Competitive Enterprise Institute | 1899 L ST NW Floor 12, Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: 202-331-1010 | Fax: 202-331-0640
“Textbooks had to be re-written in 2004. They used to say, ‘It’s impossible to have hurricanes in the South Atlantic.’ But that year, for the first time ever, a hurricane hit Brazil.” (AIT, 84)
Gore would have us believe that global warming and the associated rise in sea surface temperatures created Hurricane Catarina, the first hurricane on record ever to strike Brazil. But that’s just not true.
Here’s what really happened. In 2004, Brazil had the coldest summer months in 25 years.* Sea surface temperatures were also cooler than normal. However, the air was so much colder than the water that it caused the same kind of heat flux from the water to the air that fuels hurricanes in warm seas.
At the same time, wind shear, which disorganizes hurricanes, was weaker than usual. There is no known relationship between global warming and wind shear strength.
The combination of heat flux and light shear created a system that, at least from a satellite view, looked like a hurricane.
Gore blames CO2 emissions for Catarina. But this means he’s arguing that global warming caused the hurricane by cooling the sea and making the air even colder!
*according to climatologist Pedro Leite da Silva Dias of the University of Sao Paolo.