August 30, 2005

VARIOUS PEOPLE ARE CLAIMING THAT GLOBAL WARMING CAUSED KATRINA: EU Rota looks at the historical record and finds this argument wanting.

Here’s more from The New York Times:

Because hurricanes form over warm ocean water, it is easy to assume that the recent rise in their number and ferocity is because of global warming.

But that is not the case, scientists say. Instead, the severity of hurricane seasons changes with cycles of temperatures of several decades in the Atlantic Ocean. The recent onslaught “is very much natural,” said William M. Gray, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University who issues forecasts for the hurricane season.

From 1970 to 1994, the Atlantic was relatively quiet, with no more than three major hurricanes in any year and none at all in three of those years. Cooler water in the North Atlantic strengthened wind shear, which tends to tear storms apart before they turn into hurricanes.

In 1995, hurricane patterns reverted to the active mode of the 1950′s and 60′s.

It’s sad to see such lame political opportunism at a time like this.

UPDATE: Another response to lame, opportunistic, politically motivated claims.