Hurricanes

Hurricane Ida, Climate Change, and Falling Trends in Global Deaths From Natural Disasters

The risk of dying from extreme weather since the 1920s has dropped by 99.75 percent.

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Hurricane Ida rapidly spun itself up to a Category 4 tropical cyclone—maximum sustained winds at 150 miles per hour—just before it made landfall on the coast of Louisiana on Sunday morning. Such rapid intensification is consistent with the effects of man-made climate change on hurricanes. The recently released Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted, "It is likely that the proportion of major (Category 3–5) tropical cyclones (TCs) and the frequency of rapid TC intensification events have increased over the past four decades."

Contrarily, recent research does not yet detect a significant increase in the intensity or frequency of Atlantic hurricanes striking the United States. Some researchers suspect that particulate air pollution combined with natural variation suppressed hurricane activity in the North Atlantic during the mid-20th century. On the other hand, the AR6 projects that "the total global frequency of TC formation will decrease or remain unchanged with increasing global warming (medium confidence). Basically, as a result of man-made warming, hurricanes and cyclones are expected to become fewer but more intense.

As the world continues to warm, the AR6 forecasts that "the proportion of intense TCs, average peak TC wind speeds, and peak wind speeds of the most intense TCs will increase on the global scale with increasing global warming (high confidence)." In addition, tropical cyclones appear to be becoming wetter. "Available event attribution studies of observed strong TCs provide medium confidence for a human contribution to extreme TC rainfall," observes the AR6. Why? Because, among other things, near-surface atmospheric moisture content increases by about 7 percent for every 1 degree celsius increase in warming.

Hurricane Ida and its remnants have so far knocked out electricity to around 1 million homes and businesses and killed 6 people. In contrast to the Hurricane Katrina disaster (1,833 deaths) 16 years ago, New Orleans' massively upgraded levees held, so the Big Easy escaped inundation this time. The protection afforded by the improved levees is an example of how increasing wealth and technological prowess over the past couple of centuries is enabling more and more of humanity to survive natural disasters.

Even as the world population nearly quadrupled, the global natural disaster death rates have plummeted, according to Our World In Data.

In fact, the annual number of people dying as a result of natural disasters has fallen by about 90 percent over the past century:

Deaths from weather and climatological events like floods and droughts have especially steeply declined over the past century. As University of Colorado environmental studies professor Roger Pielke, Jr. tweeted:

We may not be any better at preventing extreme weather events, but we are much better at surviving them.

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  1. “The risk of dying from extreme weather since the 1920s has dropped by 99.75 percent.”

    SCIENCE DENIER!!!
    Dr. Chicken Little is right!
    We must sacrifice the economy of the entire world immediately or DIE!!!

    1. You will gain your freedoms back once people stop dying.

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  2. Former President Obama bought and lives in a Martha’s Vineyard mansion just a few feet above sea level. And former Senator and Secretary of State Kerry has resumed jet-setting around the globe in his private plane. Clearly the war on CAGW and sea level rise has been won. Resume your lifestyle folks. The leaders of the campaign have.

    1. Former President Obama bought and lives in a Martha’s Vineyard mansion just a few feet above sea level.

      He’s a stranded civilian in the war on global warming, and I say fuck him.

      1. Biden is the current President and he has a track record of abandoning Americans in dangerous locales.

        1. el presidente Biden is in charge of his banana republic.

          In Civil War 2.0, its banana republic vs American patriots.

  3. The recently released Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted, “It is likely that the proportion of major (Category 3–5) tropical cyclones (TCs) and the frequency of rapid TC intensification events have increased over the past four decades.”

    Contrarily, recent research does not yet detect a significant increase in the intensity or frequency of Atlantic hurricanes striking the United States.

    Sooo . . . the models show the frequency and intensity of hurricanes “likely” have increased, while the empirical evidence has shown that they have not?

