Anonymous asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 10 years ago

So where are all these "more intense tropical storms" AGW is supposed to bring about?

Two sneezes in the Gulf, so far, and a fair sized storm in China are hardly what I would call "more intense."


It seems as if storm seasons follow patterns of highs and lows. Can you confirm or deny this observation?

Update 2:

No Pegminer, I did not "conveniently forget" about them. I just didn't know. But the hurricane in China got me thinking about the doomsayers prediction 5 years ago of more intense storms. So far, it's not panning out...

11 Answers

  • Trevor
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This year is an El Nino year and typically this means less cyclonic activity. It’s probable that 2010 will see slightly less storms than average. However, this doesn’t always follow and should only be used as a rough guide.

    The number of storms has increased significantly in recent years. Here’s what we find when comparing the 50 years between 1911 and 1960 to the 50 years between 1961 and 2010.

    • There has been a 29% increase in the number of hurricanes – up from 257 to 330.

    • The number of category 5 hurricanes has increased from 11 to 27.

    1910 to 1959 Cat 5 Hurricanes: 10/1924, 4/1928, 4/1932, 2/1935, 4/1938, 4/1947, Dog, Easy, Janet, Carrie and Cleo

    1960 to 2009 Cat 5 Hurricanes: Donna, Ethel, Carla, Hattie, Cleo, Betsy, Beulah, Camille, Edith, Anita, David, Allen, Gilbert, Hugo, Andrew, Georges, Mitch, Floyd, Lenny, Isabel, Ivan, Emily, Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Dean and Felix.

    • The average Atlantic storm season lasted from July 2nd to October 22nd, now it starts on June 23rd and ends on November 1st (up from 113 days duration to 132 days).

    • A typical season used to see 1419 hours of hurricane activity, now there’s 2072 hours.

    • The total accumulated cyclonic energy has gone up from 2,546.897 to 2,982.489.

    • The latitudinal range of hurricanes is more or less unchanged but longitudinally they now average 79.6°W as opposed to the 99.9°W previously.

    • Hurricane activity has crossed the equator with hurricanes having hit countries like Brazil in recent years.

    • Previously the total accumulated path length of Atlantic hurricanes was 893,971km but by the period 1961-2010 it had increased to 1,322,410km.

    • The average storm path of the older hurricanes was 3,498km; now it’s 4,00km.

    • The durations of individual storms, the maximum wind speeds and the ground speeds have changed little.

    You can download data from the NOAA and run your own comparisons

    My colleagues and myself have been analysing storm data for over 4 years and are about half way through the project. To date there are more than 44,000 storms in the database and preliminary results for Atlantic hurricanes are available.

    For comparison purposes almost 100 metrics are used and the majority of them (about 85%) show positive effects – i.e. stronger, faster, more frequent, longer etc.

    PS - I can run off comparisons between any range of years, let me know which start and end dates you want and which aspects you want comparing and it will take just a few seconds to produce.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    There is a low amplitude wave with an approx 60 year period. On the graph you linked to it’s not all that clear. Here’s a 120 year graph from 1889 to 2008 inclusive (I didn’t include the 2009 data as they’re still provisional). The red line is ACE (same as your link) and the blue line is the number of hurricanes.

    This variation is most likely linked to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), this appears to be a cyclical event with a period of 60 years, the most pronounced effect of which is a change in sea-surface temperatures. This is important for hurricane development as they draw on oceanic energy – the warmer the ocean the more hurricanes there are.

    It’s worth nothing that 100 years ago there would almost certainly have been some lesser hurricanes (SSHS 1s and 2s) that occurred in the ocean and went un-noticed. As a result the earlier values in the range are likely to be slight underestimations.

    For example, on the graph the ACE linear trend is from 79 to 108 representing a 37% increase in but in reality it’s more likely to be from about 90 to 108 and so only a 20% increase.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 10 years ago

    Actually you've conveniently forgotten two intense hurricanes: Hurricane Celia, which was the second earliest Category 5 system on record, and Hurricane Darby, which became a major hurricane at Category 3. Perhaps you need to study the tropics a little more carefully before making sweeping statements.

