Visitor Put up by Bob Vislocky, Ph.D.
Figures it wouldn’t take very lengthy into the 2019 hurricane season for journalists to start out screaming local weather change. On this current New Republic article by Eric Holthaus, the declare is made within the subtitle that “early season hurricanes is an indication of issues to come back for our warming world”.
Additional into the article the writer, who’s a meteorologist, makes the declare that “because the Gulf of Mexico waters heat due to local weather change, early-season hurricanes like proto-Barry might change into extra widespread.” Let’s examine that assertion additional utilizing precise historic information.
The chart beneath shows the variety of early season (June/July) landfalling hurricanes to strike the U.S. by decade ending within the yr proven. Outcomes present that regardless of 150+ years of worldwide warming the frequency of early season hurricanes has really declined by a small (however in all probability insignificant) quantity, as evidenced by the dashed blue least-squares pattern line. Actually there isn’t any clear proof to help the writer’s declare that they’re turning into extra widespread.
Nevertheless, what’s extra infuriating is the blatant cherry selecting and misrepresentation that additionally seems in his column. Particularly, Holthaus states that “within the 168 years of hurricane data, a July hurricane in Louisiana has solely occurred thrice, and all of these occurrences have been throughout the previous 40 years.” On the floor this assertion is factually right, however the implication is that local weather change is inflicting the early-season July hurricanes since all of them occurred in simply the final 40 years. Nevertheless, let’s dig a bit deeper, however as a substitute of focusing solely on July hurricanes that hit Louisiana, let’s depend ALL early-season hurricanes to strike Louisiana. Right here’s the listing:
(1) June 1886 (Unnamed, Cat 2)
(2) June 1934 (Unnamed, Cat 2)
(three) June 1957 (Audrey, Cat three)
(four) July 1979 (Bob, Cat 1)
(5) July 1997 (Danny, Cat 1)
(6) July 2005 (Cindy, Cat 1)
Now the portray exhibits a very totally different image with half of all early-season hurricanes to strike Louisiana occurring earlier than 1960, which is anticipated given no general pattern in June/July hurricanes. Nevertheless, by purposefully omitting the June early-season hurricanes from his evaluation the writer is responsible of cherry-picking information within the least and extra seemingly responsible of fraudulent reporting to advertise an agenda. As a meteorologist, Holthaus ought to be embarrassed by his analysis. Guess he figured no one would fact-check his work.