A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Lest you should think that hurricanes are linked to 'global warming'.....

Here is access to a new paper recently accepted by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2005: 'Hurricanes and Global Warming' [.pdf file - Acrobat Reader required]:
"Abstract: this paper reviews recent research on tropical cyclones and climate change from the perspective of event risk - the physical behavior of storms, vulnerability - the characteristics of a system that create the potential for impacts, but independent of event risk, and also outcome risk - the integration of considerations of vulnerability with event risk to characterize an event that causes losses. The paper concludes that with no trend identified in various metrics of hurricane damage over the 20th century, it is exceedingly unlikely that scientists will identify large changes in historical storm behavior that have significant societal implications, though scientists may identify discernible changes in storm behavior. Looking to the future, until scientists conclude (a) that there will be changes to storms that are significantly larger than observed in the past, (b) that such changes are correlated to measures of societal impact, and (c) that the effects of such changes are significant in the context of inexorable growth in population and property at risk, then it is reasonable to conclude that the significance of any connection of human-caused climate change to hurricane impacts necessarily has been and will continue to be exceedingly small [my emphasis]." [© Copyright 2005 American Meteorological Society (AMS)]

No comment is required from me on so expert an analysis. This scientific paper is an interesting test of how far the Barthesian myth of 'global warming' can swamp scientific analysis in the media.

Philip, betting that this does not get much coverage in the UK. Trendy lattes all round.

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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