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The U.S. can’t seem to buy a major hurricane for love nor money….

Patrick Michaels — Forbes — August 31, 2012

Category 1 Hurricane Hype

The U.S. just can’t seem to buy a major hurricane. It’s been 2,535 days since the last Category 3 storm, Wilma in 2005, hit the beach. That’s the longest period—by far—in the record that goes back to 1900.

Consequently, the global warming hype machine is being reduced to running on Category 1 fumes. Hence last August’s Irene (which was barely a hurricane) and the recent Isaac (with a much more respectable wind field) became the sorry excuses used to hector the public into demanding massive energy taxes.

But didn’t last year’s Irene drop a huge amount of rain, a sure sign of its ingestion of the global warming steroid? Not really. While that argument makes the alarmist blogs and MSNBC, it neglects that, everything else being equal, if hurricanes are becoming rainier, they must be getting stronger, as the fuel that drives the kinetic whirl of the tropical cyclone is the heat released by the condensation of water. Comprehensive global analyses of tropical cyclone strength show no change.

The top blue plot is the global accumulated kinetic energy from all tropical cyclones (tropical storms and hurricanes), the bottom black plot is for the Northern Hemisphere, and the red line is the global surface temperature anomaly from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. All figures are presented as 24 month running sums. It is obvious that any relationship broke down as earth’s temperature reached a plateau.

Aren’t there more whoppers—the powerful Category 4 and 5 monsters that will mow down pretty much anything in their path?  As is the case with much severe weather, we simply see more than we did prior to satellites and (in the case of hurricanes) long-range aircraft reconnaissance. As the National Hurricane Center’s Chris Landsea (with whom I have published on tropical cyclones) has shown, if you assume the technology before satellites, the number of big storms that would be detected now is simply unchanged from the past.

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