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Hurricanes Are Getting Stronger (But Only In Computer Models!)

March 1, 2023

By Paul Homewood




Flooding and wind damage from hurricanes is getting more common in the United States, and that trend will accelerate and threaten millions of people as the Earth gets hotter according to new research.

The findings highlight a counterintuitive effect of climate change: coastal communities are experiencing dangerous storms more frequently, even though the total number of storms doesn’t appear to be changing.

"I think it’s important for the public to take [this] seriously," says Adam Sobel, a climate scientist at Columbia University who was not involved in the new study. "The storms are getting stronger. So even for the same number of storms, the number that are a real problem goes up because they are strengthening."

This trend is already clear for people living in places that have been hit by multiple devastating storms in recent years, such as southern Louisiana.

The new study uses computer models to assess Atlantic storms going back to 1949, and to peer into the future to see what storms will look like in 2100. The authors, climate scientists at Princeton University, found that the flood and wind risk posed by storms has steadily increased.

The problem will only get worse in the coming decades. "The frequency of intense storms will increase," explains Ning Lin, a climate scientist at Princeton University and the lead author of the new study.

Lin and her colleagues also found another sobering trend. Today it is unlikely that two damaging storms will hit the same place in quick succession, although such disasters got slightly more likely over the second half of the twentieth century.

When sequential storms do happen, it’s deadly, like when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast in 2005 or when Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria hit Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas in quick succession in 2017.

But by 2100, such consecutive shocks will become relatively commonplace, according to the new analysis.

That’s bad news for multiple reasons. "Communities need to recover from disasters and bounce back," says Lin. If people are being hit by flooding and wind damage over and over, there’s less time to recover.

It could also overwhelm the government’s emergency response. That happened in 2017, when the Federal Emergency Management Agency struggled to respond to three major storms at the same time, and millions of people were left waiting for basic assistance with food and shelter.

The first thing to note is that the three authors of this study are not hurricane experts, but computer modellers. And this study does not base its conclusions on any actual data, but on a probabilistic model.

The actual data however tells a totally different story, as the most powerful storms are not increasing in frequency on multi-decadal and century scales:


The paper references Hurricanes Ida and Nicholas which hit Louisiana in quick succession in 2021, but totally ignores the drought of major hurricanes between 2005 and 2017.

It is also important to take account of the dip in major hurricane activity during the cold phase of the AMO in the 1970s and 80s. There is no mention of this in their paper, so any computer modelling and projections derived therefrom are invalid.

There is ample data on US landfalling hurricanes going back to the 19thC, Why then do we need probabilistic models instead?

  1. March 1, 2023 12:04 pm

    This is a replay of “garbage in….garbage out”. A computer model is only as accurate as the data put into it. As with many other “models”, not enough is known to even know what to put in. This assumes that the modelers have the savvy to locate the correct data.

    • Chris Phillips permalink
      March 1, 2023 1:35 pm

      Actually I think it is worse than that. The modellers deliberately choose the input data to provide the outputs they need to advance their “climate armageddon” agenda. Modelling allows a range of input assumptions to to be tried quickly so that the desired output can be selected and presented as fact. Exactly the same method was applied during the Covid epidemic in a (largely successful) attempt you scare the British public into submission.

      • March 1, 2023 2:26 pm

        Oh, of course they do. They want botanists to identify their research plots by totally random means. Had I done that for my PhD work, I might have had plots halfway in a stream or over 2 distinct areas. My major professor agreed to sane placements to sample the reality of the situation instead of randomness.

        These are the same folks who cherry pick for the results they want.

  2. Bob Webster permalink
    March 1, 2023 12:36 pm

    Add to reality the fact that there is a concerted effort to claim storms are “hurricanes” when, in fact, they are modest tropical storms (39 mph, < 74 mph). Whereas most of the globe requires a "hurricane" to have sustained winds of at least 74 mph for at least TWO minutes, the USA only requires sustained winds for ONE minute. And, apparently, the winds can be at hurricane hunter "flight level" and not necessarily at ground level… an idiotic determination that makes modern data incompatible with historic data.

    Hurricane Nicole should never have been referred to as a "hurricane" when it made landfall near Vero Beach, Florida. According to a "summary" of Nicole in late November 2022 (that has since been scrubbed), there wasn't a single NOAA reporting station along the Florida east coast (including three buoys within 25 miles of the coast) that recorded sustained winds (USA standard) that were even close to hurricane force. Nicole was a modest tropical storm at landfall. Records at the recording station at Vero Beach Airport clearly confirm this. Yet NOAA insisted on referring to Nicole as a "hurricane" rather than a tropical storm while suggesting Nicole was a hurricane at landfall and while it traversed the first 25-30 miles inland. Complete fiction.

    NOAA's motto under the Biden regime seems to be "If truth doesn't serve climate alarmist, then lie." Par for the course.

  3. Ann permalink
    March 1, 2023 12:53 pm

    There’s also another factor to be taken into account. As people have got better off, more have been moving to the coast, where it’s generally a nicer place to live. There has been more development there, so there’s more property – probably of a more expensive nature – to be damaged by coastal storms.
    This is discussed in rather a good book – I’m halfway through it – called ‘Cool It!’ by Bjorn Lomborg. He’s a Danish economist and there are some very interesting perspectives on climate change. Easy to read and understand.

  4. Broadlands permalink
    March 1, 2023 1:41 pm

    “The problem will only get worse in the coming decades.” “I think it’s important for the public to take [this] seriously…”

    This sort of commentary has now become standard hackneyed “boilerplate” rhetoric designed to scare but without any viable and realistic solutions. It should never have been published.

