TCW
Thursday, June 13, 2024
TCW
HomeClimate WatchThe climate scaremongers: Hurricane Ian and climate porn

The climate scaremongers: Hurricane Ian and climate porn

-

IT’S the height of hurricane season, and every year there is a devastating hurricane somewhere in the world. And, sure as eggs is eggs, the left wing climate establishment crawls out of the woodwork and blames it on global warming.

This year it was Hurricane Ian.

There is no question that Ian was a particularly destructive storm, not least because it hit a built-up area of the Florida coast head-on. But how did Ian compare with other hurricanes which have hit the US over the years, and is there any evidence that these events are becoming more common?

Hurricanes are graded in five categories, with 1 the weakest and 5 the strongest. Ian was a Category 4 hurricane.

Since 1856, there have been 29 hurricanes which made US landfall as either Cat 4 or 5. In other words, the sort of storm which comes along every five years on average.

As the chart below indicates, there is no trend of such hurricanes becoming more frequent. The last decade has been busy, but no more so than the 1940s, which together with the 1950s and 60s was unquestionably the most destructive period. On the other hand, there was no Cat 4 or 5 hurricane between 2004 and 2017, which suggests a lot of this variability is down to the luck of the draw, rather than part of a pattern.

https://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/hurdat/All_U.S._Hurricanes.html

Florida, of course, has a history of particularly devastating hurricanes. Arguably the worst three to hit the state all occurred between 1926 and 1935. The following account extracts are from the National Hurricane Center. 

Great Miami Hurricane 1926

‘The Category 4 hurricane’s eye moved directly over Miami Beach and downtown Miami during the morning hours of September 18. This cyclone produced the highest sustained winds ever recorded in the United States at the time. A storm surge of nearly 15 feet was reported in Coconut Grove. Many casualties resulted as people ventured outdoors during the half-hour lull in the storm as the eye passed overhead. Most residents, having not experienced a hurricane, believed that the storm had passed. They were suddenly trapped and exposed to the eastern half of the hurricane shortly thereafter. Every building in the downtown district of Miami was damaged or destroyed. The town of Moore Haven on the south side of Lake Okeechobee was completely flooded by lake surge from the hurricane. Hundreds of people in Moore Haven alone were killed by this surge, which left behind floodwaters in the town for weeks afterward.


‘The great hurricane of 1926 ended the economic boom in South Florida and would be a $90billion disaster had it occurred in recent times. With a highly transient population across southeastern Florida during the 1920s, the death toll is uncertain since more than 800 people were missing in the aftermath of the cyclone. A Red Cross report lists 373 deaths and 6,381 injuries as a result of the hurricane.’

Okeechobee Hurricane 1928

‘No reliable wind readings are available from near the landfall area in Florida. However, Palm Beach reported a minimum pressure of 27.43 in, making this the fourth strongest hurricane of record to hit the United States. This hurricane caused heavy casualties and extensive destruction along its path from the Leeward Islands to Florida. The worst tragedy occurred at inland Lake Okeechobee in Florida, where the hurricane caused a lake surge of 6 to 9 ft that inundated the surrounding area. 1,836 people died in Florida, mainly due to the lake surge. An additional 312 people died in Puerto Rico, and 18 more were reported dead in the Bahamas.’

Labor Day Hurricane 1935

‘This system was first detected east of the central Bahamas on August 29.  Phenomenal strengthening then occurred, and when the storm reached the middle Florida Keys on September 2, it was a Category 5 hurricane. No wind measurements are available from the core of this small but vicious hurricane. A pressure of 26.35 inches measured at Long Key makes this the most intense hurricane of record to hit the United States. The combination of winds and tides were responsible for 408 deaths in the Florida Keys, primarily among World War I veterans working in the area. The Labor Day Hurricane is still the most powerful hurricane to hit the US, with estimated sustained wind speeds of 160 mph.’

It is worth pointing out that in 1930 Florida’s population was 1.4million, compared with 21.5million now. Any of those three hurricanes would be far more destructive and deadly now than they were then.

