Friday, October 22, 2010

What Happened to All the Hurricanes, Al?

Worldwide hurricane activity hasn't just slowed since Katrina, it's dropped off a cliff. The Warmists thought they were pretty safe in predicting "extreme weather events" -- as that meant that both drought and floods could be used as support for their prophecies. But once again Mother nature has mocked them. If I were not an atheist, I would say that God is showing the Warmists what he thinks of them -- JR

After Hurricane Katrina and the amazing season of 2005, we were supposed to see year after year of terrible hurricanes. Where are they?

Where is all the death and destruction? We were told global warming was here, and would ignite a fire under the storms, making them bigger and more frequent. Massive hurricanes like Katrina would become much more common. The world’s oceans were warming, and this would stoke the fires of these tropical monsters. But they are not here — the hurricanes are missing in action, and have been ever since 2005. The truth: there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of hurricanes in the last five years. The total energy of all hurricanes around the world has plunged since 1993 — the opposite of what was predicted. How could that be, if global warming is real and is impacting our climate today?

Let’s go back to the middle of last decade, and see what took place.

Four hurricanes made landfall on the United States during the 2004 season — all of them hit Florida. On August 13, Charley hit the southwest coast as a tiny but powerful Category 4 storm. There was massive damage over a narrow path from the Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte area all the way to Orlando. Hurricane Frances came ashore at Stuart, FL, during the night and morning hours of September 4 and 5. Even though the storm was only a Category 2, its slow forward movement inflicted many hours of pounding hurricane-force winds. A large area from Palm Beach County northward to Vero Beach and beyond was severely impacted.

Three weeks later, to the dismay of everyone on Florida’s east coast, Jeanne struck Stuart! It hit during the night of September 25. Jeanne had moved along the north coast of the Dominican Republic on September 17. By the 20th, Jeanne was moving to the northeast, away from the United States. Unbelievably — while people on the east coast of south and central Florida were recovering from Frances — Hurricane Jeanne did a complete 360 degree loop and headed back towards Florida. The Category 3 hurricane made landfall right at Stuart: two significant hurricanes in the same place within three weeks of each other!

Ivan came ashore as a Category 3 hurricane just to the west of the Florida panhandle during the night of September 15. Fortunately for residents of southern Alabama and western Florida, Ivan had diminished in strength — it had been a mighty Category 5 when it passed the western tip of Cuba on the 13th.

The hurricane season of 2004 was a horrible time for Florida. Then came 2005.

The long-term average number of named tropical storms in the Atlantic basin is 11. In 2005 there were 27. The long-term average number of hurricanes is 6. In 2005 there were a record 15.

Actually, the hurricane seasons of 1933 and 1887 were probably very similar in the number of tropical storms and hurricanes — there were no satellites to see all the storms back then, so 2005 stands as the “record” year. There were so many storms in 2005 that the hurricane center used up all the letters of the alphabet for names! Names from the Greek alphabet were recruited to fill the void. This was the first year since the naming of storms began in 1953 that this was necessary.

This was also the year of Hurricane Katrina. This massive hurricane first made landfall near Miami as a Category 1 hurricane on August 25. Katrina then entered the Gulf of Mexico and became a powerful Category 5 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 175 miles per hour, on the 28th. Katrina then moved northward, and made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River on the morning of August 29 as a weaker but very dangerous Category 3. Over 1,800 people officially lost their lives — there were probably many more that were never found or counted — and the broad area of destruction made this one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

In his movie An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore said global warming caused Katrina. Although Katrina was a devastating hurricane, it was not the most powerful to hit the United States. Hurricane Andrew struck extreme south Florida on August 24, 1992, as a Category 5, with maximum sustained winds of 165 miles per hour. The Okeechobee hurricane of 1928 struck Palm Beach as a Category 4, and was more powerful than Katrina. The Galveston hurricane of September 8, 1900, struck the Texas coast as a Category 4. There are many other examples.

Mr. Gore does not know the difference between weather and climate. It is not possible to say that any single weather event can be the result of a long, slow climate trend. There is simply far too much year-to-year variability in weather to attribute a single hurricane or any other weather event to a climate trend.

Not to be outdone, another massive hurricane named Rita struck the upper Texas coast on September 24, 2005. Rita had also been a Category 5 storm over the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but struck Texas as a Category 3. Hurricane Wilma became another super storm in the western Caribbean on October 19 — that day, Wilma had maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour! The storm crossed the northeastern portion of the Yucatan Peninsula on the 22nd, and then tracked to the northeast. Hurricane Wilma made landfall on the southwest Florida coast on October 24 as a Category 3 storm. The hurricane did extensive damage across portions of Florida before moving off into the Atlantic.

