Don’t Believe The Global Warmists, Major Hurricanes Are Less Frequent

Don’t Believe The Global Warmists, Major Hurricanes Are Less Frequent
September 6, 2012

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

When Hurricane Isaac made landfall in southern Louisiana last week, the storm provided a rare break in one of the longest periods of hurricane inactivity in U.S. history. Seeking to deflect attention away from this comforting trend, global warming alarmists attempted a high-profile head fake, making public statements that the decline in recent hurricane activity masked an increase in strong, damaging hurricanes.

“The hurricanes that really matter, that cause damage, are increasing,” John Abraham, a mechanical engineer on the staff of little-known University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, told Discovery News.

Normally, of course, the subjective global climate opinions of a mechanical engineer at an obscure Minnesota university wouldn’t be national news. However, global warming alarmists put Abraham forward as the point man for their self-proclaimed Climate Science Rapid Response Team. But hey, if Abraham is the best they can do, so be it.

Abraham says major hurricanes are the only ones that really matter, and that major hurricanes are increasing. If that is indeed so, then we might have a cause for concern. Let’s go straight to the data to find out if major hurricanes are indeed increasing.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) provides information on major U.S. hurricanes during the past 100-plus years.According to the NHC, 70 major hurricanes struck the United States in the 100 years between 1911 and 2010. That is an average of 7 major hurricane strikes per decade. What are the trends within this 100-year span? Let’s take a look.

Let’s split the 100-year hurricane record in half, starting with major hurricane strikes during the most recent 50 years.

During the most recent decade, 2001-2010, 7 major hurricanes struck the United States. That is exactly the 100-year average.

During the preceding decade, 1991-2000, 6 major hurricanes struck the United States. That is below the 100-year average.

During the decade 1981-1990, 4 major hurricanes struck the United States. That is substantially below the 100-year average, and ties the least number of major hurricanes on record.

During the decade 1971-1980, 4 major hurricanes struck the United States. That is substantially below the 100-year average, and ties 1981-1990 as the two decades with the least number of major hurricanes.

During the decade 1961-1970, 7 major hurricanes struck the United States. That is exactly the 100-year average.

Incredibly, not a single decade during the past 50 years saw an above-average number of major hurricanes – not a single decade!

Now let’s look at the preceding 50 years in the hurricane record, before the alleged human-induced global warming crisis.

During the decade 1951-1960, 9 major hurricanes struck the United States. That is above the 100-year average.

During the decade 1941-1950, 11 major hurricanes struck the United States. That is substantially above the 100-year average.

During the decade 1931-1940, 8 major hurricanes struck the United States. That is above the 100-year average.

During the decade 1921-1930, 6 major hurricanes struck the United States. That is slightly below the 100-year average.

During the decade 1911-1920, 8 major hurricanes struck the United States. That is above the 100-year average.

Global warming alarmists and mechanical engineers at obscure Minnesota universities may lie, but the objective data do not lie. During the past 5 decades, an average of 5.6 major hurricanes struck the United States. During the preceding 5 decades, and average of 8.4 major hurricanes struck the United States.

“The hurricanes that really matter, that cause damage” are not increasing. Hard, objective data show exactly the opposite. Indeed, during the past 4 decades, the time period during which global warming alarmists claim human-induced global warming accelerated rapidly and became incontrovertible, the fewest number of major hurricanes struck during any 40-year period since at least the 1800s.

Oh, and during the first two years of this current decade exactly zero major hurricanes struck the United States.

Global warming alarmists better hope we start seeing a rash of major hurricanes pretty soon if this is not going to be the quietest decade on record. Until and unless that happens, the objective data show the Climate Science Rapid Response Team is actually the Climate Science Rapid Propaganda Team.

But hey, if that’s the best they can do, so be it.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)