Typhoons and Hurricanes

(Cross-posted from Coyoteblog)

The science that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and causes some warming is hard to dispute.  The science that Earth is dominated by net positive feedbacks that increase modest greenhouse gas warming to catastrophic levels is very debatable.  The science that man’s CO2 is already causing an increase in violent and severe weather is virtually non-existent.

Seriously, of all the different pieces of the climate debate, the one that is almost always based on pure crap are the frequent media statements linking manmade CO2 to some severe weather event.

For example, Coral Davenport in the New York Times wrote the other day:

As the torrential rains of Typhoon Hagupit flood thePhilippines, driving millions of people from their homes, the Philippine government arrived at a United Nationsclimate change summit meeting on Monday to push hard for a new international deal requiring all nations, including developing countries, to cut their use of fossil fuels.

It is a conscious pivot for the Philippines, one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies. But scientists say the nation is also among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and the Philippine government says it is suffering too many human and economic losses from the burning of fossil fuels….

A series of scientific reports have linked the burning of fossil fuels with rising sea levels and more powerful typhoons, like those that have battered the island nation.

It is telling that Ms. Davenport did not bother to link or name any of these scientific reports.  Even the IPCC, which many skeptics believe to be exaggerating manmade climate change dangers, refused in its last report to link any current severe weather events with manmade CO2.

Roger Pielke responded today with charts from two different recent studies on typhoon activity in the Phillipines.  Spot the supposed upward manmade trend.  Or not:




I am not a huge fan of landfalling cyclonic storm counts because whether they make landfall or not can be totally random and potentially disguise trends.  A better metric is the total energy of cyclonic storms, land-falling or not, where again there is no trend.

Via the Weather Underground, here is Accumulated Cyclonic Energy for the Western Pacific (lower numbers represent fewer cyclonic storms with less total strength):



And here, by the way, is the ACE for the whole globe:


Remember this when you see the next storm inevitably blamed on manmade global warming.  If anything, we are actually in a fairly unprecedented (in the last century and a half) hurricane drought.

  • Otter

    Is there any update on that one chart- it ends in 2005. I’ve had people in the Philippines telling me things are getting worse; I’d really like to show them otherwise.

  • gbaikie

    “The science that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and causes some warming is hard to dispute. ”

    Yes and No.

    Yes, because it’s vague theory.
    No, because the people who support the theory aren’t scientific and are unethical.
    It’s pretty obvious that global warming is driven by political dynamics rather than scientific
    dynamics. That climatic scientists are willing to accept the slogan the science is settled,
    is clear message that it’s only a political matter.

    As you say:
    “The science that Earth is dominated by net positive feedbacks that increase modest greenhouse
    gas warming to catastrophic levels is very debatable.”

    To say the least, it’s debatable, but those will debate it are called climate deniers.
    More correctly it’s merely pseudo science. And real scientist would strongly oppose such

    pseudo science.

    Instead those who claim to be scintists promote it or fear to say anything because saying anything

    could endanger their careers [because they are called deniers].

    Fierce debate isn’t alien to science, but these witch-hunts are alien to science.

    So I link to NASA article which summaries the theory:


    I quote:
    “Why doesn’t the natural greenhouse effect cause a runaway increase in
    surface temperature? Remember that the amount of energy a surface
    radiates always increases faster than its temperature rises—outgoing
    energy increases with the fourth power of temperature.”

    So one could say they are buying the idea of runaways. But my point of linking
    to it is point out what I disagree about it. So:

    “When greenhouse gas molecules absorb thermal infrared energy, their temperature rises.”

    I disagree with that. Gas temperature relates to the velocity of gases.

    To increase the temperature of gas requires that one increase the velocity of gases.

    Or another way to increase temperature of gases is reduce the volume of the gas- pressurize

    the gas. So, increase the amount molecules of gas in a give volume. So if double the amount

    of molecules in say cubic meter of volume, to double the temperature- temperature in Kelvin.

    So either increase their velocity or pack more of them in a volume of space.

    I don’t argue that greenhouse gases absorb certain wavelengths of IR, but argue that

    this can not increase the velocity of gases.

    Another factor related to this, is CO2 is a trace gas and there is only a low percentage of water

    vapor in the atmosphere. If you removed all gases other than CO2, Earth atmosphere would less

    than Mars atmosphere. Mars which quite a small planet compared Earth has about 25 trillion tonnes

    of CO2. So about 8 times more than Earth [and it’s smaller planet].

    Or 400 ppm is .04%

    H2O or water vapor in tropics is about 3 or 4%. Or entire atmosphere is about 1% or about

    10,000 ppm. If had both water vapor and CO2 one has thin atmosphere like Mars.

    Or Earth’s atmosphere is about 99% non greenhouse gases.

    So even if Earth was mostly CO2 I don’t think radiate energy is going to increase the velocity

    of the CO2 gas molecule.

    Now we can look at planet which has 1 earth atmosphere of CO2, by looking at Venus at about 50 km

    above it’s surface. So at 1 atm of pressure on Venus the air temperature is warmer than earth, but not a lot

    warmer considering that sun solar flux twice as much as at earth distance from the Sun.

    So one has ocean very hot gas below you, a sun with more than 2000 watts per square meter, and air pressure

    could same as Earth, or at 14.7 psi- mostly CO2 with about 3.5 % nitrogen. Very, very, dry dry and of course no oxygen to breathe. But if wore air oxygen mask, and put on some sun screen [which protected from the strong UV and protected you from very dry air] you sun bath at 50 Km elevation of Venus [assuming one had a balloon or something].

    So according above, at 49.5 km it is 1 atm and 66 C [sauna hot] and at 52.5 37 C fairly hot day on Earth.

    So in terms atmospheric pressure 52.5 km is a bit higher than Denver atmospheric pressure and at 37 [98.6 F] gets about hot as Denver gets in summer. With no shortage of greenhouse gases and no shortage of thermal infrared energy, and massive amounts of solar energy and constant daylight for days.
    So it seems to me if radiant energy could increase the velocity of a greenhouse gas [make it hotter] it would be
    doing it on Venus [at 50 Km elevation].

  • Ray Tort

    Very useful and interesting comment. Please use the grammar and spelling checker on your next comment, before copying it to the web site. Thank you.

  • Ray Tort

    It is interesting to note that accumulated global cyclonic energy did increase while temperature increased from about 1972 to 2002 and is now decreasing. This corresponds to the 60 years Jupiter / Saturn Tri-synodic cycle and is totally independent of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Expect it to decline until 2032.