The Myth of More Severe Storms

The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season hasn’t lived up to the dire predictions of global warming alarmists. This season, once again, has had few hurricanes.

S.S. Reuben Tipton in Edge of Typhoon. Photo by D. Dears
S.S. Reuben Tipton in Edge of Typhoon. Photo by D. Dears

In fact, the first four years of this decade have been very quiet.

Even Sandy wasn’t a hurricane when its center hit New Jersey.

The 1938 storm, that many have forgotten, was a category 2 hurricane when its center hit Long Island. If the 1938 hurricane had hit 60 miles to the West, the damage to New York City could have been horrendous. Even so, the 1938 hurricane flooded a Consolidated Edison plant on Manhattan. And this was before climate change became a headline grabber.

NOAA Track of Sandy. Grey Denotes Tropical Storm
NOAA Track of Sandy. Grey Denotes Tropical Storm

The following table show the decades of greatest Atlantic hurricane activity affecting the U.S.

While the first decade of this century had nine category 3 to 5 storms, it was not unusual to have 8 or 9 large hurricanes hitting the United States between 1910 and 1960.

CO2 levels in the atmosphere were greater in the second half of the twentieth century, the reverse of hurricane history.

Decade

All Category 1-5

Major Category 3,4,5

1900-1909

15

6

1910-1919

20

8

1920-1929

15

5

1930-1939

17

8

1940-1949

23

8

1950-1959

18

9

1960-1969

15

6

1970-1971

12

4

1980-1989

16

6

1990-1999

14

5

21st Century

2000- 2009

19

9

2010 – 2014

2

0

Hurricanes that hit mainland U.S.

Source for 20th century storms: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Landsea/deadly/Table5.htm

Source for 21st century storms

http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/index.php

Eight of the nine storms that hit the United States in the 2000 to 2009 timeframe, occurred in just two years, 2004 and 2005. For the nine years since then, i.e., 2006 to 2014, no category 3 or larger hurricane has hit the United States.

And these years were supposed to be the warmest in history.

And CO2 levels in the atmosphere are higher than any time in the last 1,000 years.

Dr. Chris Landsea, National Hurricane Center, has also noted that many hurricanes went undetected before the advent of satellites.

This is important, since we can now see embryonic hurricanes as they emerge from North Africa — and then track them as they cross the Atlantic, with many swerving to the North and missing the United States by a wide margin. We might never have known about these storms prior to the use of satellites, unless some hapless ship got in the path of a hurricane.

Hurricane Tracks from NOAA Web Site
Hurricane Tracks from NOAA Web Site

Hurricane Lisa in 2010, that rambled near the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa, is an example of a storm that might not have been seen without satellites.

The insurance industry is clamoring for action to stop global warming because they have suffered large losses in recent years.

However, it was the increase in coastal populations that caused the higher insurance losses. In his testimony to Congress, Professor Lomborg pointed out that, “The two coastal South Florida counties, Dade and Broward, are home to more people than the number of people who lived in 1930 in all 109 counties stretching from Texas through Virginia, along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.”

And the story about tornadoes is similar.

Fewer tornadoes than in prior years, while atmospheric CO2 levels are at the highest levels in the past 1,000 years.

U.S. Annual Tornado Trends from NOAA
U.S. Annual Tornado Trends from NOAA

For more information about tornadoes, and for years prior to 2000, go to http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/#data

As with hurricanes, satellites have resulted in more small tornadoes being seen than would have been otherwise.

The idea that global warming is causing larger and more frequent storms is a myth.

It’s another myth being perpetuated by alarmists in their efforts to scare people. And the facts debunk it.

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