NOAA Alarmists Embarrass Themselves with Hurricane Sandy Claims

NOAA Alarmists Embarrass Themselves with Hurricane Sandy Claims
September 6, 2013

James M. Taylor, J.D.

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)

Global warming alarmists working for the federal government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration embarrassed themselves yesterday attempting to blame global warming for Hurricane Sandy. Scientific evidence conclusively shows hurricanes, and particularly hurricane strikes in the U.S. Northeast, are becoming less frequent and less severe as the planet modestly warms.

NOAA released a report Thursday claiming global warming played a factor in half of 12 severe weather events during 2012, including Hurricane Sandy. Hurricane Sandy lost its tropical nature before coming ashore last October in New Jersey, but still brought 80-mile-per-hour sustained winds at landfall.

As I documented last November in a column at Forbes.com, when a hurricane strikes the U.S. Northeast it only seems unusual because during recent decades, as global warming has gradually occurred, once-frequent Northeast hurricane strikes have almost ceased to exist. Even if Sandy had retained its tropical nature at landfall and remained classified as a hurricane, Sandy merely emphasized how rare Northeast hurricane strikes have become in our modestly warming world.

Global warming alarmists make a big deal out of the 7-inch rise in sea level during the past century that added to Sandy’s storm surge. However, there is minimal difference between a 13-foot storm surge and a 13-foot, 7-inch storm surge. Moreover, given the fact that fewer hurricanes are striking the United States and the U.S. Northeast as the planet modestly warms, and given the fact that major hurricane strikes (Category 3 or higher) are becoming especially less frequent, it is disingenuous to emphasize a slight increase in storm surge from one particular storm while failing to mention that hurricanes and resultant storm surge events are becoming less frequent and less severe as the planet modestly warms.

The NOAA report’s assertions regarding the other five extreme weather events allegedly impacted by global warming in 2012 are similarly unsupported by the facts. I will address some of them here next week.

James M. Taylor, J.D.

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)