M.I.T. Scientists: Warming Will Actually Reduce Number of Hurricanes

     After Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, global warming alarmists claimed greenhouse gas emissions had led to a season that had 22 named tropical storms. Recent reports raise strong doubts about those claims.

     “Former Hurricane Center head Max Mayfield is among experts who believe we're in a cyclical pattern of more violent tropical storms, while others say global warming may be the culprit,” ABC’s Sam Champion said on the Sept. 4, 2007 “Good Morning America.” “Earlier this year, a UN backed panel of scientists linked more powerful and frequent hurricanes to global warming and projected even more intense hurricanes in the future.

     But according to two recently published reports – hurricane activity may actually decrease due to the effects of global warming. That is a conclusion from a study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Kerry Emanuel, published in the March 2008 issue of the “Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.”

     “A new technique for deriving hurricane climatologies from global data, applied to climate models, indicates that global warming should reduce the global frequency of hurricanes, though their intensity may increase in some locations,” the study by Emanuel, Ragoth Sundararajan and John Williams said.

     Emanuel pointed out to the Business & Media Institute that he isn’t denying a relationship exists between global warming and hurricanes.

     “I am certainly not saying that there is no link between hurricanes and global warming,” Emanuel said. “There indeed appears to be a close relationship between ocean temperature and hurricane power. My most recent study shows that this relationship is not much in evidence in climate models, pointing to a possible problem with climate models”

     Another study by meteorologist Tom Knutson makes a similar conclusion. According to a study authored by Knutson, Joseph Sirutis, Stephen Garner, Gabriel Vecchi and Isaac Held, published in the May 18 issue of Nature Geoscience, climate models show the amount of Atlantic tropical activity will decrease by 18 percent by the end of the century.

     “Here we assess, in our model system, the changes in large-scale climate that are projected to occur by the end of the twenty-first century by an ensemble of global climate models, and find that Atlantic hurricane and tropical storm frequencies are reduced,” the study’s abstract said.

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