Makes sense to me. Besides, an overall temperature increase of 0.5 degrees Celcius, when previous deviations from the average have gone as high or low as nearly 2 degrees, isn't really that incredible. It helps when you put it all in perspective. Global Warming theory predicts average temperature to rise steadily, contoured to the rise in greenhouse gas output. Although the greenhouse gases produced by humans have skyrocketed, there is no significant matching increase in how hot it is. End of scenario. What do you guys think? In Him, D3
"We've now come up to run above the long-term mean. And when you add several years of below and several years of above, you know what you get? Average!"
Mounting Hurricanes caused by Global Warming?
An August 29th TIME article asked this question: Is Global Warming Fueling Katrina?. Jeffrey Kluger, the author, starts out rather open to the Global Warming Bandwagon. However, he wavers back and forth between the two sides before settling somewhere in the middle. I have to say that, as usual, I have a very definite opinion on the issue (isn't that what the blogosphere is all about?). Kluger pointed out that hurricanes have been happening for a long, long time; long before "human beings began chopping down rainforests and fouling the atmosphere." I don't know why he includes the rainforest comment; radical environmentalists oppose rainforest demolition because it causes extinction. The rainforests have little or nothing to do with global warming. Admittedly, however, he does list a basic "recipe for disaster". 80 degree+ ocean temperatures, a cool upper air layer and a warm lower layer, plenty of humidity. Stir well, preferably with a preexisting weather disturbance, and watch the music! As the storm spins away from the equator, the "coriolis" effect of the earth's rotation magnifies the spin (southern hemisphere hurricanes spin opposite from northern ones), heating up the action and producing a major storm like Katrina. The article goes on to list some disturbing facts about the increase in hurricanes. From '95 to '99, 33 of these devastating storm sliced through the Atlantic seaboard, smashing all previous records. And the average intensity of the storms is rising as well. A study from MIT shows that hurrican wind speeds have increased nearly 50% in the past half-century. The leader of this study, MIT hurricane specialist Kerry Emanuel, points out that "There seems to be a clear correlation" between "increasing strength and length of storms and a temperature increase of 0.5 degrees Celcius on the surface of the sea during the same period." But even the experts disagree. William Gray, hurricane forecaster at Colorado State, says that the study's findings are inconsequential. "It's a terrible paper, one of the worst I've ever looked at." He does not believe that the worldwide level of cyclone insensity is increasing, and questions Emanuel's position that "global warming" is causing the surface of the ocean to warm. Gray said that the ocean-temperature increase is natural. On this point I would have to agree. Phenomenon like the cyclical El Nino fluctuation and a myriad of others make attempted connections between the burning of fossil fuels and increase in hurricanes rather absurd. According to Patrick Michaels from the Cato Institute on the Brit Hume Show, when looking at the data for the Atlantic basin over the last 50 years, "only 10 percent of the variation in hurricane strength and frequency from year to year is related to sea-surface temperature." He went on to point out that although Atlantic hurricane frequency has increased since the late 1990s, it was quite low for several decades, ending around '95. This means that we were below the long-term mean for several decades.