Global warming deniers love to seize on the fact that the last few years have seen fewer and less intense hurricanes than were seen in 2004 and 2005, as “evidence” that global warming isn’t occurring. It’s true that the past few years have seen less hurricane activity than 2004 and 2005, which set all sort of records during two very active hurricane seasons. However, hurricane activity in the years since 2005 has still been near the higher end of the expected spectrum – they just seem relatively calm because 2004 and 2005 were so fierce. Global warming is very likely to make hurricanes gradually more common and more intense over time – but climate scientists do not expect that every year will be worse than the one before it, as a variety of other variables influence each hurricane season. Rather, as the years go on we can expect to see a certain number of ups and downs in hurricane intensity, but the general trend will most likely be toward more intense storms.
Yes, there is evidence that their intensity has increased by 70% over the past 30 years.
Check out the link in citations for more info (look at Long-term activity trends, located 1/3 of the way down.)
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