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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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RE: Causes
By Spherical on 4/15/2008 6:30:00 AM , Rating: 2
RE:"At the top of the atmosphere, the balancing up flux is IR only, and the atmosphere there must be warm enough to emit it."

But temperatures in the upper atmosphere have not changed significantly and the stratosphere has a convection cycle, just as the troposphere has. The refrigerant gasses are still behaving very much as refrigerants, not insulators.

RE:"So with a constrained top temp, and a higher gradient, the bottom of the atmosphere must get warmer."

As a gas rises in the atmosphere, its pressure falls. As the pressure falls, the gas cools, so it must be emitting infrared radiation. Most of that radiation is going out into space from the top of the atmosphere. I haven't see anything to suggest that the heat is being "trapped" anywhere. If heat were easy to "trap" we would have far more efficient engines, generators, et cetera.

I think that there are several things at work here. First, our means of measuring temperatures is badly skewed because so many of our weather stations are badly placed or have been encircled by urban development. Second, we dump billions of calories of waste heat into the lower atmosphere day in and day out. Three, we obviously have not been doing a very good job of measuring solar flux.

I do not see how carbon dioxide can be the culprit. It is a refrigerant, not an insulator.

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