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Running out of Hurricane Names 712

fm6 writes "LiveScience is reporting that the 21 names reserved for tropical storms and hurricanes in Atlantic Basic are almost used up. If there are more than 21 storms, they'll start using the Greek alphabet. The most storms ever recorded was 21 in 1933, before they started giving them official names. The connection between this record-breaking storm year and global warming remains controversial."
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Running out of Hurricane Names

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  • controversial? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by syrinx ( 106469 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:10PM (#13605713) Homepage
    Everything I've seen says that climate scientists say there's no connection at all. The only place I've seen any connection put forward as a fact are people who write letters to the editor in the NY Times and similar papers.

    The list of Pacific hurricanes uses X, Y, and Z (but not Q or U), whereas the Atlantic list doesn't use any of those five letters. Perhaps they should add X, Y, and Z names to the Atlantic list too now.
  • PING! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by minus_273 ( 174041 ) <aaaaa@SPAM.y[ ] ['aho' in gap]> on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:13PM (#13605745) Journal
    wow FR linked to the front page of slashdot! I never thought I'd see the day. As everyone knows, cooreation is a really bad basis to draw conclusions from.

      You will also notice that use of gopher space has gone down with the rise of hurricanes this year. I think it is time we all dropped the internet and went back to gopher space.
  • by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:14PM (#13605764)
    Interesting that a columnist for the "Free Republic" would be given the same weight as "Science" magazine.

    The Bushies have been in denial about global warming and have been spreading FUD at every chance. Most real scientists have accepted the fact of global warming. This "controversy" is just another example of denial and FUD.

    "Free Republic is the premier online gathering place for independent, grass-roots conservatism on the web. We're working to roll back decades of governmental largesse, to root out political fraud and corruption, and to champion causes which further conservatism in America. And we always have fun doing it. Hoo-yah!"

    These people aren't scientists, they are politicians.

  • Trolling? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TrappedByMyself ( 861094 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:14PM (#13605768)
    The connection between this record-breaking storm year and global warming remains controversial.

    So we may hit a total that we hit in 1933. How is this evidence of a change or part of the global warming debate? Shouldn't we be seeing totals consistently higher than the past? Or is someone just trying to stir up a liberal/conservative debate?
  • by ctwxman ( 589366 ) <> on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:15PM (#13605786) Homepage
    When you think back to 1933, please remember - no satellites or radar and much more rudimentary communications. It is the prevailing wisdom that 21 understates the actual number, since there were probably some storms at sea (which ships try to avoid) which aren't accounted for.

    As to the Global Warming/hurricane connection, here are the words of hurricane guru Dr. William Gray:

    Many individuals have queried whether the unprecedented landfall of four destructive hurricanes in a seven-week period during August-September 2004 and the landfall of two more major hurricanes in the early part of the 2005 season is related in any way to human-induced climate changes. There is no evidence that this is the case. If global warming were the cause of the increase in United States hurricane landfalls in 2004 and 2005 and the overall increase in Atlantic basin major hurricane activity of the past eleven years (1995-2005), one would expect to see an increase in tropical cyclone activity in the other storm basins as well (ie., West Pacific, East Pacific, Indian Ocean, etc.). This has not occurred. When tropical cyclones worldwide are summed, there has actually been a slight decrease since 1995. In addition, it has been well-documented that the measured global warming during the 25-year period of 1970-1994 was accompanied by a downturn in Atlantic basin major hurricane activity over what was experienced during the 1930s through the 1960s.
    BTW - I am a meteorologist... or meaty urologist, I never quite remember.
  • by ERJ ( 600451 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:20PM (#13605848)
    Actually, everything I have read indicates that we Global Warming don't know how global warming will effect the number of hurricanes. ( []

    However, due to how hurricanes gain strength (by pulling heat from the water) global warming could be linked in an increase in strength.
  • Impressive! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:21PM (#13605863)
    Look at the current satellite for North America. There are 5 huricanes at the same time! Map. []
  • Re:Bad PR (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PaxTech ( 103481 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:22PM (#13605883) Homepage
    with any luck it'll hit the rich and loosen up some of those tax cut dollars into the economy.

    Yeah, totally, because all those rich bastards just take their tax cut loot and throw it on the money pile they keep under their mattress, right?

