Friday, September 05, 2008

Reference: Caribbean battered by storms, Bangkok Post, September 5, 2008

The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was unusually intense and it included Hurricane Katrina's tragic effects on an aging system of levees and the consequent flooding of New Orleans. During the media hype that followed, global warming scientists announced that these events had been caused by greenhouse gases from fossil fuels and that Katrina was the Americans' just reward for driving SUVs and emitting carbon dioxide. The IPCC claimed that it had the scientific evidence to prove this causal linkage and even to forecast with a great deal of certainty that there was more to come in the 2006 hurricane season. This prediction did not come true. The 2006 hurricane season turned out to be milder than normal. The IPCC was quiet on this issue except to blame the dissipation of El Nino for the mild hurricane season in 2006. In other words, strong hurricane seasons are caused by man and not El Nino but weak hurricane seasons are the result of El Nino not human activity.

There was no further word from these scientists on the linkage between carbon dioxide emissions and hurricanes until April of 2007 when they issued a new warning that 2007 will be the hottest year on record and will bring a killer hurricane season, even worse than the 2005 season (Busy storm season likely, Bangkok Post, April 5, 2007). The 2007 hurricane season has come and gone and once again the IPCC,, armed with scientific evidence and a computer model of the effect of greenhouse gases on the world’s climate, appear to have missed the mark.

The IPCC’s dream hurricane season has finally arrived in 2008. Strong hurricanes Gustav and Hanna are expected to be followed by Ike and a dozen others before the season is through (Caribbean battered by storms, Bangkok Post, September 5, 2008). This hurricane season is what the IPCC had prayed for in 2006 when temperatures were rising so that they could blame it on greenhouse gas emissions; but alas, it has come in 2008 when the world is actually cooling and not warming making it impossible for the IPCC to blame these hurricanes on greenhouse gases. The IPCC has referred to the cooling trend as an anomaly caused by El Nina. Apparently warming is caused by man and not by nature and cooling is caused by nature and not by man.

The IPCC is in an awkward position. It is not likely that we will hear more from them about hurricanes very soon. There will be no further analysis of the relationship between hurricanes and greenhouse gas emissions until the right kind of data comes along. The IPCC is not in the business of providing analyses for all climate data. They are in the business of providing analyses of only those data that support their hypothesis.

Cha-am Jamal

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