NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Hurricanes and Global Warming

Dr. Roy Spencer, University of Florida Researcher on Global Warming and Hurricanes
There is some recent research that suggests that of all Atlantic and West Pacific tropical cyclones measured since the 1970's, a warming trend in sea surface temperatures has been accompanied by stronger and longer-lived storms. In fact, the increase in the total power generated by the storms that the study computed was actually much larger than could be accounted for by theory, suggesting changes in wind shear or other processes are operating in addition to just increased temperatures. (Unpublished results by the same researcher suggests, however, that this trend was not apparent in land falling hurricanes since the 1970's).

Given the recent work, how should we view the role of global warming? First, we know that category 4, and even category 5, storms have always occurred, and will continue to occur, with or without the help of humans, as the above examples demonstrate. Therefore, if we are prepared for what nature can throw at us, we will be prepared for the possible small increase in hurricane activity that some studies have suggested could occur with man-made global warming. To suggest that Katrina was caused by mankind is not only grossly misleading, it also obscures the real issues that need to be addressed, even in the absence of global warming. From a practical point of view, there is little that we can do in the near term to avert much if any future warming anyway, no matter what you believe that warming will be, including participating in the Kyoto Protocol. So why even bring it up (other than through political, philosophical, or financial motivation)?
(Emphasis added) So, why does the far left keep bringing it up.

Full story at Tech Central Station here.

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Blogger Frederic Christie said...

The far left brings it up because it indicates the pathology of capitalism. After all, things could get so much worse. But I think it's very sanguine and in fact a copout to say "we can't do anything" - who the hell knows? The only way we can test it is to try. One thing we can do is reduce emissions. But we need to do that anyways to conserve limited petrol, and improving efficiency to reduce emissions increases profits in the long term as well as generates positive externalities worth far more than the cost (see. We could also plant carbon sinks. But since those can be called "forests", we need to do that anyways to repair the massive ecological damage done by clearcutting and logging. Cows produce tons of methane, but they also produce highly destructive animal waste. And so on. Each proposal to deal with emissions has independent value.

See for more.

Tue Sep 06, 06:03:00 PM PDT  

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