by P. Homewood (pdf), Feb 2023 in GWPF
About the author iii Executive summary v
- Introduction 1
- Observational methodologies 1
- US landfalling hurricanes 3
- Atlantic hurricanes 5
- Global trends 7
- What do the IPCC say? 8
About the Global Warming Policy Foundation 10
It is widely believed that hurricanes are getting worse as a consequence of climate change. This belief is fuelled by the media and some politicians, particularly when a bad storm occurs. This be- lief is reinforced because the damage caused by hurricanes is much greater nowadays, thanks to increasing populations in vulnerable coastal areas and greater wealth more generally.
But is this belief correct, or is it a misconception? This study has carefully analysed official data and assessments by hurricane scientists, and finds:
• 2021 and 2022 recorded the lowest number of both hurricanes and major hurricanes glob- ally for any two year period since 1980.
• The apparent long-term increase in the number of hurricanes since the 19th century has been due to changes in observational practices over the years, rather than a real increase.
• Data show no long-term trends in US landfalling hurricanes since the mid-19th century, when systematic records began, either in terms of frequency or intensity.
• Similarly, after allowing for the fact that many hurricanes were not spotted prior to the sat- ellite era, there are no such trends in Atlantic hurricanes either.
- Globally there are also no trends in hurricanes since reliable records began in the 1970s.
- Evidence is also presented that wind speeds of the most powerful hurricanes may now be overestimated in comparison to pre-satellite era ones, because of changing methods of meas- urement.
• The increase in Atlantic hurricanes in the last fifty years is not part of a long-term trend, but is simply a recovery from a deep minimum in hurricane activity in the 1970s, associated with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.
These findings are in line with those of hurricane scientists generally, as well as official bodies such as NOAA and the IPCC.