    1. If you think that when belief clashes with observable fact, belief would have to yield, you’re wrong.

      1. re·li·gion
        /rəˈlijən/

        noun
        the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
        “ideas about the relationship between science and religion”
        Similar:
        faith
        belief
        divinity
        worship
        creed
        teaching
        doctrine
        theology
        sect
        cult
        religious group
        faith community
        church
        denomination
        body
        following
        persuasion
        affiliation

        a particular system of faith and worship.
        plural noun: religions
        “the world’s great religions”
        a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.
        “consumerism is the new religion”

        1. The National Gov-Gods religion and their unlimited Gov-Gun-Forces has many worshipers.

        2. Sorry, no connection between religion and science. *Bong!* Start again.

          (*Clown comes out from the side of the screen and waves.*)

          1. Sorry, no connection between religion and science. *Bong!* Start again.

            Incorrect. William of Ockham, for example, was a Franciscan monk and biblical literalist who was excommunicated for expressing to the Pope his sense of the literal example of apostolic poverty.

            His main philosophical rival, Thomas Bradwardine, arguably the premiere mathematician and physicist of his age, was a bishop whose argument in support of free will was partly rooted in a nascent theory of the relativity and time and space.

            Newton was considered a head-in-the-clouds mystic by his contemporaries (he was also interested in things like numerology and astrology in addition to physics and calculus), while history’s first atheist was arguably David Hume, whose contemporaries didn’t find him very persuasive (I don’t, either – IMHO he was just bi-polar and kind of pissy).

            In short, science was born from religion. There is most definitely a “connection” between them.

            1. Actually, no. The Charvaka/Lokayata school of thought in India espoused empirical or sensory evidence and rational inference (with emphasis on the former) as a path to truth.

              Charvaka/Lokayata existed in systematized philosophical texts as far back as the 6th Century B.C.E. Some think it may have even predated Vedantic Hinduism.

              The 6th Century B.C.E. puts it way ahead of Christianity and Islam, so these religions do not have the lock on science claimed by their apologists.

              1. “Actually, no” . . . what? Aristotle also advocated empiricism, rejected the supernatural, the non-material, and the afterlife, but was not an atheist.

                Your assertion was “no connection between religion and science,” and with much confident bravado. I showed you that this is definitively not true.

                How does your assertion that the Charvaka movement existed reinforce your declaration of the non-connection between religion and science when the history of the development of science is literally the history of religious debate and vice-versa?

                1. Look, Quo Usque Tandem listed a bunch of qualities that are allegedly shared by religion and science. I disagreed, and rather than prove these qualities are shared by religion and science, you cited William of Occham, Thomas Bradwardine, and Issac Newton, men who practiced science who happened to be religious, then claimed that science came from religion.

                  My citation of the Charvaka/Lokayata school of thought in India was to show that the practice of science predated Christianity and possibly even Hinduism.

                  (In all fairness, I should have added also that Charvaka/Lokayata denied the existence of deities, souls, Karma, Samsara i.e. Reincarnation, and other supernatural phenomena, so they were not a religion.)

  4. As the world continues to warm, the AR6 forecasts that “the proportion of intense TCs, average peak TC wind speeds, and peak wind speeds of the most intense TCs will increase on the global scale with increasing global warming (high confidence).”

    Why would that be when the intensity of hurricanes tends to be a function of the difference between temperatures in tropical vs. temperate zones and the observed warming has been greatest, by far, in the arctic zones and in higher low temperatures rather than higher high temperatures and warmer tropics?

    The common wisdom used to be that global warming, despite whatever other negative effects, would if anything lead to fewer hurricanes. Did physics change?

    1. Next toure going to tell us golden ages of human civilization growth occur in temperate and warming time periods and not during mini ice ages. Get put of here with that nonsense.

      1. Ice is life.

    2. Physics are whatever I say they are. No more, no less. – IPCC

  5. It’s irrelevant, the left wants control and they want fossil fuels gone so you don’t have any independence and you must beg to them.

    They will scream and commit violence in order to get this, democrats have no morals.

    Let’s stop playing their game, and just shove it down their throats. Elect the GOP and you’ll have all the prosperity you can handle.

