I guess that’s our theme for tonight: context, perspective, history. You’re all aware of the efforts by various flaky leftists to blame Hurricane Katrina on “global warming,” etc. Put aside for a moment the extent to which the current warming trend on Earth is related to human activities, as opposed to increased energy production by the Sun and other natural cycles. It doesn’t take a physicist to figure out that hurricanes are hardly an artifact of current carbon dioxide emissions, as James Glassman reports:
Giant hurricanes are rare, but they are not new. And they are not increasing. To the contrary. Just go to the website of the National Hurricane Center and check out a table that lists hurricanes by category and decade. The peak for major hurricanes (categories 3,4,5) came in the decades of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, when such storms averaged 9 per decade. In the 1960s, there were 6 such storms; in the 1970s, 4; in the 1980s, 5; in the 1990s, 5; and for 2001-04, there were 3. Category 4 and 5 storms were also more prevalent in the past than they are now. As for Category 5 storms, there have been only three since the 1850s: in the decades of the 1930s, 1960s and 1990s.
For the North Atlantic as a whole, according to the United Nations Environment Programme of the World Meteorological Organization: “Reliable data