I've always been skeptical of the view that global warming leads to stronger hurricanes. The argument behind it seems overly simplistic -- hurricanes feed off warm water, so warmer sea surface temperatures will lead to more frequent and powerful storms.
Elsewhere in our solar system, the exact opposite seems true. Blisteringly hot Venus, for instance, seems to have extremely weak storm activity, whereas icy Jupiter has massive hurricanes that last centuries, large enough to swallow the entire earth several times over. This is only suggestive rather than conclusive, but clearly there's more to storm activity than just raw temperature.
Basic thermodynamics helps to explain why. Storms are essentially large heat engines. It's not temperature that drives a heat engine, but differences in temperature. Global warming, which warms the poles more than the equator, would seem to decrease the latitude-based differential that helps drive a hurricane's rotational energy.
So went my pet theory, at least— but no hard data supported it.
However, the other side had no hard data either. While climate modelers claimed global warming might strengthen storms, actual hurricanologists were adamant that no actual evidence existed. Some pointed to research on wind shear, which suggested that a warmer climate would reduce the conditions that allow hurricanes to form, despite warmer surface water.
In 2005, one hurricanologist, Emmanuel Kerry, broke ranks and claimed to have actual proof that global warming increased hurricanes. For this, Time Magazine quickly named him "Man of the Year". However, last year Kerry publicly recanted his view, admitting that his earlier work was flawed.
With Kerry's renunciation, hurricane scientists were unanimous in their view that global warming wouldn't lead to measurably stronger storms.
But could it do the reverse? Could global warming actually reduce hurricane activity? A pair of Chinese researchers now says this very well may be true, at least for some parts of the earth.
The researchers, using a new branch of science they call "paleotempestology", looked backwards through several thousand years of the earth's history. Using sedimentary deposits, core samples from caves, and other geological proxies, along with documented historical records of hurricane landfalls, they built the longest record of hurricane activity ever constructed. They then correlated it to the varying temperature at each period..
On the global level, the researchers found no link between climate and hurricane activity. Surprisingly, though, cold periods such as the Little Ice Age had the most hurricanes, at least in some regions, a result the team said "begs adequate explanation".
However, the study found a strong link between natural patterns such as El Nino and hurricanes, a clear pattern of rising and falling activity on decadal time scales. These oscillations, known as "ENSO", tended to suppress and enhance hurricanes on a regular cycle, with the cooler "la Nina" years having the most activity.
The research was published in the Chinese Science Bulletin, and can be viewed here.
quote: "A New York City police officer who shot a man to death in an argument over a parking space was convicted of murder Friday"
quote: In every state that actually supports the 2nd Amendment, crime is lower. Damn crazy gun owners being able to defend themselves against criminals thus creating a fear of breaking into someone's home or mugging them...
quote: before you say 'we don't have many guns', per capita we have more than the U.S
quote: The second amendment is outdated, I see no reason to own a gun other than keeping it in your house as protection
quote: Then you certainly dont have stronger gun laws then places like DC, where owning a gun is basically impossible. So much for that argument.
quote: Then you don't understand why it was put there in the first place. It has nothing to do with protecting your house from burglers. Its there to protect you from the government. If no one has a gun, the government can do whatever it wants, constitution or not.
quote: What's the first thing Hitler did when he seized power in Germany? Used the gun registration lists to round up all the guns. Then who could say no to him? Nobody.
quote: Lets say Obama won the election and Bush refused to step down. Say most of the generals decided to say the electrion didn't count and they supported Bush. What then? Think it cant happen? Open your blinking eyes. It happens every year in some country somewhere around the world.
quote: I don't see how this is relevant
quote: If you statement was true, then how on earth do other countries get along without the need for guns/ England for example does not allow the use of ANY guns.
quote: Gun registration was not passed by Hitler but by the previous German government
quote: but most of those were to keep guns out of the hands of jews
quote: Its relevant because guns are 18th century tech. You can't ban them. Pass a law in any area (even a whole country) and all you do is ensure that criminals will have guns and ordinary people won't.
