Friday, July 28, 2006


Also, hurried-blogging. The AP has a story about some new research on trends in hurricane strength.

MIAMI -- Scientists linking the increased strength of hurricanes over recent years to global warming have not accounted for outdated technology that may have underestimated storms' power decades ago, researchers said in a report published Friday. The research by Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center challenges two studies published last year by other respected


The study claims historical storm data has been rendered out-of-date by new technology that better estimates the strength of hurricanes. He pointed to advancements in the quality of satellite imagery that is used to estimate a storm's strength when it can't be directly measured by aircraft or on land. In short, Landsea said, there were far more Category 4 and 5 storms in decades past than previously thought, because satellite imagery has improved so greatly.
Of course, this being science, and science being hard, another researcher has already fired back.
[Kerry] Emanuel [of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology] discounted the Science piece and said he put considerable effort into accounting for changes in estimating storm strength.

``They ignore the most significant finding from my Nature paper _ that Atlantic hurricane activity is highly correlated with sea surface temperature, which is comparatively well-measured,'' Emanuel said by e-mail from the Queen Mary 2, where he is lecturing on storms. ``This cannot be explained away by invoking rather qualitative arguments about data quality.''
Of course, this new research could alter Emanuel's earlier work, which the article describes as "the first major research to challenge the belief that global warming's affect on hurricanes was too slight to accurately measure and that climate change likely won't substantially change tropical storms for decades."

Incidentally, the improbably named Chris Landsea created a bit of a fuss back in 2005 for publicly withdrawing from the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He "[came] to view the part of the IPCC to which [his] expertise [was] relevant as having become politicized."

I hope to return to this in coming days. Hopefully I can shake off the mid-summer blogging doldrums.

Hat Tip: Drudge. Go ahead and click over. He needs the traffic spike.

1 comment:

XWL said...

"In other news, the was brought down today for several hours due to a theoreticalblingblinglanche (or is that a pickalanche?)"

So the initial researcher that made up his figures by best guesses, admits he was guessing, but still insists that those guesses are closer to the truth because they lead to the conclusion he wants them to lead to.

Yep, not politicized at all.