Bold Science Says Fewer North Atlantic Hurricances in 2100

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Der Spiegel reports on a paper in Nature written by Hans von Storch and Matthias Zahn claiming that elevated greenhouse gas concentration will lead to fewer North Atlantic storms by the year 2100. Der Spiegel writes:

Instead of 50 to 60, there will only be about half as many Arctic hurricanes, the scientists say.

After every big winter storm, e.g. like Kyrill, we get here in northern Germany, we always hear the media crow about how it is due to global warming. Now the opposite is claimed. We’re a long way from settled science, aren’t we?

The mechanism leading to the Nature paper’s claim is described in the abstract as follows:

This change can be related to changes in the North Atlantic sea surface temperature and mid-troposphere temperature; the latter is found to rise faster than the former so that the resulting stability is increased, hindering the formation or intensification of polar lows.

I can certainly buy that. But then the authors apply bold science.

In the Nature abstract it is written:

Now, in projections for the end of the twenty-first century, we found a significantly lower number of polar lows and a northward shift of their mean genesis region in response to elevated atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration.

The elevated greenhouse gas/lower number of polar effect is quite a hypothesis. The authors are assuming that more CO2 will lead to higher atmospheric temps and thus fewer storms. That’s awfully bold science.

But wait, it gets even bolder, Der Spiegel writes about the scientists:

Using computer models, that also used the climate prognoses of the United Nations, the scientists have played out the development of the northern seas up to the year 2100.

Making a projection for the year 2100 with that methodology? Now that’s really bold. I’m doing all I can to rein in the sarcasm here. The authors then add:

Our results provide a rare example of a climate change effect in which a type of extreme weather is likely to decrease, rather than increase.

I haven’t read the full Nature paper, as it is behind a pay-wall. I just wonder where the authors come up with: “a rare example”. This is probably a case of: whose bread one eats, whose words one speaks, which one has to submit to when dealing with Nature and government funding.

There are actually many examples that warm climates are more beneficial than not. After all, who the hell wants to go back to a little ice age, let alone a big one?

Why not just leave the crap out? I’d have no problem with a paper presenting a couple of if-then hypotheses, like:

1) If temperatures rise, our dynamic models show that there will be fewer storms.
2) If the temperature drops, then there will be more storms.

Leave the global warming faith and religion out of it.

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6 responses to “Bold Science Says Fewer North Atlantic Hurricances in 2100”

  1. Ed Caryl

    You don’t suppose that it’s the storms controlling the temperature? Each time the earth strays from equilibrium the storms apply a correction?

  2. Ed Caryl

    I’m trying to think of a mechanism for the cooling situation. There must be one. Joe Bastardi, where are you?

  3. Ed Caryl

    I think I have it. In situation 1 rising heat in the tropics drives tropical cyclones. In the cooling situation 2, cooling air falling in the Arctic causes pressure differences that bring about extra-tropical cyclones. They move the cold air back to the tropics to be rewarmed. In the warming situation storms move the heat to the top of the atmosphere to be radiated to space. In the cooling situation storms move the cold air along the surface toward the tropics to be warmed. Rising air makes negative pressure. Falling air makes positive pressure. Both situations make pressure differences, causing storms. I know from experience that high Arctic storms tend to be wind events only, where the sky above the wind-blown snow will be clear. Only in the summer when the wind was moving over open water would they generate rain or snow.

  4. R. de Haan

    I think they are wrong.

    Just read the report from Noor van Andel I published earlier.
    He concludes that CO2 does not play any significant role at all.

    http://climategate.nl/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/KNMI_voordracht_VanAndel.pdf

    His conclusions:
    • Rising Outgoing Long-wave radiation with more than 3.7 W/m^2
    per oC SST cannot be the effect of rising CO2 or of the increase of
    other “greenhouse” gases. Rising OLR/SST with 8.6 W/m^2K means
    that the atmosphere has become more transparent to IR radiation
    in the past 60 years. The “greenhouse effect” has become less.
    • Solar constant and the properties of water determine our climate
    • Rising surface temperature is tightly controlled by increasing wet
    convection and concomitant upper tropospheric drying
    • No observational evidence for influence of CO2 on past or present
    climate
    • Strong observational correlation of solar magnetic activity with
    climate temperatures, presumably via cloud condensation nucleation
    and albedo
    concluding:
    dixi

    We have entered a period of low solar magnetic activity now.

    In the past these periods did not reduce the number or the strength of tropical cyclones.

    On the contrary, some of the most severe storm happened during those relative cold periods.

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