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US Climate Assessment Ignores Inconvenient Hurricane Data

November 27, 2018

By Paul Homewood



The Daily Caller points out one of the “surprising” omissions from the new US Climate Report:



There’s been “no trend” in the number and intensity of hurricanes hitting the continental U.S. and the normalized damages caused by such storms over the past 117 years, according to a new study.

“Consistent with observed trends in the frequency and intensity of hurricane landfalls along the continental United States since 1900, the updated normalized loss estimates also show no trend,” reads the study, published in Monday in the journal Nature.

The study also found no trend in the number and strength of hurricanes hitting the U.S. over the last 117 years. That finding is consistent with past research by study co-authors University of Colorado professor Roger Pielke Jr. and Colorado State University meteorologist Philip Klotzbach.

“Over the entire dataset there is no significant trend in normalized losses, CONUS hurricane landfalls or CONUS intense hurricane landfalls,” reads the study. CONUS stands for “continental United States.”

While the nominal costs of hurricanes have increased in recent decades, that’s not because of global warming. Population growth and increased amounts of homes and infrastructure in hurricane-prone areas are driving costs up, the study found.

But the upward trend in nominal disaster costs disappears when economic growth is taken into account, the study found. In fact, had the 1926 Miami hurricane hit in 2018, it would have been the most damaging on record.

When controlled for economic growth, the study found “no trend” in normalized losses from hurricanes hitting the lower 48 states. The study analyzed data from 206 hurricane landfalls going back 117 years to 1900.

It’s the third in a series of papers looking at normalized hurricane damages. The new study includes economic losses from 2017’s devastating Atlantic hurricane season and adds in damage estimates from “missing” storms before 1940.

Pielke and Klotzbach also published a study in July that found no significant trend in the frequency or intensity of U.S. hurricane landfalls and that increased storm damages were driven by the “[g]rowth in coastal population and regional wealth.”

If anything, the July study showed a declining trend in U.S. hurricane landfalls — though not a statistically insignificant one. Klotzbach and Pielke’s newest paper, once again, shows that population and economic growth are behind increases in nominal hurricane costs.

Work by Klotzbach and Pielke on hurricane landfalls was largely ignored by authors of the U.S. government’s latest National Climate Assessment (NCA) report, which was released Friday. In fact, the NCA seems to suggest the opposite of what observational data shows.

In review comments, Canadian economist Ross McKitrick criticized NCA authors for leaving out data showing hurricane landfalls weren’t becoming more frequent.

McKitrick said national hurricane data going back more than a century “clearly indicate a drop in the decadal rate of U.S. landfalling hurricanes since the 1960s. The current decade is on the low end of hurricane frequency even with last summer’s busy season.”

“Yet you don’t mention this, instead you spin the topic to make it sound like the trends are all towards more cyclone activity. This paragraph is one-sided and misleading,” McKitrick wrote in his comments.

NCA authors disagreed with McKitrick’s criticism, arguing its choice to ignore hurricane landfall data was justified because they used “the entire dataset, which includes all basin-wide storms.”

Pielke also criticized NCA authors for omitting inconvenient hurricane data.

The NCA was produced with input from hundreds of scientists, including experts from 13 federal agencies. However, the report has come under fire for misusing climate projections to generate alarming media headlines.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent, called the report “very alarming” and used it as an opportunity to attack the Trump administration.

Trump administration officials, on the other hand, criticized the NCA for its heavy reliance on extreme scenarios of global warming that experts are increasingly regarding as flawed and highly unlikely to occur.



This is the new paper from Weinkle et al, and the relevant graph:




Of course, the new Federal report might also have highlighted the declining trend in violent tornadoes:




The fact that the report ignores such inconvenient facts is evidence that it is not the objective, science based report it claims to be, but just a one-sided, politically biased exercise.

  1. Jack Broughton permalink
    November 27, 2018 12:00 pm

    T’was great to see how simply Trump dealt with this foolish “project fear” report and how the BBC / ITV reports edited this to take out the part about the big increases in CO2 from China, India etc as part of their anti-Trump and pro-AGW policies.

    • November 27, 2018 1:55 pm

      It’s good to see Trump’s one-liners – straight to the point: “I don’t believe it”.

      Same with Brexit: Brexit Deal “a Great Deal for EU”.

  2. November 27, 2018 1:02 pm

    “Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent, called the report “very alarming” and used it as an opportunity to attack the Trump administration.” He may be registered as an “independent,” but as he himself will tell you, he is a Marxist/Socialist who honeymooned in the former USSR. Saying that he attacked the Trump administration is akin to stating that the sun rose in the east this morning and will likely set in the west this evening.

    University of Colorado professor Roger Pielke Jr. and Colorado State University meteorologist Philip Klotzbach have been proved as reliable researchers. They actually look at real data instead of building computer models from non-existent Legos.

    Canadian economist Ross McKitrick, is the one who pulled the plug on the UEA “Climategate” scam.

    It is time that we put Chicken Little in the stew pot and got on with things. President Trump is not going to pardon that chicken and his assessment of the report is spot on–as usual.

    • RAH permalink
      November 27, 2018 1:41 pm

      And I got the idea he is going to do something about the climate disaster fiction the government is producing.

  3. RAH permalink
    November 27, 2018 1:40 pm

    There are trends concerning more one aspect of hurricane reporting.

    1. “News” sensationalizing and exaggerating the power of and damage from a given storm is trending up.

    2. NOAA NHC inflating storm wind speeds and thus sometimes the category is trending up.

    3. NOAA Naming storms and thus bestowing the title of “tropical storm” on systems that would have never been named in the past is also trending up.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      November 27, 2018 2:12 pm

      And the UK Met Office has been getting in on the act by slapping a name on any autumn/winter storm that looks as it it might blow a bit of a gale, The media, of course, enthusiastically join in.

      The original, Storm Abigail, met with a degree of cynicism in some quarters as can be seen here:

      The link itself says it all. Anyone familiar with winter in the Western Isles will understand.

      Contributors to this site weren’t dead impressed either!

    • A C Osborn permalink
      November 27, 2018 2:31 pm

      +1000 on the overhyping of the wind speeds.
      They usually caught out when the actual land speeds come in, but never ever retract, so the overhyped speed goes down in History as real.

  4. Curious George permalink
    November 27, 2018 4:48 pm

    Alarmists excel at ignoring or adjusting inconvenient data.

  5. Stonyground permalink
    November 27, 2018 6:47 pm

    The thing is, I don’t think that you need to be a genius to work out that warmer weather is more benign than colder weather. The difference between summer and winter must surely be obvious to anyone who lives in a temperate region.

  6. November 28, 2018 6:24 am

    It’s an excellent study by highly qualified authors BUT impossible use the findings to test theory (ie models) because the theory predicts only global averages of all six basins and makes no statement about trends in a single basin. Pls see Knutson 2010 or its summary here:

    Here is a global tropical cyclone study

  7. igsy permalink
    November 28, 2018 7:34 am

    And, of course, had the hurricane landfall data evidenced the desired result, the NCA would be arguing its choice to ignore “the entire dataset, which includes all basin-wide storms” was justified because the hurricane landfall data is most relevant to where people live.

  8. November 28, 2018 10:55 am

    Two words keep appearing: ‘no trend’. Hard to spin an alarmist message from that.

  9. November 29, 2018 5:01 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

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