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Earth Science

Atlantic Hurricane Season 30 Percent Stronger Than Normal 448

MatthewVD writes "The National Hurricane Center reported today that the combined energy and duration of all the storms in the Atlantic basin hurricane season was 30 percent above the average from 1981 to 2010. At Weather Underground, Dr. Jeff Masters blogs that record low levels of arctic ice could have caused a 'blocking ridge' over Greenland that pushed Hurricane Sandy west. Meanwhile, Bloomberg BusinessWeek says, 'it's global warming, stupid.'"
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Atlantic Hurricane Season 30 Percent Stronger Than Normal

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  • by bricko ( 1052210 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @12:23PM (#41854121)
    Seems they limited their dates so they could leave out all those in the 50's. Here are their paths. http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/021813.html [smalldeadanimals.com]
  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @12:27PM (#41854177) Homepage Journal
    They limited their dates to 1981 onwards. You'd have had a point if they'd gone back to 1961, but they didn't even get close to this alleged period they supposedly removed from the stats.
  • by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @12:35PM (#41854283) Journal

    Yeah, back in the 1970's the Citigroup Center in New York needed an emergency retrofit due to a design flaw in bolts used to hold the building together. Basically, wind-shear from.. wait for it... a hurricane could topple the building. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citigroup_Center)

    So in the 1970's it was common knowledge that New York could and would be hit by hurricanes and it was considered a real enough threat that the engineers went on an emergency retrofitting job to fix the problem once it was discovered. In 2012 a CAT 1 Hurricane actually hits New York, which was 100% expected, and frankly weaker than predicted hurricanes that could hit New York. Of course these inconvenient facts won't deter the alarmist conclusion: GLOBAL WARMING!!!

  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @12:38PM (#41854331)
    From Dr. Jeff Masters blog at wunderground.com: [wunderground.com]
    April 5, 2012 - "Expect one of the quietest Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995 this year, say the hurricane forecasting team of Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University (CSU) in their latest seasonal forecast issued April 4. They call for an Atlantic hurricane season with below-average activity"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2012 @12:41PM (#41854377)

    What if?

    It doesn't matter if there is a natural cycle. With global warming, it will potentially be stronger. And without the effect of arctic sea ice, those hurricanes might just continue to hit coastline instead of going out to sea to die.

  • Re:Sure it is (Score:5, Informative)

    by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @12:52PM (#41854501)

    I have. There was a wolf in it, it ate the little boy.

    Crying wolf a bit too early doesn't mean there's no wolf out there.

    Right. So if you want to convince people of that fact, stop making claims you either a) can't back up, or b) simply aren't true (i.e. don't try to claim that weather=climate if and only if it supports your position, which both sides do all the time). Is the Earth getting warmer? Yes. Is human activity aiding that process? Yes. Is Sandy the result of human activity? We have no idea. Statistics doesn't work like that, you can't predict individual events. And global warming (all weather and climate, for that matter) is purely statistics. So stop attributing individual events to global warming (or "climate change", which I believe is the current trendy term for it).

  • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @12:56PM (#41854549)
    Unfortunately, sea level has risen 15 cm since 1950 [wikipedia.org]. The flooding from the storm surge is what causes most of the damage, not the wind. Attributing a single storm to global warming may be uncertain, but there is no uncertainty about the increased damage from the higher storm surge due to global warming.
  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @01:00PM (#41854595) Journal

    I'm sure you've heard the phrase "climate vs weather" before and that the difference is one long term and one is short.

    What probably *hasn't* been pointed out to you is that climate science uses 30-year averages as their basis for "long term" and to differentiate weather vs climate.

    Thus "climate" is the average over a 30-year period to get a data point whereas "weather" is 1-year measurements to get data points.

    1981-2010 is the latest complete 30-year set. 1951-1980 would be the prior 30-year set, thus is not relevant to what they are reporting on.

    Hurricane Sandy will be incorporated into the current 30-year set, which will complete in 2040.

    That being said, they also use 30-year rolling averages but that isn't what is being reported here.

  • Re:Sure it is (Score:5, Informative)

    by ideonexus ( 1257332 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @01:09PM (#41854741) Homepage Journal

    No. I haven't read that one and neither of you since Peter and the Wolf [wikipedia.org] is a 1936 classical composition by Sergei Prokofiev, where the boy beats the wolf at the end and rescues his animal friends.

    I believe what you meant to refer to is the Aesop fable of the Boy Who Cried Wolf [wikipedia.org].

    Thanks for playing though.

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@nOSpam.worf.net> on Friday November 02, 2012 @01:30PM (#41854993)

    If the hurricanes are more powerful, that means they are using more energy, right? And my less than great understanding is that less energy equates to cooler temperatures (for a system), so does this mean the hurricanes are helping to cool the earth by converting excess heat into... well... something that's not heat( e.g. motion or water, wind, etc.)?

    A hurricane (or tropical cyclone) is a heat engine. It takes the heat from the body of water (ocean) and dumps it into a cooler body (atmosphere) while doing work (moving lots of air).

    I believe the oceans cool about 3 degrees C/K from this process, so it seems like it's a way for the oceans to cool themselves down - the warmer they get, they just spin off more hurricanes.

    Of course, all that useful work energy ends up as heat per the laws of thermodynamics.

  • Re:30% stronger... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @02:04PM (#41855515)
    You're comparing the entire 2011 hurricane season to a single month in 2012. If you keep trying to mislead people, then at this rate pretty soon you'll be trying to compare the weather during a single day to every hurricane in the previous century.

    For the record, according to wikipedia:
    2011: 20 depressions, 19 storms, 7 hurricanes, 4 major hurricanes
    2012 (so far): 19 depressions, 19 storms, 10 hurricanes, 1 major hurricane

    So so far there have been more hurricanes this year than last, though not quite as strong (at least not on the top end.) Of course we still have a month or so to go before we can really tally up the statistics.
  • by rs79 ( 71822 ) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Friday November 02, 2012 @02:55PM (#41856383) Homepage

    No, it's the alarmists who haven't read all the literature and cling to an unproven hypothesis that no government has accepted yet, that NASA proved faulty and even their own spiritual leader has backpedaled on.

    NASA/NOAA to IPCC: your models are broken, you ignored the facts plants eat CO2 (2010)
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/08/new_model_doubled_co2_sub_2_degrees_warming/ [theregister.co.uk]

    NASA: 150 year Greenland melt cycle right on time (2012)
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/greenland-melt.html [nasa.gov]

    James "Gaia theory" Lovelock gives up (2012): "The problem is we don't know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books — mine included — because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn't happened," Lovelock said. "The climate is doing its usual tricks. There's nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now," he said. "The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising — carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that," he added.' Lovelock still believes the climate is changing, but at a much, much slower pace."
    http://rs79.vrx.net/opinions/ideas/climate/no_consensus/its_over/ [vrx.net]

    A more moderate approach is articulated: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/ff_apocalypsenot/all [wired.com]

    Global warming is so 1985. It's not like we haven't known about it since the 1940s, nobody could figure out a way to make money of it until now, so they're exploiting it for all it's worth now. And you're helping. *slow clap*

    http://rs79.vrx.net/opinions/ideas/climate/.images/med_greenhouse_effect.jpg [vrx.net] (Popular mechanics, August 1953, P 119)

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