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Another alarmist hurricane claim blown aside

15 Jan 2020 | Science Notes

Atlantic hurricane numbers fell sharply after 2005, the opposite of what alarmists had predicted. When a few bad ones made landfall in 2017, rather than repeat their discredited claim of a scary increase, some alarmists claimed their so-called "translation speed", their rate of crawling horizontally over land and ocean, would decrease, so each one that did make landfall would stay longer, dumping ever more water and being Worse Than ExpectedTM. Alas, someone has checked the numbers, and found no evidence that tropical cyclone translation speed has declined since the 1950s, that climate models don't predict that it would, and that on balance the speed isn't likely to change much in the future either.

The model simulations of the next century, for what they're worth, don't say nothing will change. On average the authors expect global average translation speed will increase. But they say it’s because there will be small offsetting changes between the tropics and the regions outside the tropics, so there could be a reduction in the speed depending on where you live. To which we would say, c'est la vie but ce n’est pas conditions météorologiques extrêmes. Despite which if you buy beachfront property in the path of Atlantic tropic storms, you should know by now what you're in for: some hurricanes, of varying intensity, on an unpredictable schedule.

It doesn't seem to be putting people off.

2 comments on “Another alarmist hurricane claim blown aside”

  1. To be fair, earlier studies have suggested that there may be an increase in TC intensity accompanying rising SSTs but not in number. Of course, one of the great problems in TC/global warming is that the statistics are difficult whatever your inclination: TCs are a relatively rare event for a street and deconvoluting impacts of a very slowly warming Earth and natural variability is extremely difficult. So perhaps "blown aside" should be replaced with the need for longer data sets so that deconvolution is possible.

  2. Fair point and civil language and debate is desperately needed. What is also desperately needed is balanced and independent funding for climate research which does not need to support any government, NGO or group's expectation to get funding.

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