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Long Term Trends In Atlantic Hurricane Activity

September 30, 2022

By Paul Homewood

While the left wing media and politicians have been quick to blame Hurricane Ian on global warming, the facts disagree, as this study from last year showed:

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https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-24268-5

The authors are acknowledged as leading experts on Atlantic hurricanes; Landsea for instance works for the National Hurricane Center, while Knutson is at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

Their study can be summarised by the following graphs:

 

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The top two graphs are for recorded US landfalling hurricanes, a) all and b) major, and the bottom two track Atlantic basin hurricanes.

It is abundantly clear that there are no long term trends in either all hurricanes or major ones that have made US landfall. However there appears to be a strong increase in Atlantic basin ones. Why should this be?

As the paper makes clear, the difference is not a real one, but merely the result of changing observation practices. It is reckoned that all US hurricanes have been counted since around 1900, but many hurricanes were missed out in the mid-Atlantic prior to satellite observations began in earnest in the 1980s.

When these missing hurricanes are allowed for, as in Fig 2, that increasing trend disappears. There is still a noticeable increase, particularly in major hurricanes since the 1960-90 period, which was an unusually quiet era. The authors speculate that this was partly due to the cold phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and partly to aerosol-induced global cooling.

Whatever the cause, it is clear that the level of hurricane activity in recent decades is little different to prior periods.

 

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Figure 4 addresses the proportion of major hurricanes to overall totals in the N Atlantic.

After allowing for missing hurricanes, the black line, current ratios are similar to the 1900-60 average:

 

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It must be emphasised that this study contains nothing new or particularly controversial. Many studies in recent years have been undertaken , using a variety of approaches, and all have come to similar conclusions.

5 Comments
  1. September 30, 2022 2:49 pm

    Until Ian came along all the talk was of experts forecasting a busy Atlantic hurricane season and no such thing happening, leaving them bemused.

  2. September 30, 2022 3:35 pm

    As I posted yesterday, they ( US Hurricane Center) over-egged the wind speed as usual and got the landfall wrong, as usual.
    However it was really bad at Cape Coral and Fort Myers. All Lee County Hospitals are without water, having to ship patients out of county. Cape Coral ( Lee County Electricity) , a city of 300k people will be without power for potentially weeks, the overhead power system has been completely wrecked, its not repairs, its rebuild. And there is no clean water, the mains have burst in places. Fort Myers Beach , Sanibel, Pine Island look like a tsunami has hit.
    The difference here was the landfall site. With the Calahootsi river feeding into 400 miles of canals , the water surge devastated everything in its path.
    Its the water that does the real damage.
    Everyone living there for any length knew it was a matter of ‘when’ not if a bad one struck. Its 60 years since a landfall directly on this spot. Nothing to do with ‘climate change’ just bad luck finally catching up.

  3. Tim Spence permalink
    September 30, 2022 3:42 pm

    It’s also worth remembering that some of the older data has been ‘revisited’ in much the same way as temperature data and downgraded.

  4. Hum permalink
    September 30, 2022 4:18 pm

    Modern windspeed measurements are corrupted. In years past they actually used real wind stations with mechanical anemometers. Today most wind speeds are calculated or computer model generated wind speeds. I have watched many internet connected weather stations and compared land based anemometer readings with what was being put out my the media and NOAA and there was sometimes 50MPH differences. The anemometers always lower. Today they are actually taking down readings from these wind stations during a hurricane event to prevent people from comparing those readings with their “official” wind speed propaganda.

  5. September 30, 2022 9:51 pm

    Yes but without overestimating hurricanes and scaring people how would electric car cronies benefit (btw electric cars explode in salt water, there was this incident back when NYC got flooded some years ago).

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