At this point, many in Florida had seen enough and moved out. Three hurricanes in south Florida in two years was more than some could take. A friend of mine in West Palm Beach said to me as the 2006 season began: “I feel like I’m looking down the barrel of a gun.” Another friend of mine in Boca Raton just gave up and moved away. He couldn’t sell the house, because it was on a canal and would flood if another hurricane hit. But at least he was far from the coast and the worst of the storms. He could sleep better.

By the spring of 2006 people were wondering if it was going to be what Al Gore said it would be. Global warming was going to make more hurricanes, and more powerful hurricanes. After what happened in 2004 and 2005, people were beginning to believe it. Well … at least some people did. A review of hurricane history showed that the amazing season of 2005 was a rare event. Since the mid-1880s there have only been two other seasons like it — 1887 and 1933.

By May of 2006 there was great anticipation as the next hurricane season approached. Private weather companies made predictions that the northeastern part of the country was at “high risk” of being hit by a hurricane. Some were predicting five hurricanes would hit the U.S. in 2006. But the hurricane season of 2006 was quiet. Very quiet. There were five hurricanes, but they were far at sea and none came close to hitting the U.S. mainland.

As the 2007 season approached, the forecasts were again for an active to very active season. The 2007 season was more active, but the total of 6 hurricanes was only the long-term average number. It was not active or very active at all. There were two Category 5 hurricanes: one of them struck Mexico, and the other Central America. One Category 1 hurricane, Humberto, hit the upper Texas coast on the evening of September 12, but did little significant damage.

The season of 2008 was back to being active, with 16 named storms and 8 hurricanes. Three hurricanes made landfall that year, but the one that stood above the others was Ike. This Category 2 hurricane was a broad storm with winds very near Category 3 intensity when it made landfall near Galveston, Texas, during the early morning hours of September 13. There was a large amount of damage from the winds and the storm surge.

The hurricane season of 2009 was predicted to be average. Instead it was one of the quietest hurricane seasons in the last 25 years. Only 3 hurricanes developed, and none did any damage to the United States. Ida was a Category 1 when it made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River on November 9.

So what happened? Where did all the hurricanes go?

The crazy 2004 and 2005 seasons were supposed to be the new normal. Pretend scientists like Al Gore said global warming was here, and we had better listen to him because he had all the answers. People pay Al Gore $200,000 to speak, but that doesn’t mean he knows anything.

Very active hurricane seasons like 2005 are rare, even in periods of increased activity which we are in now and have been in since about 1995. The increase in hurricanes since 1995 is due to a cyclic warming of the Atlantic Ocean — not any so-called global warming. The same thing happened from the 1930s to the late 1950s. Even in periods of increased activity, there can be several years of decreased hurricanes due to things such as El Nino, cooler water temperatures, and dust from the Sahara desert.

To date, no Category 3 or stronger hurricane has hit the United States since 2005. Ike in 2008 was close, but not quite. This is the longest stretch of time that we have not had a Category 3 or greater hurricane hit the U.S. since the period of 1911 to 1914!

The great hurricane flameout that has dominated the seasons since 2005 is just part of the natural variability of weather. Those that said global warming caused 2005, and Katrina, and that our future was doomed to get stormier and stormier were completely wrong, as usual.

Interestingly, the great hurricane flameout has been a worldwide phenomenon. The ACE index measures the energy of all tropical storms and hurricanes around the globe: currently the ACE index is at its lowest level in 30 years. Worldwide hurricane activity has been not only lower since 2005, it’s much lower.

This won’t last forever. The active phase of hurricanes has not gone away. However, it is very unlikely we will see a season like 2005 for a very, very long time.


The Devil's religion reigns at the NYT

The constant repetition of tired old mantras of hate instead of a discussion of the facts reveals Warmism as a faith -- A demonic faith if you believe in the Devil. A recent article in the NYT by John Broder is a good example of the phenomenon

For John Broder – this is science : "Climate change is real, and man is causing it,” Mr. Hill said, echoing most climate scientists. “That is indisputable. And we have to do something about it.”

That sounds like a statement of faith, not science. Broder then turns logic on its ear: "Skepticism and outright denial of global warming are among the articles of faith of the Tea Party movement, here in Indiana and across the country".

Skepticism forms the basis of science, but for Broder, faith is science and science is faith. Then he launches a non sequitur tirade of smears against skeptics.

