Pielke Jr.: Just the facts on hurricanes

Posted: November 25, 2019 by oldbrew in Critique, IPCC, Natural Variation, weather
Tags: ,

Hurricane Katrina [image credit: NASA]


In his own style the author tries to point out some of the excesses of climate hotheads who often prefer cries of alarm to observations based on reality. [Below are a few extracts from the full Forbes article].

Summary: Hurricanes have come to occupy a starring role in the political theater that is climate change. As a result, sorting fact from fiction can be difficult.
– – –
The 2019 North Atlantic hurricane season ends officially later this week. Here I am going to give you the straight scoop on hurricanes.

Everything that follows is fully consistent with recent scientific assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, U.S. National Climate Assessment and World Meteorological Organization.

In fact, the information below comes straight out of these authoritative assessment reports.

Before proceeding, it is important to point out that hurricanes, and tropical cyclones more generally, are a big deal. They can kill in the thousands and cause hundreds of billions of dollars in damage. They deserve our attention.
. . .
Climate change is real, and is expected to have impacts on tropical cyclones. I have long advocated for aggressive mitigation and adaptation policies and nothing below is to the contrary. In fact, I think that scientific accuracy and effective policy making go hand-in-hand.
. . .
Have landfalling hurricanes or major hurricanes (those of Category 3 strength or greater) in the United States become more common since 1900?

No.
. . .
Once past damage is adjusted for the presence of more people, more property and more wealth, has damage increased?

No.
. . .
What about globally?

The most recent U.S. National Climate Assessment concluded: “there is still low confidence that any reported long-term (multidecadal to centennial) increases in [tropical cyclone] activity are robust, after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities [which is unchanged from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC AR5) assessment statement]. This is not meant to imply that no such increases have occurred, but rather that the data are not of a high enough quality to determine this with much confidence.”
. . .
So where might a role for climate change be found?

If, after reading all of the above, you conclude that the evidence base is pretty weak for the detection of changes in hurricanes or tropical cyclones or the attribution of those changes to human-caused climate change – you’d be absolutely correct.
. . .
What about all of the claims by activists and in the media about hurricanes being linked to climate change?

There are of course scientists and other experts who have views on hurricanes that deviate, sometimes dramatically, from the conclusions reached by authoritative assessments on the overall body of knowledge and evidence. Science is strong because of the diversity of methods and perspectives that are brought to bear upon important research topics, and research on tropical cyclones reflects such diversity.

But it seems that when it comes to hurricanes, it is common for activists, journalists and some scientists go out of their way to promote views that are at odds with leading assessments and to avoid placing those outlier views into the context of the careful conclusions of IPCC, U.S. NCA or WMO.

Hurricanes have come to occupy a starring role in the political theater that is climate change. As a result, sorting fact from fiction can be difficult. Fortunately, the scientific community has gone to great lengths to carefully assess what is known, what is not and what we might expect to know in the future. It is up to everyone else to decide whether to rely on those assessments or not.

Follow me on Twitter @RogerPielkeJr

Full article here.

Comments
  1. dennisambler says:

    Pielke is an enigma. “Climate change is real, and is expected to have impacts on tropical cyclones.”
    Yet his own studies have shown him there has been no increase in such cyclones. The expectations are still expectations.

    “I have long advocated for aggressive mitigation and adaptation policies and nothing below is to the contrary. In fact, I think that scientific accuracy and effective policy making go hand-in-hand.”

    But scientific accuracy is not evident in the climate models that produce the virtual outcomes that he thinks require aggressive mitigation and adaptation policies.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Fortunately, the scientific community has gone to great lengths to carefully assess what is known, what is not and what we might expect to know in the future.

    But this all gets forgotten when the IPCC summaries for policy makers are produced, which ignore all the uncertainties and ‘low confidence’ qualifiers in the main report, and end up with alarm-oriented garbage.

  3. Phoenix44 says:

    The problem is that the media is only interested in extreme views of anything these days. Activists know that, and know that if they can produce a “study” that shows a Climate Emergency, us all dying of salt/sugar/meat/coffee, a shortage of food/medicine/water if we have a No Deal Brexit, and on and on and on, then they will get a headline.

    And then the media and the Elites wonder why we have have had enough of “experts”?

  4. oldbrew says:

    Nov 26, 2019, 11:21am
    U.S. Hurricanes By President Since 1900: Trump Tops Obama But Bush Beats Them Both

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerpielke/2019/11/26/us-hurricanes-by-president-since-1900-trump-tops-obama-but-bush-beats-them-both/

    Obama last in the per year ranking (green). No ‘climate emergency’ signal there.

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