There’s hardly time for the winds to die down and the flood waters to recede before the “climate change” mantra is repeated. CNN and MSNBC seemed particularly whetted to linking climate change to the storms. Anchors wondered when the hurricanes would prompt President Trump to take the threat more seriously.
The Charleston Gazette editorial page rarely misses an opportunity to link bad weather to global warming. “These evils (hurricanes and drought-fueled wildfires) fit precisely scientific warnings of what to expect from global warming.”
Well, not exactly. Climate alarmists are always saying they are relying on science, so what does the science say about these hurricanes?
A report released August 30 by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it’s too soon to make the connection between rising global temperatures and the storms.
“It is premature to conclude that human activities—and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming—have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global cyclone activity,” according to the researchers.
The report does say there is a possible linkage between Atlantic hurricane activity and Atlantic sea surface temperatures, but it’s inconclusive. They do warn that if the connection does exist there could be a significant increase in big storms. But NOAA adds that there is little statistical evidence to suggest that will actually happen.
NOAA researchers say that if greenhouse warming does cause an increase in Atlantic hurricane activity then we should have had an increase in the number and intensity of storms starting in the late 1800’s, but that hasn’t happened.
“We find that… there is a small nominally positive upward trend in tropical storm occurrence from 1878-2006. But statistical tests reveal that this trend is so small, relative to variable in the series, that it is not significantly distinguishable from zero,” according to the study.
The ongoing study of the impact of human activity on the climate is critical. It’s illogical to think that the activities of 7.5 billion people are not having an effect on the planet. However, it’s also important to de-politicize the debate and consider the science.
NOAA’s researchers asked this specific question: “Have humans already caused a detectable increase in Atlantic hurricane activity or global tropical cyclone activity?” The answer, for now at least, is that it is premature to conclude that.
That conclusion is not a denial of climate change; it’s just the opposite. It’s an acknowledgment of what the science does actually say about human activity and hurricanes.