Global Warming: Winds of Change

It appears that there is finally some scientific evidence that a warmer Atlantic ocean could have an effect on future hurricane activity. Unfortunately for the alarmists, though, it’s the wrong effect. But let’s let the NOAA press release summarize, shall we?

A warming global ocean — influencing the winds that shear off the tops of developing storms — could mean fewer Atlantic hurricanes striking the United States according to new findings by NOAA climate scientists. Furthermore, the relative warming role of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans is important for determining Atlantic hurricane activity.

The article, to be published on January 23 in Geophysical Research Letters, uses observations to show that warming of global sea surface temperatures is associated with a secular, or sustained long-term increase, of vertical wind shear in the main development region for Atlantic hurricanes. The increased vertical wind shear coincides with a downward trend in U.S. landfalling hurricanes.

“We looked at U.S. landfalling hurricanes because it is the most reliable Atlantic hurricane measurement over the long term,” says Chunzai Wang, a physical oceanographer and climate scientist with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami and lead author on the article. “Using data extending back to the middle nineteenth century, we found a gentle decrease in the trend of U.S. landfalling hurricanes when the global ocean is warmed up. This trend coincides with an increase in vertical wind shear over the tropical North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, which could result in fewer U.S. landfalling hurricanes.”

I wonder if Gore will take the time to add the conclusions of this new study into that part of his PowerPoint presentation where he shows the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and then blames global warming? Nah – he’s probably too busy polishing his Nobel medallion and not running for President.