The “right wing religious nuts” smear: “It’s a flat-out lie,” Mr. Dennison said in an interview after the debate, adding that he had based his view on the preaching of Rush Limbaugh and the teaching of Scripture. “I read my Bible,” Mr. Dennison said. “He made this earth for us to utilize.”

The “corrupt big oil” smear: "Those views in general align with those of the fossil fuel industries, which have for decades waged a concerted campaign to raise doubts about the science of global warming and to undermine policies devised to address it.

The “paranoid urban legend” smear: "They have created and lavishly financed institutes to produce anti-global-warming studies, paid for rallies and Web sites to question the science"

Sorry John, I’m not religious, I don’t get paid, and I don’t like cars. I do this because I hate stupid religions and all other philosophies which stifle human beings: Like Broder’s core belief system.


UK rail network 'at risk' from climate change

This is a laugh. The incompetently-managed British bus and rail networks grind to a halt for considerable periods every winter. Global warming is just about the only thing that might keep them running

Changes to the climate could pose a "serious threat" to the UK rail network, scientists have warned. Extreme weather events - wet winters and hot summers - are projected to become more common over the next 50 years as a result of global warming.

A new study, in the Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, predicts this could lead to more landslides and floods. The authors say the damage could cause "widespread disruption" to travel.

To reach their conclusions, scientists from the University of Southampton and Network Rail studied the number of landslides and floods that resulted in delays of more than eight hours to rail travel.

They found that the frequency of these major incidents was far higher during the wet winter of 2000-2001, when rail passengers experienced widespread travel disruption. Scientists predict that such wet winters will become more common in the future, raising fears that climate change could result in "travel chaos".

Lead author Fleur Loveridge, a PhD student at the University of Southampton, said: "This is a really serious issue which needs to be addressed."

Ms Loveridge told BBC News: "Climate change in the near future is 'locked in' - it's too late to change that.


The new atomic age in Britain

This week another Liberal Democrat minister has had to abandon party policy for the good of the coalition. On Monday, the Energy Secretary Chris Huhne announced that eight sites have been approved for use of future nuclear power stations. This came on the same day that Severn barrage, aimed at harnessing the “green” power of the tidal estuary, was scrapped.

This shift in energy policy back towards nuclear is an indication that the Coalition is once again taking a practical view about energy provision, despite the debate being a potential flashpoint between the two parties. With many nuclear plants nearing the end of their life span, a decision about the future of this industry had to be taken. To let nuclear power in the UK lapse would mean that the 20% of electricity that is currently produced would have to be provided by other sources of energy. Renewable energy alone cannot make up this potential shortfall before the current plants become redundant, leaving the government with no alternative except to open new plants to secure Britain’s long-term energy security.

What can be gleaned from the announcement made today is that any decisions regarding energy production will be derived from the ability of the market to provide, rather than being based on government subsidies. The Severn barrage was scrapped because there was no “strategic case” for investing £30 billion of public money into the scheme. Nevertheless, it appears that smaller, privately funded tidal energy projects that do not require taxpayer money will go ahead on the Severn Estuary.

This element of market provision is also present in the nuclear arena, with Mr Huhne stating that the new sites will receive no public subsidy. I hope that this is the case and that market forces are truly allowed to form within the energy sector – only then will the country be able to move on from political point-scoring over energy provision.


A comment from Australia about the Hal Lewis resignation from the APS

For a demolition of the APS response, see here

This is not just about global warming. It's about the corruption of science.

Science, the search for knowledge and understanding of the universe we inhabit, used to be mankind's most noble pursuit. But it has been kidnapped and subverted by those who will stop at nothing in their pursuit of power and wealth. And here I'm not just talking about Al Gore. I include environmental alarmists at all levels, in all walks of life, those with much influence and those with little. I include George Monbiot, I include the leaders of the Royal Society.

I include the people who land themselves cushy jobs with local councils as biodiversity controllers and climate change advisers. I include teachers who spread pernicious political propaganda to children too young to resist or defend themselves. I include the man down the pub who wants to look clever and knowledgeable without taking the trouble to actually learn anything. I include the proponents of recycling who want to make householders do their jobs for them.

I include television producers and presenters (mostly on BBC) who like to give their shows an edge by including gloom-laden prophecy I watched Countryfile last night, in fact, and distinctly heard one presenter use the expression dangerous carbon . We're all made of carbon, you arsehole, carbon dioxide is all around us, we breathe it out all day every day, plants need it to create oxygen, without carbon the world and all the living creatures would not only cease to exist, but would never have started to exist in the first place. In what sense is it dangerous, exactly, you ridiculous muppet?