  5. terryfwall permalink
    March 1, 2023 1:55 pm

    Bjorn Lomborg has a number of very sensible and interesting youtube videos. He destroys the extreme alarmist position of the politicians campaigners and corporates who benefit from the power and monetary gains. Given that their “net-zero” policies have severely damaging and unnecessary effects we have to get his message across to those misguided authorities that need them.

    • gezza1298 permalink
      March 2, 2023 11:04 am

      Getting those authorities to listen is nigh on impossible.

  6. March 1, 2023 2:22 pm

    Models, simply put and in the way the media promote them are no more than a “My truth”.
    A model is that entity created in the absence of real data to approximate reality. It should under no circumstances be used as a replacement for real data or when real data exists. As the first commentator pointed out Sh1t in…Sh1t out. You may ask why is the klymutt industry so keen on using models? Possibly could it be because with models by controlling input they also control outcomes?

    “The frequency of intense storms will increase,” explains Ning Lin, a climate scientist at Princeton University and the lead author of the new study.

    Am I supposed to be impressed by the epithet “Klymutt scientist? There is NO such thing as a climate scientist. There ARE scientists working in fields which have input to the field of climate science. I am sick and tired of this idiocy. Climate science covers a whole range of different disciplines which have an input to the broader field of climate science. I have degrees in two of them, does that make me two climate scientists or a double climate scientist? How truly absurd is the study of this nonsense promulgated mostly by humanities/arts graduates pouring over the worthless outpourings of bought scientists who produce pap for money which they disgorge in the same quantity and quality as effluent from a sewage pipe.

    This piece by not explaining what is going on is now the standard we are getting from the media today. No qualification or explanation just regurgitation.
    I call the repeated omission of critical background “lying by omission”. The BBC and Grauniad are well versed in that black art.

    Ok …rant over….till the next one!

  7. It doesn't add up... permalink
    March 1, 2023 2:50 pm

    Why hurricanes feel like they’re getting more frequent?

    A constant diet of false propaganda.

  8. catweazle666 permalink
    March 1, 2023 3:01 pm

    Yet another example of “The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.”

    – Prof. Chris Folland, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research.

  9. ancientpopeye permalink
    March 1, 2023 4:07 pm

    Are their computer models, like our met office , basing their modelling on ‘man-made-co2’ emissions rather than facts?

    • Ann permalink
      March 1, 2023 10:19 pm

      Our met office can’t always get this week’s weather right, so what hope have we on the big picture?

  10. Gamecock permalink
    March 1, 2023 4:09 pm

    ‘and to peer into the future’

    Neat trick.

    ‘But by 2100, such consecutive shocks will become relatively commonplace, according to the new analysis.

    That’s bad news for multiple reasons.’

    Nah. Not really. A projection 77 years out is 1) Not news, 2) We have no clue what life will be like in 77 years. For all we know, they’ll jump in their flying cars and go to Vegas for the weekend.

  11. March 1, 2023 8:53 pm

    “The authors, climate scientists at Princeton University, found that the flood and wind risk posed by storms has steadily increased.” The name Princeton says it all. They were probably taught how to cheat at modelling by Mann!

  12. March 2, 2023 3:29 am

    Why does it seem like Hurricanes are more frequent and worse, data does not support that.
    Why then? Easy, the media that is controlled and owned by the elite and compromised officials, say so, many times, every few minutes, every hour, every day, on most every channel or station.
    They say that so much that I check out the windows, carefully before I go out each time.

  13. March 2, 2023 3:38 am

    This was written:
    There is NO such thing as a climate scientist. There ARE scientists working in fields which have input to the field of climate science.

    Real Scientists question everything, these “People”, Not Scientists, never question consensus, There are people working in fields which are paid huge amounts of money or other perks, to write scary stuff,

    They have had the most training and are the very best at only one science, the science of scaring people.

  14. March 2, 2023 4:29 am

    This was written:
    There’s also another factor to be taken into account. As people have got better off, more have been moving to the coast, where it’s generally a nicer place to live.

    More people have always lived near the coast where inland waterways, land and ocean meet, the 1900 storm killed 5000 people in Galveston. Some moved there just because it was a nice place to live but most went to find work and make their fortunes.

    Over the many years, property damage from storms has grown, mainly because there are more people with more valuable property in harms way.

    In that same time the number of people killed in storms has decreased, with orders of magnitude more people in harms way, orders of magnitude less people are killed by storms.

    Each time property is damaged and people are not, not the ones who got out when they needed to, the people come back and rebuild more robustly, often raising the land or buildings. Some people choose to live away from the coast, where it is safer, they get hit by lightning, a tornado, a wild fire, an inland flood, then they rebuild more robustly. Sometimes people move a community away from a danger to higher ground or closer to a railway or highway or waterway.
    This is business as usual in the History of People in the World.

    Humans have always pushed the limits of where they could live, each for their own reasons or just random luck. Why would anyone want to take that wonderful freedom away? As people get better off, or if people get more desperate, many move to where they believe it will be more wonderful or more life sustaining. Why would anyone want to take those wonderful freedoms away? That is a question that does have an answer, if their moving to this new place causes benefit or harm to those already there, it could and/or it does matter to others.

    • catweazle666 permalink
      March 2, 2023 1:50 pm

      Humans congregate in the areas that are basically active and/or unstable, volcanos produce fertile soil, coasts are good for fishing, etc.
      There isn’t much activity in the stable bits, such as the Gobi desert for example.

  15. March 2, 2023 2:40 pm

    Hurricanes Are Getting Stronger (But Only In Computer Models!)

    Bring on the next useless climate fantasy 😴

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