From a friend on Twitter:
The article reports:
…Man-made warming did not cause Harvey and Irma. As carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions have increased, there have been no trends in global tropical cycle landfalls. Before Harvey and Irma, with a little bit of luck, the United States was in a 12-year hurricane drought. More importantly, the average number of hurricanes per decade reaching landfall in the U.S. has fallen over the past 160 years.
This comes not via “denier data,” but from mainstream science. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in its most recent scientific assessment that “(n)o robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes … have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin,” and that there are “no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency.”
According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, “It is premature to conclude that human activities – and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming – have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity.”
The article then goes on to disprove the myth that global warming made the hurricanes more severe:
Other media outlets took a more measured approach, claiming that man did not cause Harvey and Irma but supercharged them. The reasoning is that warmer sea surface temperatures increase moisture in the air and, in turn, up the intensity of the hurricanes.
But University of Washington climatologist Cliff Mass, after examining precipitation levels in the Gulf, discredited this claim. He found that “(t)here is no evidence that global warming is influencing Texas coastal precipitation in the long term and little evidence that warmer than normal temperatures had any real impact on the precipitation intensity from this storm.”
CNN asked Bill Read, former director of the National Hurricane Center, whether man-made climate change was intensifying storms. He said no, adding, “This is not an uncommon occurrence to see storms grow and intensify rapidly in the western Gulf of Mexico. That’s as long as we’ve been tracking them that has occurred.”
Even if man-made warming were responsible for Harvey and Irma, the policies that tax or regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions are costly non-solutions. The U.S. could slap a $40 tax on all carbon dioxide emissions, and the “climate benefits” would be hardly noticeable. By the year 2100, the averted warming would be less than two-tenths of a degree Celsius, and the averted sea level rise would be less than 2 centimeters.
The article concludes:
Political opportunism is distracting from what is important: helping the people in Houston, Florida and the islands. Policymakers should focus on improving natural disaster response, resilience and preparedness. Blaming man-made climate change on Harvey and Irma is truly denying the data.
Let’s keep our priorities straight!