  6. We may not be any better at preventing extreme weather events, but we are much better at surviving them.

    Not enough data. Let’s ramp up the warming and do some more tests.

    1. I vote for a ten-degree increase in the global temperature! (Note: I just bought seven hundred shoreline acres in Alaska which, in few years, should be a really place to sunbathe. And, make a killing in real estate, too.)

  7. “Contrarily, recent research does not yet detect a significant increase in the intensity or frequency of Atlantic hurricanes striking the United States”

    Cold comfort for those who cut down the US victim count by getting whacked in Mexico Central America and every island from Barbados to Bimini that takes a bite out of the energy of storms passing over them.

    Ignoring the Pacific Ocean in discussing global climate change is as much a sign of intent to statistically decieve as failing to mention the thermodynamic elephant in the room:

    Warmer water from greenhouse warming translates into more energy driving stonger storms.

    1. Are you suggesting they be provided with hot comfort?

    2. Wow, a four paragraph post that, other than the quoted sentence you allege to be rebutting, gets every single thing wrong.

      The paths of Atlantic hurricanes are no different than they have been in the past. They cross Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean islands no more (and no less) frequently than they did in centuries past.

      Crossing any island smaller than Cuba has no measurable effect on the size, intensity or energy content of a hurricane.

      Total Cyclonic Energy (an aggregate measure of the frequency and intensity of storms) is statistically flat to slightly down whether measured
      – just in Atlantic storms making landfall in the US
      – just in Atlantic storms more widely
      – just in Pacific storms
      – as a global aggregate.

      Warmer water does NOT automatically translate into more energy nor into stronger storms. What drives global storm intensity is energy differential – primarily the difference between the colder poles and warmer equatorial regions. Statistically, the equatorial regions are staying about the same temperature despite your misnamed “greenhouse” warming, while nighttime temperatures and polar temperatures are slightly increasing. In other words, the energy differential is DEcreasing and should, according to your own theory, lead to weaker, not stronger storms.

      1. Rossamatta with you?
        Hurricane paths before 1969 are largely unknown, island wind shear stunts the growth of tropical depressions, cutting the hurricane count, more people die in Central American landfalls than get rescued stateside., and rain and surge, not cyclonic energy remain the principal metrics of hurricane lethality.

        Finally, why drag in hurricanes crossing Mexico and Central America? Only one has done so in this century, and less than ten in the last.

        1. So you agree with Rossami.

          1. On the one hand , Earth is absorbing a couple of extra watts per square meter on the other, the Rossami says:

            “the energy differential is DEcreasing and should, according to your own theory, lead to weaker, not stronger storms.”

            The “according to your own theory ” bit is as fictitious as the rest of his bafflegab gallop.

  8. When it supports the narrative it’s a climate event. Otherwise it’s just weather.

  9. Pick a random person on Earth in the 1920s. Tabulate their risk of dying from infectious disease.

    Now 2021, do the same.

    Now rectify that with our handling of COVID.

  10. 2006: Expect Another Big Hurricane Year Says NOAA”—headline, MongaBay .com, May 22, 2006

    2007: “NOAA Predicts Above Normal 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season”—headline, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration press release, May 23, 2007

    2008: “NOAA Increases Expectancy for Above-Normal 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season”—headline, gCaptain .com, Aug. 7, 2008

    2009: “Forecasters: 2009 to Bring ‘Above Average’ Hurricane Season”—headline, CNN, Dec. 10, 2008

    2010: “NOAA: 2010 Hurricane Season May Set Records”—headline, Herald-Tribune (Sarasota, Fla.), May 28, 2010

    2011: “NOAA Predicts Increased Storm Activity in 2011 Hurricane Season”—headline, BDO Consulting press release, Aug. 18, 2011

    2012: “2012 Hurricane Forecast Update: More Storms Expected”—headline, LiveScience, Aug. 9, 2012

    2013: “NOAA Predicts Active 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season”—headline, NOAApress release, May 23, 2013

    2015: “A Space-Based View of 2015’s ‘Hyperactive’ Hurricane Season”—headline, CityLab .com, June 19, 2015

    2016: “The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Might Be the Strongest in Years”—headline, CBSNews, Aug. 11, 2016

    Also 2016: “NOAA: U.S. Completes Record 11 Straight Years Without Major Hurricane Strike”—headline, CNSNews, Oct. 24, 2016

    That was from an old WSJ Best of the Web by James Taranto.

