IT’S SCIENCE, STUPID
Science tells us this is not a new normal.
Science tells us climate change has not had a discernible impact on global hurricane activity. A warmer climate, of course, is changing hurricanes. But, scientists consistently tell us, that change is so small it cannot be measured at the present and likely won’t be measurable until the middle of this century.
But what about Sandy?
Earlier this week Andy Revkin compiled some opinions of actual hurricane and extreme weather scientists on Sandy. Kevin Trenberth, who in interviews with me has spoken nearly as ardently about the perils of climate change as has James Hansen, said of the idea that a warmer Arctic contributed to Sandy’s intensification (see Francis et. al.), “With respect to the Arctic connection, I don’t believe it.” And later, he said:
It is true that hurricanes normally recurve and head east, especially at this time of year. So we do have a negative NAO and some blocking anticyclone in place, but the null hypothesis has to be that this is just “weather” and natural variability.
Of course Sandy’s effects were exacerbated by rising sea levels. According to NOAA data, the sea level in Manhattan has risen by about half a foot during the last century. Some, but not all, of that rise is attributable to human greenhouse gases. So the surge was a few inches worse because of climate change.
But that’s as far as the science goes. And my purpose here is to follow the science, not an agenda to change U.S. carbon emissions policy nor deny science or climate change.
There’s lots more in this lengthy article, all worth your reading. Too bad the Soda Pop Kid won’t do so.