Online German flagship national daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)
has a piece on the hype surrounding hurricane Irene, which we recall was supposed to end up being the most super-charged hurricane to hit the Northeast US in a quarter century.
It ended up being a hurricane of hype, and nothing else. But the FAZ writes if Irene had been a mega-size hurricane, it would have been just what the doctor ordered for unlocking the climate politics gridlock in the USA.
There, interest in climate change has slid so deep into the basement that even ex-presidential candidate and climate protection activist Al Gore has to be really worried about the impact of his new campaign which will begin on September 14.”
For Al Gore, Irene could have served as the ideal climate wake-up call. He certainly would have seized the opportunity to exploit it in citing it as the latest example of climate catastrophe. Can you imagine his disappointment? Unfortunately for Gore and the warmists, Irene fizzled and is now ironically being used by skeptics to illustrate rampant climate hysteria and media hype instead. The FAZ writes:
Indeed the climate-political winds turned in the opposite direction. Instead of acting as a ‘harbinger of climate change’, as the New York Times had written on Saturday, the tropical storm worked massively against hurricane and climate science.
Half-assed, superfluous, and damaging – these are some attacks that scientists now find themselves having to deal with because, though they were correct with their time forecasts, they were nowhere near correct with the hurricane’s strength forecast.”
Here the FAZ doesn’t know that the forecasters were also incorrect with the projected route of the hurricane, as forecasters made huge adjustments with each route forecast cone they issued. And by the time the hurricane made landfall it had degraded down to a mere Cat 1 hurricane, and shortly thereafter to a tropical storm. By this time, the entire US national weather and climate forecasting network and large parts of the media had become a laughing stock.
The alarmists are trying to argue back, sometimes with what appear to be quite dubious claims. Stefan Rahmstorf, citing Nature, claims that for every 1°C of temperature rise, there is a 31% increase in Cat 4 or 5 storms. The FAZ also brings up Kerry Emanuel:
At the Hurricane Conference, leading American expert Kerry Emanuel showed for the Atlantic that the correlation of sea temperature and hurricane energy has strengthened over the last five years.”
Really? Looking at the last fives years, one would have to assume the globe is cooling rapidly.
GLOBAL HURRICANE FREQUENCY
What does expert Ryan N. Maue say about climate and hurricanes?
But, the overall trend is flat proving conclusively that there is NO “overall” global increase in hurricanes, minor or major. Since natural variability such as El Nino and La Nina is the primary driver of global hurricane variability, any discussion of “climate change” impacts on TCs is woefully incomplete without acknowledging the effects of ENSO on global TC activity.”
Politically, Irene has turned out to be the ideal storm – for the skeptics! Indeed attention has been drawn to where the alarmists least want it: facts and reality.