Get Ready for a Hurricane of Nonsense

Overnight Hurricane Dorian took a right turn and now appears headed up the Florida coastline, with the eye possibly making landfall now on Tuesday in Georgia or South Carolina. The eyewall may stay far enough offshore to maintain most of its strength, yet be close enough to the Florida coastline to do considerable storm damage all the way up. Stay tuned for updates, and certain Power Line readers I know in Kiawah Island, SC, ought to think about getting ready or getting out.

One thing is certain: whatever the magnitude and consequences of Hurricane Dorian turn out to be, we can expect the climatistas and their media toadies to crank up their Wurlitzer organs for a full blast fugue about how this storm is yet another obvious symptom of climate change, so hand over your car keys and sign up for the Green Nude Eel.

Remember how the climatistas always tell us to pay heed to the “consensus science”? Well: The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a summary report on August 15 on “Global Warming and Hurricanes: An Overview of Current Research Results” that pours some cold winter water on this favorite climatista talking point. Some excerpts:

“In the Atlantic, it is premature to conclude with high confidence that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on hurricane activity. . . There is some evidence for a slowing of tropical cyclone propagation speeds over the continental U.S. over the past century, but these observed changes have not yet been confidently linked to anthropogenic climate change.

What about the trend of Atlantic hurricanes? Haven’t they become more frequent? After correcting for data gaps and changing methodologies of identifying tropical storm activity from the late 1800s to the present, the report says:

“We find that, after adjusting for such an estimated number of missing storms, there remains just a small nominally positive upward trend in tropical storm occurrence from 1878-2006. Statistical tests indicate that this trend is not significantly distinguishable from zero” [bold emphasis in original].

“The evidence for an upward trend is even weaker if we look at U.S. landfalling hurricanes, which even show a slight negative trend beginning from 1900 or from the late 1800s. . . In short, the historical Atlantic hurricane frequency record does not provide compelling evidence for a substantial greenhouse warming-induced long-term increase” [again, bold emphasis in original].

This is not to say that the report doesn’t “keep hope alive” for climate doomsters. For example:

“A review of existing studies, including the ones cited above, lead us to conclude that: it is likely that greenhouse warming will cause hurricanes in the coming century to be more intense globally and have higher rainfall rates than present-day hurricanes.”

By how much? Under an expected warming of around 2 degree C, this:

“[U]sing the CMIP3 and CMIP5 multi-model climate projections, the hurricane model also projects that the lifetime maximum intensity of Atlantic hurricanes will increase by about 5% during the 21st century. . . [T]here is little evidence from current dynamical models that 21st century climate warming will lead to large (~300%) increases in tropical storm numbers, hurricane numbers, or PDI in the Atlantic. . . [D]etection of an anthropogenic influence on intense hurricanes would not be expected for a number of decades, even assuming a large underlying increasing trend (+10% per decade) occurs.

5% increase in intensity? That’s it? Maybe the climatistas should go with the Sharknado scenario instead.

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