When one of the world’s leading hurricane experts reverses his long-held position based on detailed analysis, it’s worth pointing out. I’m talking about M.I.T.’s Kerry Emanuel, author of perhaps the best book ever written on hurricanes–Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes. He said in May:
And so the rise of hurricane into the 1950s, its subsequent fall around 1990 or so, and then its more recent rise we now believe is mostly owing to changes in the radiation reaching the earth that have been caused by solar variability, volcanic activity, sulfate aerosol pollution and greenhouse warming….
So I no longer believe that there is any evidence for natural cycles of Atlantic hurricanes, even though a year ago I did.
And since greenhouse warming will just keep rising unless we take action soon, global warming will soon overwhelm completely all the other factors. Emanuel told Plenty magazine in February (subs. req’d), “I don’t see any reason why the power of hurricanes wouldn’t continue to increase over the next 100 to 200 years.” In June, Emanuel published the underlying analysis in Eos (subs. req’d), showing precisely why the dominant force driving ocean sea surface temperatures is human-caused global warming, not “natural cycles.”
The May quote was part of a terrific teleconference put on by Clear the Air, which also included a number of other leading experts. I recommend the transcript and audiotape of the event to anyone wishing to become more knowledgeable on this important subject.