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Another milder-than-normal season takes shape

During the active 2005 hurricane season, the usual doom-and-gloom prophets blamed the storms on global warming. "Nature's wrath," we were told, "hath been unleashed". Aided by a complaisant media, we were told this was our wakeup call, come to punish us for our SUV-driving ways.

Then disaster struck.  The 2006 season not only didn't live up to predictions, it wound up being one of the quietest seasons of the past century. No matter. We were told to ignore this year-long blip, told that 2007 would come roaring back with a vengeance.

And yet, here we are, two full months into the season, and not a single hurricane has formed. Not one. Just two mild tropical storms, one of which didn't even strike land, and a third storm which never went above subtropical status. Hurricane forecasters are busily downgrading their predictions for the rest of the season.

And so it goes. The sky isn't falling yet. But what about the future? Will global warming wreck all our beach-going vacations?

There are two schools of thought regarding the effects of climate change on hurricane science. The first begins with the fact that hurricanes require warm water to form. Global warming means warmer water, leading to the naive conclusion is that more hurricanes will form. The second school realizes that hurricanes are heat engines -- driven not by raw temperature, but by temperature differentials between regions. Global warming warms the arctic and temperate belts, but not the tropics. This reduces the total energy available for major storm formation. It also increases upper-level wind shear, which tends to tear apart storms before they grow too strong. This school believes the long term effects of global warming will be fewer, milder storms.

Climate change aside, hurricanes come and go in cycles. Professor William Gray, one of the nation's most respected hurricane forecasters, believes storm activity will remain high for the next several years, due simply to a long-term cycle of changing Atlantic currents. A team of researchers led by Dr. Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center goes further. In a paper published last year, they claim storm rates have not risen over the past 100 years, but only that improved monitoring technology results in registering storms which would have previously been missed. And professors Vecchi and Soden's research on wind shear suggests no long-term storm activity increase should be expected.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not selling my ocean-front condo just yet.


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RE: Here's the reference...
By Rovemelt on 7/31/2007 6:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
Svensmark changed his 1997 model after it was found that he used an incomplete cloud cover model:

Here is a link to a primary ref PDF that explains it:
http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/...
It's a big pdf, so it takes time to download. So much for the lack of controversy over Svensmark's findings.

And your analysis of warming trends and cloud cover needs adjustment:

Check out page 188+ of this book "Solar Activity and Earth's Climate" By Rasmus E. Benestad (physicist studying climate change): http://books.google.com/books?id=BdkCqOb6ivIC&pg=P...

That chapter highlights Svensmark research and shows how many holes it has, with references. It also presents the daytime/nighttime temperature problem that Svensmark research can't account for.


RE: Here's the reference...
By masher2 (blog) on 8/1/2007 10:49:14 AM , Rating: 1
> "Here is a link to a primary ref PDF that explains it:"

Laut was found to have been massaging the data rather vigorously to prove his point, as well as using some erronenous data source. Svensmark's rebuttal explains it fairly well:

quote:
[Laut] presents a figure 1c, which he claims is "a corrected and updated version for Fig 1a", where the correction consists in removing what [Laut] claims are "the irrelevant DMSP data". Laut also removes - without any comments or arguments = the Nimbus-7 data from 79-85....the careful reader [will] note he does not use the same DMSP data in his figures 1a and 1b...this is because the data in fig. 1a are restricted to Southern hemisphere over oceans, whereas fig 1b [is] restricted to midlatitude oceans.

It is remarkable that Laut references Kernthaler (1999)..as part of his argumentation against the above work...Kernthaler used the flawed ISCPP-C2 cloud type data, which makes their conclusions obsolete...
In any case, the entire argument is out of data, as Svensmark's current work is much more sophisticated, shows an even greater correlation, and is backed by hard experimental data from the SKY cloud formation experiments. You don't NEED a mathematical model to prove cosmic rays affect cloud formation when you've shown it actually occurs in the lab. It's a real, proven effect, not a hypothetical model.


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