Via Neil L. Frank
Hurricane Ian “rapidly turned from a relatively weak storm into a strong hurricane, [a] phenomenon has become more common” due to climate change.
So the New York report Times in its daily email newsletter. It also said, “Ian embodies several major hurricane trends in recent years, as the world deals with the effects of climate change. It was a powerful storm – and strong storms are becoming more common in the Atlantic, as its surface waters have warmed. “
A nation’s prayers go out to the people of Florida devastated by Hurricane Ian, especially those in Ft. The Myers area. Ian was indeed one of the strongest and most destructive hurricanes ever to hit southwestern Florida.
Unfortunately, the tragedy is compounded by climate change activists who are using it for political purposes. They blame Ian for global warming. Headlines in the mainstream media claimed Ian was the fourth strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in Florida and its winds were due to global warming. Both sentences are wrong.
The strength of a storm can be determined in two ways. First, you can fly into the storm and measure the wind. Second, you can drop a barometer into your eye and determine the pressure. There is an excellent relationship between wind and pressure in the eye. The lower the pressure, the stronger the wind. If you know one, then you can calculate the other. For decades prior to the 1990s, pressure was a major factor in determining the strength of a hurricane.
Using pressure, Ian was not the fourth strongest hurricane in Florida history but the tenth. The strongest hurricane in U.S. history moved over the Florida Keys in 1935. Among other Florida hurricanes stronger than Ian was another in the Florida Keys in 1919. This was followed by a 1926 hurricane in the Florida Keys. Miami, Palm Beach/Lake Okeechobee hurricanes in 1928, Keys in 1948, and Donna in 1960. We don’t know how strong the 1873 hurricane was, but it destroyed Punta Rassa with a 14-foot storm . Punta Rassa is located at the mouth of the river leading to Ft. Myers, where Ian landed.
Also of note: all of these hurricanes preceded SUVs, so CO2 and the warming it intentionally caused were not their cause.
Another false claim is that fuel-burning CO2 is increasing the number of Atlantic hurricanes. This is based on a historical list of hurricanes since 1850, which shows a significant increase over time. But this claim is based on a misunderstanding of hurricane science. There are two obvious reasons for the increase in the number of hurricanes, and both reasons are unrelated to global warming.
First, there has been a dramatic change in our ability to detect hurricanes.
In the 1800s and early 1900s, only sailors on ships could spot a storm in the ocean, so we missed out on a lot. We started flying into hurricanes in the 1940s, which allowed us to locate and track them in the western third of the Atlantic. But it wasn’t until satellites became operational in the 1970s that we were able to track hurricanes in the eastern two-thirds of the Atlantic, rather than by ship. On average, satellites allow us to detect three more hurricanes per year in the eastern Atlantic, and in 2005 we identified seven storms that never moved west within range. the dynamics of our weather plane. Before satellites, the historical record had only one storm every two years in the eastern Atlantic.
Second, there has been a major shift in philosophy about naming a storm in the North Atlantic. Like I have explained in more depth than beforeThe key to this is distinguishing between two different types of hurricanes – and deciding which storm to name.
Two main sources of energy in the atmosphere cause wind. The first is the presence of cold air in addition to warm air. Cold air, which is denser and therefore heavier, moves with the warm air, creating wind. In meteorology, we call this baroclinic energy. This is the classic energy process for all winter storms.
The second is when, in the tropics, thunderstorms heat the air. The rising hot air is replaced by air swirling towards the surface, and if the wind reaches a certain threshold speed, it becomes a tropical storm.
Cold fronts and winter (baroclinic) storms can occur over the North Atlantic not only in winter but also in summer. A (baroclinic) disturbance may form along the stalled front. This can create a thunderstorm. The result is a developing storm fueled by both baroclinic and thunderstorm energies. If the thunderstorm energy overwhelms the baroc energy, the system can turn into a tropical storm.
The question is, should this kind of system be named? Before satellites, we rarely gave this type of system a name. On average, we name less than one hurricane of this type each year.
In contrast, in record year 2020, 10 of the 30 named storms fall into this category, and last year 11 were. The result has been a dramatic increase in the number of tropical cyclones/storms in recent years – apparently because of their namesake.
The dramatic conclusion is that we cannot use the raw historical record to draw any conclusions about trends in Atlantic hurricane activity. The only valid indicator of Atlantic hurricane changes is to examine the landfall of major hurricanes (category 3, 4, and 5, or winds in excess of 110 mph) in the lower 48 states. than. Hurricane experts agree that tropical cyclones or weak hurricanes may not have been observed in remote areas in the 1800s, but I believe all major hurricanes to make landfall are in the books. record book.
An analysis of major hurricane landfalls by decade shows a significant downward trend – not the upward trend predicted and claimed by climate change activists, who emphasize that warming going global will create more and more powerful storms. Landings today are not compared with those in the middle of the last century. Florida suffered seven major hurricanes in the 1940s. Six major hurricanes hit the east coast in the 1950s. But not a single major hurricane made landfall in the entire United States between 2005 and 2005. 2017.
Too much for the claim that global warming has brought more and stronger storms. Which of the claims made Ian stronger faster than it would have? That is also questionable. If global warming doesn’t cause more and more powerful storms, it won’t be able to make hurricanes stronger any faster.
Buried among all these claims is a rational fallacy – the fallacy of hypothesis as opposed to fact. We simply do not know if Hurricane Ian would weaken, or strengthen more slowly, in the absence of global warming. Why not? Because it wouldn’t have happened in the absence of global warming.
What we do know is that storms were at least as frequent and powerful before the current global warming period – indeed, we know they were actually more frequent and stronger.
Climate change activists and mainstream media are wrong. There has been no increase in the frequency, intensity or intensity of Atlantic hurricanes over the past few decades. You can hint your representatives in Congress about it so they won’t be able to serve alarmists.
Neil L. Frank, PhD in Meteorology, was the longest serving Director of the National Hurricane Center (1974–1987) before becoming Chief Meteorologist for KHOU-TV, Houston, TX, until his retirement. retired in 2008, since he has continued independent hurricane research. He is a senior member of the Cornwall Alliance for Creative Management.