Powerful storms, global warming not connected

Friday, May 31, 2013
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

With the Atlantic hurricane season beginning tomorrow, forecasters expect another busy season.

This year's season comes on the heels of Hurricane Sandy, which caused damage not seen since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Both storms are among the worst on record in U.S. history, and both have been touted as evidence of global warming.

Speaking in his second inaugural address, President Obama used Hurricane Sandy and other storms in recent years as another reason for policy to combat climate change.

"Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms," the president declared.

Cal Beisner, founder and national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, says hurricanes and global warming are not connected, unless negatively.

"First of all, there has been no increase in either the frequency or the intensity of hurricanes, or tornadoes for that matter, in step with warming that we observed from the mid-1970s to the late-1990s," he notes. "In fact, there was a decline in the total energy index of hurricanes over that period and particularly in the last 20 years as well."

Beisner adds that the likelihood of the frequency and intensity of hurricanes is more likely to decline with warming than to increase.

"Colder periods in the past have seen more storms and more intense storms," the Cornwall Alliance founder observes. "Warmer periods in the past have seen fewer and less intense storms, and there is a simple reason for why that is so: Hurricanes are driven in part by the temperature differential between the arctic region and the equator. With global warming, most of the warming occurs in the high latitudes toward the poles, and very little occurs around the equator."

As a result, Beisner says the temperature differential between them is lower during warmer periods than it is during colder periods, and with that smaller differential comes the generation of fewer and less powerful storms.

Federal forecasters predict 13 to 20 named Atlantic storms this season, 7 to 11 that strengthen into hurricanes, and 3 to 6 that become major hurricanes.

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