for the midway point of hurricane season. The only one of the six to make landfall in the United States, Tropical Storm Andrea, brought welcome rains to much of the southeastern United States at the beginning of the summer growing season.
Sixth, the silent 2013 Atlantic hurricane season continues a longer-term decline in global hurricane activity. The global number of tropical storms and hurricanes has been in slow but steady decline since at least 1970, bringing 40-plus years of relief from the planet’s most devastating storms.
All of these developments illustrate an important difference between global warming alarmists and global warming skeptics. Alarmists present all sorts of frightening speculation while skeptics present objective facts. Regarding hurricanes, for example, alarmists frequently point out that hurricanes require warm ocean water and then make the logical leap that global warming will increase ocean temperatures and therefore will cause more frequent and severe hurricanes. In the real world, however, global warming causes more upper-level wind shear, which in turn breaks apart tropical storms before they can become hurricanes. The objective data validate that hurricanes are becoming less frequent and severe as the planet continues its modest warming. Nevertheless, alarmists double down on their simplistic and erroneous hurricane speculation, all the while engaging in name-calling and personal attacks against the “deniers” who defer to objective facts and real-world hurricane data.
The 350 Action group garnered substantial media attention this week by engaging in just such misleading and personal attacks. The global warming activist group released a video proposing to name hurricanes after prominent legislators who “deny” that global warming causes more hurricanes.
Mock news coverage in the video included the following gems:
“Senator Marco Rubio is expected to pound the eastern seaboard early tonight. Windows are being boarded up and grocery stores are virtually empty as Marco Rubio threatens everything in his path.”
“Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is incredibly dangerous. If you value your life, please seek shelter from Michele Bachmann.”
“Senator David Vitter is turning out to be one of the hugest and costliest disasters in American history.”
“Local animal shelters are under pressure as thousands of animals have been displaced or killed by Governor Rick Perry.”
The Christian Science Monitor, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Huffington Post, Salon, Grist and others gave fawning coverage to the ridiculous 350 Action claims without pointing out the long-term decline in hurricanes, the lack of any Atlantic hurricanes this year, and the current record lack of major hurricane strikes.
There is an important lesson to learn from the alarmists’ attempt to smear people who defer to objective evidence and factual data rather than misguided speculation and alarmism. The lesson is the “denier” label applies most fittingly to global warming activists rather than skeptics.
Prior posts on hurricanes and cyclones