Increasing cyclonic storms is one of the bogeymen most cited by global warming alarmists as a negative impact of warming. The problem is, despite a world that is several tenths of a degree warmer than it was 30-40 years ago, no one can find any increasing trend in such storms:
We have written so much about the link between climate change and hurricanes (a.k.a., tropical cyclones, TCs) that we sometimes wonder if there could be anything new to report. No sooner than we have such a thought, yet another article on the subject appears in some leading scientific journal. A sentence in the abstract from this new article really caught our eye as we read “For the 1981/82 to 2005/06 TC seasons, there are no apparent trends in the total numbers and cyclone days of TCs, nor in numbers and cyclone days of severe TCs with minimum central pressure of 970 hPa or lower.”
This latest research gem appears in a recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters, and the work was conducted by a team of climatologists employed in Melbourne at the National Climate Centre of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Kuleshov et al. note that “Concern about the enhanced greenhouse effect affecting TC frequency and intensity has grown over recent decades. Recently, trends in global TC activity for the period 1970 to 2004 have been examined by Webster et al. . They concluded that no global trend has yet emerged in the total number of tropical storms and hurricanes.”…
Had these scientists found an increase in the total number of tropical cyclones in the Southern Hemisphere, they would need to hire press agents to handle the global coverage. Their work would be front page news all over the world, Time and Newsweek would be all over the story, and thousands of web pages would trumpet the results. However, they found no trends, or even downward trends, in total tropical cyclone frequency over a huge area of the planet – coverage at World Climate Report is about all they can expect.
There is one problem with this in my mind that makes the findings less powerful. The problem is that the southern hemisphere really has not experienced much warming in the last 30 years, and the tropics have experienced no warming. So perhaps this study does not say much for the link between warming and cyclonic activity. But of course, if there has been no warming, who cares?