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The image of a hurricane-spawning smokestack was used to promote the film, An Inconvenient Truth.
Author of the theory that global warming breeds stronger hurricanes recants his view

Noted Hurricane Expert Kerry Emanuel has publicly reversed his stance on the impact of Global Warming on Hurricanes. Saying "The models are telling us something quite different from what nature seems to be telling us," Emanuel has released new research indicating that even in a rapidly warming world, hurricane frequency and intensity will not be substantially affected.

"The results surprised me," says Emanuel, one of the media's most quoted figures on the topic.

The view that global warming has limited impact on hurricane strength has been previously reported in numerous DailyTech articles.

Emanuel, professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, is the author of numerous books and research papers on climate change. For over twenty years, he has argued that global warming breeds more frequent and stronger storms.  In fact, his 1987 paper is often cited as the first appearance of the theory itself.

His 2005 research -- published just one month before Hurricane Katrina struck -- made world headlines, and was heralded as the "final proof" that Global Warming was already having severe impacts on daily lives.  Overnight, Emanuel became a media darling.  The following year, Time Magazine named him to their "100 People Who Shape Our World" list.

In 2006, Al Gore used an image of a smokestack spawning a hurricane to promote his movie, An Inconvenient Truth.

Emanuel's newest work, co-authored with two other researchers, simulates hurricane conditions nearly 200 years in the future. The research -- the first to mesh global climate models with small-scale high-resolution simulations of individual storms -- found that while storm strength rises slightly in some areas, it falls in others -- and the total number of worldwide storms actually declines slightly.

Emanuel's reversal is certain to reverberate through political circles as well; many politicians and candidates are using the hurricane threat to compel action on climate change.

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Somethings haven't changed
By Michael01x on 4/14/2008 8:45:15 AM , Rating: 2
What has not changed is global warming's influence on ocean temperatures. Taken together with warming's influence on other natural forces at play in the process of hurricane formation such as wind shear, warming may or may not lead to an overall increase in the frequency of hurricanes.

However, when conditions are favorable for hurricane formation, the increases in water temperatures which fuel hurricane development must necessarily lead to stronger storms that develop very rapidly.

The 2007 season was a prime example. In terms of number of storms, the season was relatively quiet. However, when storms did form, they were eye-openers. The season had two Category 5 hurricanes make landfall for the first time in known history, and within two weeks of each other, with Felix escalating from a tropical storm to a Category 5 in only 51 hours. And there was also Humberto which strengthened from a tropical storm to a hurricane in only 19 hours, one of the fastest intensifications ever recorded and very close to shore.

RE: Somethings haven't changed
By masher2 on 4/14/2008 9:33:31 AM , Rating: 3
> "In terms of number of storms, the season was relatively quiet. However, when storms did form, they were eye-openers"

In terms of ACE (accumulated cyclone energy, a metric which gauges not only the number of storms, but their total strength and duration), the 2007 season was very quiet-- a full 31% below average.

As for Humberto being "one of" the fastest intensifications, I believe it was actually *the* fastest on record. But the record only stretches back to the late 1970s, to the point we had full satellite coverage...and a period in which hurricane activity was in it's cyclic low period.

RE: Somethings haven't changed
By Andy35W on 4/17/2008 4:41:42 PM , Rating: 2
We need to forget hurricanes completely for the moment in regards to climate change, there is just not enough data to say and they are subject to too many other influences.

Trend in SST's on the otherhand are worth watching in relation to climate change.

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