All of these people, important or obscure, seek to increase their control over the lives of the people around them. Some wish to do it by making others respect and admire them, some by making people fear them or their message, some by making people trust them to sort out the alleged crisis, some by achieving financial and political power or professional eminence. And to do so they choose to use their own perverted pseudo-science because they realise that (a) while they know little or nothing about real science themselves, neither do most of the people they're trying to control; (b) like almost all scientific data, the information available to us can be subject to careful selection that will prove almost anything you like; (c) the average man in the street regards scientists with an almost superstitious awe, precisely because he doesn't understand what they're talking about and they do. Well, I should qualify that statement: he used to regard them with awe, but I suspect some of them may have blown it. They've revealed themselves as gullible, venal, self-regarding, hostile to opposition, self-seeking and greedy. Just like the rest of us, in fact. And the man in the street now knows it. That's likely to change things a bit in future.

All this is nothing new, of course. History is littered with bullies who sold the people lies and illusions ... the Cardinal in his finery who demands that his flock bow before some mouldy old statue and obey his every whim (especially those whims concerning their pre-adolescent sons and pretty daughters) ... the fire-and-brimstone non-conformist minister who threatens his parishioners with ostracism in this life and everlasting damnation in the next if they won't believe in the particular cruel and joyless creed his daddy beat into him with sodomy and a leather belt ... the long-haired cult leader foretelling the imminent end of civilisation from which there is no escape except to hole up in the wilderness with a lot of guns and compulsory promiscuity. Now we have Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri who smile and smile and show us graphs they've made up and photo-shopped pictures of polar bears and promise us salvation if we make them rich and all-powerful by buying in to this carbon trading thing they've invented.

Good grief, we've just survived one world-wide crisis caused by greedy bankers trading in non-existent financial commodities, and now they seriously expect us to swallow yet another fairy tale. Just how thick do they think we are?

Don't answer that.


Australia: Farmers to get a reprieve from Greenie wreckers

The Water Minister, Tony Burke, has enraged environmentalists by saying he could amend the Howard government's Water Act if it prevents him from protecting rural economies in the Murray-Darling Basin.

"I am determined to get … a healthy river, protect our food production and keep strong rural communities," Mr Burke told the Herald. "I am seeking legal advice as to whether or not I can deliver that under the current act and I am not ruling in or out what action I then take when I get the advice."

Irrigators have argued the 2007 act should be amended because it draws its constitutional power from an international environmental treaty and requires the government to give environmental concerns precedence.

The chief executive of NSW Irrigators, Andrew Gregson, said he was "very happy Mr Burke has taken this positive step". "It would never have happened under the previous minister [Penny Wong] but this minister is making all the right noises," said Mr Gregson, who attended a crisis meeting with Mr Burke last night.

Environmentalists said the government was panicking because of the fierce demonstrations in rural towns against water cuts of between 27 and 37 per cent suggested in a preliminary plan released by the independent Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

"The whole point of having an independent authority was to take the politics and the state parochialism out of the water reform process … The unfortunate outcome of the shenanigans in Griffith and the other towns seems to be that the politicians are pulling the process back in-house and that raises the real risk that politics will hijack it again," said Arlene Buchan, the healthy rivers campaigner for the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Mr Burke told Parliament the government's election promise to buy back however much environmental water was recommended by the authority applied only to the final plan - after it had been amended at the direction of the minister.

"What the Prime Minister said was that we would … implement the Murray-Darling Basin Authority plan. That … is the final document that comes out at the end of next year after there has been an opportunity for ministerial intervention, to either ask them to reconsider aspects of it or specifically to demand that they change aspects of it. That is the document the Prime Minister quite rightly committed to implementing," Mr Burke said.

The opposition spokesman on the Murray-Darling Basin, Simon Birmingham, accused Mr Burke of "rewriting history", citing Senator Wong's comment during the election campaign that "this government is prepared to back the independent authority in its determination on what the rivers need".

At a Canberra water forum yesterday a leading water economist said farm groups were "grossly exaggerating" and making "false claims" about job losses and the death of rural towns.

The Australian National University economics professor Quentin Grafton said the proposed water buybacks were far less than communities had endured during the drought. They were taking place when the value of production and total employment in the basin had risen. He also said the water reform process had $9 billion to spend on infrastructure and buybacks.

The chief executive of the National Farmers' Federation, Ben Fargher, said the authority was losing the trust of communities in the basin.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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