quote: Yes, and Hitler took advantage of it.
quote: If you were a Jew in Hitler's Germany, wouldn't you have wanted a gun? Might have stopped a Holocaust if 6 million Jews had been properly armed huh?
quote: Stop making baseless statements! What evidence do you have to support this
quote: there as a grand total of 51 gun related deaths in England for the entire year.
quote: previous statement that Hitler took away guns from everyone was already proven untrue
quote: Lots of countries ban guns entirely. But no country in the world has zero gun violence. That's proof enough.
quote: Sorry mate, he took them away from everyone he wanted to persecute.
quote: for example there as a grand total of 51 gun related deaths in England for the entire year. Meanwhile the USA averages around 25-30 thousand gun related deaths EACH YEAR!
quote: Because crimes can happen outside the home.
quote: how many times out of 10 do you think you would have the time to reach into your glove box, get your gun, turn off the safety, and proceed to protect yourself
quote: remember that the US != The world.
quote: Switzerland, with one of the lowest murder rates in the world, doesn't just allow citizens to own guns, it REQUIRES every male adult to own a fully-automatic machine gun.
quote: You just don't get it mate. If a nation bans wooden-handled steak knives, they'll have the lowest rates for murders with wooden-handled steak knives. But will TOTAL murders go down?
quote: Are those gun murders that high anyway? More people die from accidental falls than do from guns, and five times as many die in auto accidents:
quote: Gun crimes are preventable
quote: A new report has given Vancouver a dubious honour: the highest break-in rate of all major Canadian and American cities, nearly four times that of New York City.Last year, Vancouver recorded more than 1,100 break-ins per 100,000 residents while New York City had just over 300.The numbers are contained in the annual report by the B.C. Progress Board, which showed Vancouver had the second-highest combined violent and property crime rate among all major cities in Canada and the United States
quote: I grew up in LA. The air is ten times cleaner now than it was in the 80s. My dad says it was even worse in the 60s. What does that tell you?
quote: Let's go back to the good old days of lead gasoline consuming V8s.
quote: What's worse, is they're still doing it! They're still pushing for greener tech!
quote: You could do an experiment to by putting your head in a plastic bag and seeing what your breath does to the air. Think it'll kill you? Maybe you should stop breathing then?
quote: If some of them feel personal responsibilty and decide to ride bikes and like to be healthy, then more power to them
quote: Most planets have a hot core, regardless of how much ice they may have at the surface.
quote: For many years, meteorologists have known that ENSO strongly affects tropical cyclone activity around the world. In some basins, El Niño events increase tropical cyclone activity (e.g., the central North Pacific near Hawaii, the South Paci fic, and the Northwest Pacific between 160 E and the Dateline) (Chan 1985; Chu and Wang 1997; Lander 1994). Tropical cyclone activity decreases in other basins (e.g., the Atlantic, the Northwest Pacific west of 160 E, and the Australian region) (Nicholls 1979; Revelle and Goulter 1986; Gray 1984). La Niña events typically bring opposite conditions.Hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin is affected by ENSO remotely through changes in the Atlantic atmospheric circulation, largely through the vert ical shear wind profile...
quote: Atlantic effect An effect similar to El Niño sometimes takes place in the Atlantic Ocean, where water along equatorial Africa's Gulf of Guinea becomes warmer and eastern Brazil becomes cooler and drier. This is related to El Niño's effect on the Walker circulation over South America, which causes the easterly trade winds in the western Atlantic Ocean region to strengthen.
quote: I'm just not convinced here
quote: It is now well-accepted that El Niño reduces hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin
quote: Climate change actually changes hurricanes.
quote: "Climate change actually is really dreamy ."
quote: The researchers, using a new branch of science they call "paleotempestology"
quote: So went my pet theory, at least