With hurricane season looming, it’s time to be prepared both for the possibility of severe weather and for the inevitable media circus touting falsehoods about climate change. NOAA is predicting hurricane activity will be above normal in 2020. Climate alarmists will make every effort to convince you this increase is being caused by man.
Supposedly, droughts and wildfires are increasing, sea levels rising, polar ice is melting, and storms (tornadoes and hurricanes) are becoming stronger and more frequent. But official government records of meteorological data, my specialty as an atmospheric scientist, show that none of these events are occurring.
The number of droughts and wildfires has been normal for the past several decades. Sea level is rising at a rate of eight inches per century, and that has not changed for the past 150 years. There has been a significant reduction of severe tornadoes over the last 50 years. Tornadoes with winds in excess of 166 miles per hour are classified as violent tornadoes, and 2018 was the first year with no violent tornadoes since record-keeping began in 1950.
Over the last 50 years, there has been a worldwide 5%-10% reduction in hurricane-type storms (called hurricanes in the Atlantic, typhoons in the Pacific, and cyclones near Australia). The best way to measure hurricane activity in the Atlantic is to look at the history of major hurricanes making landfall in the U.S. According to the National Hurricane Center, on average, we see a major hurricane strike the U.S. once every two years. A new record was established when there were no major hurricanes from 2006 to 2012. Since 2012, major hurricane activity has been normal with just three major hurricanes in the last eight years.
The early predictions for 2020 call for higher-than-normal hurricane activity, but that does not mean it will be unusual. The United States has experienced frequent active hurricane seasons. It is of interest to note that the most active hurricane season in the U.S. was 1886, when seven hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast, including four in Texas, of which two were major. One destroyed Indianola, a thriving seaport on the south shore of Matagorda Bay.
Far too many predictions made by climate alarmists over the last 35 years are verifiably wrong. For example, Al Gore said in 2007 the Arctic would be ice-free in 2013. The opposite is occurring. North Pole ice has been fairly stable since 2007, and ice has been growing in Greenland over the last two years. It is amazing that “climate experts” who have been wrong most of the time still have credibility.
Alarmist warnings are the result of predictions by flawed climate numerical models. Every time the climate models have been tested with real data, they have failed. The temperatures forecast by the models are hotter than real-world results.
Numerical models are great when the data used in the models are accurate and all the physical relationships that govern the models are known. The trouble with the climate models is they overemphasize the importance of CO2 in determining the earth’s temperature and ignore important factors such as the sun, cloud cover, and decadal changes in the ocean temperatures.
If CO2 is not a major factor in the temperature of the earth, then the foundation of man-made global warming crumbles. Fossil fuels will not be responsible for the increase in hurricane activity predicted for 2020.
This commentary originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on June 17, 2020.