Posted by Curt on 30 July, 2007 at 8:00 am. 46 comments already!

The USA Today never disappoints.  Now they are back on the Global Warming bandwagon with this silly article in which they now charge that global warming causes more hurricanes:

The researchers found that average hurricane numbers jumped sharply during the 20th century, from 3.5 per year in the first 30 years to 8.4 in the earliest years of the 21st century. Over that time, Atlantic Ocean surface temperatures increased .65 degrees, which experts call a significant increase.

This study also shows that years with more hurricanes didn’t coincide with changes in the way storms are measured, says hurricane researcher Kerry Emanuel of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was not part of the study. "This makes it very unlikely that these upward jumps are owing to changing measurements and suggests that they are real."

Of course buried in the rear of the article is a little reality:

The new study drew criticism from experts who dispute the merits of combining data from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when hurricane-tracking satellites didn’t exist, with statistics gleaned from more modern technology.

"Looking for trends in noisy count data is fraught with problems," says researcher James Elsner of Florida State University in Tallahassee. "I agree with the message, but cannot recommend the science."

"They’re saying there’s a long, upward trend of the last 100 years in tropical storms. All the data I have looked at show that’s not the case," says scientist William Gray, head of the Tropical Meteorological Project at Colorado State University.

Gray, a critic of the view that human-induced greenhouse gases drive climate and hurricanes, says 19th-century data "is just not that good."

Paul at Wizbang looks at this graph and says the same thing.  We’ve only had weather satellites for a short while, we’ve only had weather airplanes for a short while.  To use 19th century reports of hurricanes in a study is just disingenuous.  But this is the global warming religion we’re talking about here.  Most everything that comes out of their mouth is disingenuous.

From the Wiki entry that went along with the graph Paul cited:

For more than half the record, it is likely that hurricanes were undercounted due to the failure of any trained observer to encounter the storm. Similarly, the intensity may be understated if no observer encountered the eye wall. The fact that hurricanes often obtain their strongest state in the open ocean only increases the possiblity that past storms were miscategorized, though hurricane reanalysis projects do attempt to estimate likely storm intensities. Symptomatic of this, only 5 of the 36 Category Five storms observed in the North Atlantic were reported prior to the use of aircraft in studying hurricanes. In contrast, the techniques used to study storms in the past (e.g. inferring wind intensity from pressure and/or size of waves) may also have overestimated some storm intensities (Emanuel 2000). For many purposes, only the record known since the availability of satellite imagery in the 1960s is considered sufficiently reliable for analysis. It should also be noted that only in the North Atlantic does any attempt at systematic records exist for periods earlier than the 1940s.

Of course this doesn’t stop the USA Today folks from fawning over the Goreacles science.

Garbage in….garbage out.

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