    NOTE: the NOAA is The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a scientific agency within the Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere.

    I’m sure that *EVENTUALLY* they’ll get one right…2016 was the “strongest in years” but was still pretty much meh, except for Matthew’s impact on Haiti.

    Actual activity in 2016: 15 named storms, 7 hurricanes, 4 CAT3+
    Average (1981–2010) 12.1, 6.4, 2.7
    Record high activity 28, 15, 7

    I haven’t kept up with this chain since 2016.

    1. I haven’t kept up with this chain since 2016.

      Yeah, for about a decade I kept up with their forecasts. They were wrong a disproportionate number of times on any ‘prediction’ made prior to the last half of the hurricane season.

    2. Nine named storms this year through Ida.

      1. Nine name storms so far and we’re just over halfway through the hurricane season. That extrapolates out to … another average year.

    3. Accurately predicted 10 of the last two increased hurricane seasons.

      I predicted on 10 horse races and got 2 correct. You should pay me to advise you at the track.

  11. anything to do with residential structures being better structured?

    1. You want us to NOT build on the beach?!?!

  12. Pray to your Gov-Gods…. For only your Gov-Gods control of Gov-Gun-*Forces* can control the weather…..

    That day you realize humans have regressed into cave-men mentality all over again.

    And the day the weather is just freak-en fine as it has been every since the Nazi-Regime started screaming about it 100-years ago and indoctrinating the world that only Gov-Gods can ‘fix-it’.

  13. Since this is September 1st, I just wanted to say here’s hoping all freedom-loving people are staying safe from either Natural or Human-Made Disasters on this National Preparedness Month in the U.S.A..

    I should also hasten to add that you shouldn’t need U.S. Government prompting, prompting from Government in any Nation, or a designated time of year to practice Rational Preparedness. (Indeed, God and Government are the last things anyone should rely on in the face of disaster. Really, it should be called Rational Preparedness Month or best yet, Rational Preparedness Eternity.)

    Even if “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” never existed, there still no place on Earth or in the Natural Universe that is 100% safe, and there is only one life to live in it all, so the best practice is to always be ready, come whatever may! Here’s hoping all freedom-loving people are doing so this Month and always!

  14. “We may not be any better at preventing extreme weather events,”

    Imagine having this level of hubris. Does some big shot have a weather controlling device I haven’t heard about in a secret volcano lair?

    1. I also haven’t gotten any better at preventing the Sun from rising, but I’m working on it and hope to improve soon.

      1. Have you considered a giant satellite dish that just blocks your city from seeing the sun?

    2. A few in the tinfoil were haarping on about something like this.

  15. Does some big shot have a weather controlling device I haven’t heard about…?

    Evidently. It’s called radiative forcing , and it works by turning carbon underground into atmospheric heat opacity.

    1. Although one of the best-kept secrets is that CO2 is only one ingredient in what is actually a pretty complicated pie.

      1. ” one of the best-kept secrets is that CO2 is only one ingredient in what is actually a pretty complicated pie.”

        Some secret.
        As Queen Victoria’s science advisor told the reading public some time ago:
        ” as the above experiments indicate the chief influence be exercised by the aqueous vapour, every variation of this constituent must produce a change of climate.

        Similar remarks would apply to the carbonic acid diffused through the air, while an almost inappreciable admixture of any of the hydrocarbon vapours would produce great effects on the terrestrial rays and produce corresponding changes of climate.”

        — Sir John Tyndall FRS:
        ‘On the absorption and radiation of heat by gases and vapours’

        The Philosophical Magazine, 1859

  16. Prayers for all the people affected by these disasters! Towing Denver

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