Superstorm Sandy and Global Warming
COP18 is an international, UN-sponsored, global climate change conference now underway in Doha, Qatar. It is the 18th-year of the “Conference of the of the Parties” (COP).
17,000 attendees are expected over it’s two week run.
At the conference, Superstorm Sandy is being waved around like a red flag. It is a rallying cry to action to save the Earth from an ever increasing number of more intense weather events.
Fortunately for us, despite Sandy, the UN is wrong and we in the United States are not experiencing more intense storms due to human-induced global warming.
The above graph from NOAA shows, by year, the total energy release of all hurricanes and extratropical cyclones, like Sandy. It is a direct measure of storm intensity by year over time.
From it we learn three important facts:
- Overall storm intensity has remained relatively constant over time since 1900
- 2011-2012 have had the LEAST intense storm seasons since 1900!
- 2005 was a bad year for hurricanes
Assuming that the UN is right; since human CO2 emissions have increased logarithmically with time since 1900, storm intensity should have also increase logarithmically. Obviously, it hasn’t! There has been no general increase at all.
2005 was a bad year. No doubt about it. It is the basis year for the UN’s claim of more intense hurricanes. Among numerous other intense storms, 2005 is when Katrina struck.
Since 2005, storm intensity has decreased dramatically… not increased as would be expected if the UN is right.
Reasons Behind Sandy Disaster
But what about Sandy???
Sandy barely had hurricane cat 1 winds when it made landfall. It was not a significant hurricane. It was destructive because of a combination of four unique coincidences:
- It combined with a Nor’easter at landfall
- It made landfall at high tide
- It made landfall within a day of full moon which intensifies high tides
- It made landfall in southern New Jersey which maximized the storm surge to the populous north of it on the Jersey shore and NYC
If not for that, Sandy would have already been mostly forgotten by now and thought of only as a bigger than normal Nor’easter.
There are enough problems on planet Earth that we need to fix. We need not manufacture spectacular new doomsday scenarios, like more intense hurricanes due to human-caused climate change.
As shown above, hurricanes are not more intense than they have ever been. Few people know that New York City was previously wiped out by hurricanes back in 1821, 1893 and 1938. They were mostly rediscovered through archeological digs!
New York City has periodically suffered tragic devastation due to hurricanes. Nothing has changed. New York is a disaster waiting to happen at any time. Sandy is just another chapter in that long sad saga.
It has nothing to do with climate change. It has everything to do with the folly of human endeavor.