Note that wind speeds for the most powerful hurricanes were not available in those days, not least because the equipment simply could not withstand such strong winds. Nowadays wind speeds are estimated using satellite data and as a consequence tend to be overestimated in comparison to earlier hurricanes; there is strong proof of this in the comparison of atmospheric pressure readings. This overstatement of wind speeds serves to bolster the myth that hurricanes are getting more powerful.

The reality is that the hurricanes to come our way nowadays are natural disasters of the sort which have occurred regularly in the past. It is disgusting that left wing politicians, media and climate scientists should use these tragedies to peddle their political agenda.

Factchecking the BBC’s reality check on hurricanes

AS Hurricane Ian was barrelling towards Florida, the BBC thought it would be a good idea to broadcast a ‘Reality Check’, called Hurricanes: Are they getting more violent?’ The blurb made it clear that the BBC had already made its mind up: ‘Hurricanes are among the most violent storms on Earth and there’s evidence they’re getting more powerful. So how do they form and what impact, if any, is climate change having? BBC Weather’s Louise Lear explains.’ The video lasted less than three minutes and contained three outrageous lies, which must be some sort of record, even by BBC standards!

Lie #1 – ‘There’s evidence they’re getting more powerful’

There is no such evidence, and of course the BBC did not even attempt to provide any. As we have seen above, hurricanes are not becoming more powerful in the US. Many studies of Atlantic-wide hurricanes show the same picture.

It is true that more hurricanes have been spotted since the introduction of satellite monitoring in the 1980s, as previously many in mid-ocean were missed. When these missing storms are accounted for, this apparent increasing trend disappears. A study last year by some of the world’s leading hurricane experts found that major hurricanes in the Atlantic were just as common as now in the mid-20thC.

There was a significant dip in hurricane activity in the 1970s and 80s, linked with the cold phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-24268-5/figures/2

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) came to similar conclusions last year: ‘There is no strong evidence of century-scale increasing trends in US landfalling hurricanes or major hurricanes. Similarly for Atlantic basin-wide hurricanes (after adjusting for observing capabilities), there is not strong evidence for an increase since the late 1800s in hurricanes, major hurricanes, or the proportion of hurricanes that reach major hurricane intensity.’

Nor is there any increase in major hurricane activity globally:

Lie #2 – ‘We actually started naming hurricanes in the 1940s [in alphabetical order]. But in recent years the hurricane season has been so busy, they’ve used up the list and had to start again.’

The increasing number of named storms has nothing to do with the climate, but is a consequence of observational changes, as the BBC itself reported last year: ‘Over the past ten to 15 years, though, named storms have formed prior to the official start [of the hurricane season, June 1] about 50 per cent of the time. And the way they are defined and observed has changed significantly over time. “Many of these storms are short-lived systems that are now being identified because of better monitoring and policy changes that now name sub-tropical storms,” Dennis Feltgen, meteorologist at the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) told BBC Weather . . . The number of named storms has increased over the decades, but there is no real evidence this is the result of a warming world.’

Lie #3 – ‘Hurricanes usually weaken when they hit land, but in 2021 when Ida hit land, it had picked up enough moisture for the rain to keep falling . . . a month’s worth of rain fell in one day in New York City.’

There was nothing unusual about the rainfall from Ida (and of course one weather event is not climate). Ida dumped 7in of rain on New York in the space of two days, which certainly is not uncommon where tropical storms are concerned. In 1955 Hurricane Diane brought 12in of rain in 24 hours, and 20in over two days to Connecticut, after a similar overland track.

Louise Lear finishes by claiming: ‘The current evidence suggests that . . .  hurricanes that do develop have the potential to be stronger, wetter and more devastating.’

There is no evidence for any of these false claims. Is Louise Lear aware of this? Does she care that what she is telling viewers is a pack of lies? Or does she just do what she is told?

If you appreciated this article, perhaps you might consider making a donation to The Conservative Woman. Unlike most other websites, we receive no independent funding. Our editors are unpaid and work entirely voluntarily as do the majority of our contributors but there are inevitable costs associated with running a website. We depend on our readers to help us, either with regular or one-off payments. You can donate here. Thank you.
If you have not already signed up to a daily email alert of new articles please do so. It is here and free! Thank you.

Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

Sign up for TCW Daily

Each morning we send The ConWom Daily with links to our latest news. This is a free service and we will never share your details.