    You should really refrain from comments about what would be good for the economy until you have two brain cells to rub together.
  • Re:What? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by oliana ( 181649 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:23PM (#13605888) Homepage
    here, use this:

    Naming Chart Coolness []
  • by djward ( 251728 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:24PM (#13605904)
    We have records of atmospheric gas content going back many hundreds of thousands of years, from ice cores. We are rapidly approaching that point where the atmospheric CO2 levels are 100% HIGHER than the prior maximums over this time period.

    Levels of methane, another potent greenhouse gas, are approaching 1000% higher than any previous peak on record.

    BOTH of these curves begin a sharp exponential climb right around 1700 AD - the industrial revolution.

    It is a fact that these gases contribute to a greenhouse effect, and it is also a fact that humans have contributed to the greenhouse gas content of the atmosphere.
  • by qwijibo ( 101731 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:24PM (#13605908)
    It makes us feel special to believe we caused it. Sure, the planet has been around for a long time. And true, we didn't keep track of most of this stuff until recently. But are those really reasons why we shouldn't take credit for what's happening? Nature won't respect our authority if we don't show it who's boss.

    It also has a lot to do with the large number of people who strongly believe that correlation == causation. I suspect this belief is held by the majority.

    Though, I think this is just an excuse to argue with people. After all, if global warming was a natural climate change, there would be no one to point the finger at. Environmental groups are all about whining about perceived problems. Imagine what would happen to our society if those people actually had to DO something for a living instead of mooching off other people's fears and making up sensationalist stories.
  • by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:24PM (#13605909) Homepage Journal
    From your question, it appears that you have never studied science, but letting that go, I always have to wonder about what it is with people that seem so resistant to the idea of global warming. After all, what is it that you are objecting to? Not being able to drive your 9MPG SUV without having to pay more?

    Lemme ask you this: How much of your future and your children's future are you willing to gamble on all us scientists being wrong?

  • by KrackHouse ( 628313 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:25PM (#13605923) Homepage
    What's with the outbreak of rational, non left-wing thought on Slashdot? Is everybody trying to be ironic?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:35PM (#13606037)
    The record number of hurricanes in 1933 proves the threat of global warming much in the way it proves it today.
    Don't forget, we have had the threat of Nuclear Winter between then and now.
    That is why average temperatures are about the same.
  • by smoondog ( 85133 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:40PM (#13606095)
    Hmm, what if Hurricane alpha is a major hurricane and then alpha is retired, is this just a finite set of extra names?

    -Sean (OutdoorDB [] - The Outdoor Wiki)
  • by MirrororriM ( 801308 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:42PM (#13606106) Homepage Journal
    The most storms ever recorded was 21 in 1933, before they started giving them official names. The connection between this record-breaking storm year and global warming remains controversial.

    What gets me is all of these "record breaking lows/highs" and along with it comes "it hasn't been this hot/cold/stormy/etc since (insert 30 to 70 year old year here)". Well what was the excuse back then? Seasons and temperatures fluctuate all the time. Records aren't broken every day, nor every year...they just get randomly broken.

    So please explain to me why exactly, when referring to 1933, there were 21 storms back then - was it global warming? No.

    Before you mod this flamebait or troll, I'm just trying to make a logical point. I'm not a believer or non-believer of global warming, I just get sick of the years-ago referrals as if it were significant without someone thinking it out logically.

  • Retired Names (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nairnr ( 314138 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:46PM (#13606142)
    I think one of the interesting things, was the retiring of names after a significant damage causing storm.. Katrina will never be used again, as will Andrew. That is why no names start with Q, U, X, Y and Z. Not enough names to use.
  • Re:controversial? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <> on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:49PM (#13606164) Journal
    From what I understand hurricanes are caused when you have warm water and cooler air. Generally this is caused by quick temperature drops in the air. This is why most hurricanes happen in september, when air is starting to cool It seems to me, and I could be wrong, but global warming would cause warmer air, and possibly cooler water as less of the suns rays would hit the water.
  • by ericdano ( 113424 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:54PM (#13606214) Homepage
    Seriously. We like to think we know everything. How can we say there is global warming when we have maybe 100 years on the subject. Same thing for Hurricanes. It's amazing. We've become experts until we fall flat on our faces again (like in Katrina).
  • by Minux ( 99627 ) <Netlykos AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @04:18PM (#13607958)
    It is true there will always be hurricanes and natural disasters, the question however is how you can reduce the impact of these events. Earthqaukes in California resulted in the strenghting of building codes, as did the the recent land slides. These actions will not have any immediate effects, but will help when the next quake happens.