    Whether or not global warming will give more tropical cyclones or more intense ones is a matter of debate. The latent heat of vaporization is the fuel that drives tropical cyclones, so at least naively if there is warmer water and it occupies a larger area of the oceans, then there should be more storms and they should reach higher intensity. However storms tend to be torn apart by wind shear (winds moving in different speeds or different directions as you move up in the atmosphere). Some studies indicate there will be more wind shear in a warmed environment. Tropical cyclones are beautifully self-organized systems that rely on a variety of factors to form and persist, and they are far from being completely understood and they are also not resolved well by climate models, which generally have to have lower resolution that numerical weather prediction models, since they are global and must be run over longer time periods.

    Typically El Nino years are down years for the Atlantic basin due to a displacement of the Walker circulation eastward and La Nina years are down for the East Pacific basin. We are transitioning from an El Nino earlier this year apparently into a La Nina state, so this could be a bigger year for the Atlantic.

    By the way, the hurricane forecasting team led by the AGW denier (I don't think he'd disagree with that characterization) William Gray is predicting a very active Atlantic hurricane season this year.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • davem
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    Atlantic hurricane seasons have been pretty quiet lately. Last year had the fewest in history, so "more intense tropical storms" predictions are obviously nothing more than guesses.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Windy
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The chime >Cutting or entirely eliminating subsidies to or special tax breaks for oil and coal producers and fossil-fuel power plants< Should be based on the profit margin,subsidized R&D could eliminate competition. Its also possible to have a individual patent financed with tax payers money. >Replacing some portion of the national income tax with a carbon tax, or any other roughly revenue-neutral carbon tax< I don't see the reason for either. Avoid secondary expenditures with a fair tax, otherwise get use to a growing government. >Offering tax breaks to alternative energy producers<If the patents were held by an educational institution sure why not? Again why stifle capitalism, its proven to work. >Converting vehicles the government owns to use alternative power sources<Sure, if its practical. >Instituting energy-saving measures in government buildings, such as insulation, turning off lights and computers, and installing low-energy lighting< Ditto >Expediting permits for biofuel, nuclear, and other non-fossil-fuel power plants<If one can avoid the extreme environmentalist faction...go for it. >Allowing permits for plants intended to turn "spent" nuclear fuel into lower-power energy generation< would help with the storage problem. II. > Drive less< Most people do if a feasible alternative is available. >Turn off appliances when not in use<For some loads, that may be a energy waste not a savings. But sure flipping a light switch is difficult for some. >Insulate your home where appropriate< Minimal code standards already exists. >Support your local economy by buying locally produced goods, or at least ones made in this country (that is, Buy American--substitute your country where appropriate)< I already grow most of my own produce with an occasional trip to the farmers market or a canned item. III. Those that impose personal opinions as the only way of life, that are creating the problems. A. I like beef B. I drive what I can afford and its intent, it may very well contribute less in annual emissions then someone who owns a green machine. Misconstrued standards, but I understand the gist. C. Home insulation: Again misconstrued standards: Lets say my square footage 2x larger then yours, but my electric/energy cost is half. You have all the latest green innovations, yet I don't. Yours would be considered energy efficient based solely upon products not comparable energy use, design, landscaping or regaining any improvement cost. At times practicality and affordability has to be a consideration. Again I understand the gist but not poorly defined standards.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Rio
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    1) landfall measurements are contemporary

    2) 60%+ of the population live on coastal areas.

    3) Alarmist are going to state intensity has sea they won't ever admit to it though?

    4) Some of the most devastating storms predate alarmist standards per percentile per population.

    5) There's no foundation for increased cyclonic activity other than hair brain speculation.

    I try to grin politely and acknowledged concerns on their terms, but that's doom to failure.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 10 years ago

    We had more than 7 inches of rain in less than an hour yesterday and the city is flooded (not that Wisconsin is tropical, but 100 degrees and 100% humidity sure FEELS tropical!).

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    so far in the north east this summer there has been giant jellyfish(which people link to global warming by hatching in hotter tempertures) about 100% increase in tornados and storms. i dont know whats going on but it is alittle alarming.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Gene D
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    AGW believers will only point out those things which they see as fitting their beliefs. It's called Confirmation Bias. But, I will admit, both believers and deniers are guilty of this at times.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • jerry
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    i'm still waiting for the terrible storms predicted for 2006,07.08. and 09

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    You want them to order? Nature doesn't work like that. You can only determine whether or not the predictions were right in retrospect, not now.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.