    By your standards we should abandon all long term ideas and only focus on the short term; and where if anywhere has that got us?

    You yourself agree that global warming is real. So why not start taking action that will help the long term side by side with short term options. Yes disasters will happen and nothing you ever will do will stop those. But you cannot loose sight of what might hapen in the future.

    so your first line "it's completely irrelevant" is truely irrelavent.

    Just my two cents.
  • by Phat_Tony ( 661117 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @05:54PM (#13608911)
    It's interesting that from my comment you can tell so much about my scientific underpinnings. I'd have hoped someone might be more scientific about verifying their understanding before attacking someone else's credibility. For example, from only reading your post, I would suspect that you have a faulty grasp of the english language, logic, and science. But with so little information to go on, I'd hesitate to accuse you of this. Perhaps you were just sleepy, or in hurry when you composed your post, or trying to support a political agenda, rather than incompetent.

    I wasn't publishing a peer-reviewed scientific paper, I was posting a comment on Slashdot. I wasn't trying to use the scientific definition of "proof," the mathematical definiton of "proof," or the legal definition of "proof," I was just speaking plainly. I'm sure to your reasoning, the theory of gravity, the theory of evolution, the germ theory of disease, and the heliocentric theory of the solar system are only conjectures, which are not, and can never be, proven. But to all of us who are having a friendly discussion about what all this stuff means, these things have been "proven" by a commonly accepted colloquial use of the word "prove []." Any conjecture that passes peer review, stands the test of time, makes it into the textbooks, and becomes a scientific theorem might be considered to have been "shown to be correct," or "generally accepted," or "undoubtedly accurate," or any other synonym or euphemism you might choose for the word "proven." I'm sure, from your message, that if I'd said "Andrew Wiles proved Fermat's Last Theorem" or "Louis de Branges proved the Bieberbach Conjecture," you'd attack me for "having a faulty grasp of mathematics," because they "only provided a logical proof within an assumed framework."

    I'm fascinated by the way you twist your semantic quibbling into a "disproof," if you will, of every actual point I made in my post. It is as if I were to point out that your statement "their coherence with the rest of the accepted body of science" is redundant, because that's part of what constitutes "the weight of evidence supporting them", and then concluded that everything you'd written were false because I caught something that could be improved upon in the way you state your case.

    In this case, there would be no reason to fall back on illogical, unscientific arguments for why you're wrong in saying "Currently the theory that nastier hurricanes are caused by global warming has more evidenciary support and is more coherent than competing theories, thus it is the currently accepted explanation," since I can rely on reason and scientific literature to back me up. With your keen grasp of science, I'm interested that you didn't feel the need to, for example, offer any sort of references, arguments, or data supporting any assertion you made in your post. So here's some. First, start with every argument I made in my post, and see if you can actually offer any counter argument to any of them. Then try to actually RTFA linked to the Slashdot story, and notice that this "trend" only exists for the narrow subset of data the researchers choose, and as soon as you throw in the data from 1925, the trend is reversed.

    Unfortunately it isn't available online, (well, you can see some of it at Amazon. []), but chapter 5 of Bjorn Lomburg's The Skeptical Environmentalist provides an overwhelming accumulation of peer-reviewed data culled from Science, Scientific American, and the UN Meteorological Organization showing that there is no positive correlation between global temperature and hurricane frequency or severity. In fact, the best available data shows a week negative correlation, although any long-term trend is nearly lost in

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:2, Interesting)

    by niktemadur ( 793971 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @08:01PM (#13609866)
    Oh great. Those sound like Porn star hurricane names.

    Want to know what your very own porn star name is?
    It's an easy formula:

    Your second name + Name of street you grew up in = Your porn star name

    If it doesn't quite fit, use the name of another street that's part of your life, like the one where your school is or was, the one where you work, you get the idea.

    For example, my porn star name would be "Alex Roman".
  • Retiring names (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bgramkow ( 664943 ) on Thursday September 22, 2005 @10:01AM (#13621081)
    For hurricanes (such as Katrina) that cause an exceptional amount of damage they retire the name. So if the 22nd hurricane of the year is a monster will they retire "Alpha" as a hurricane name?

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson