Thursday, September 13, 2007

There is nothing new in the eye of the hurricane

Eli notices that Humberto spun up from zilch to Cat 1 in record time, continuing a worrying trend. While sheltering from the rain, he found this tasty bit from 1987:

Nature 326, 483 - 485 (08 April 1987); doi:10.1038/326483a0
The dependence of hurricane intensity on climate

Kerry A. Emanuel
Center for Meteorology and Physical Oceanography,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA

Tropical cyclones rank with earthquakes as the major geophysical causes of loss of life and property1. It is therefore of practical as well as scientific interest to estimate the changes in tropical cyclone frequency and intensity that might result from short-term man-induced alterations of the climate2. In this spirit we use a simple Carnot cycle model to estimate the maximum intensity of tropical cyclones under the somewhat warmer conditions expected to result from increased atmospheric CO2 content. Estimates based on August mean conditions over the tropical oceans predicted by a general circulation model with twice the present CO2 content yield a 40–50% increase in the destructive potential of hurricanes.

36 comments:

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

The thing is, though, to all intents the ocean doesn't look particularly warm this year. So what is it?

Anonymous said...

Anybody have graphs of surface temps vs hurricane(season?) intensities?
-flavius collium

Anonymous said...

Well, there is another very interesting hurricane developing at climateaudit at the moment. It threatens to sweep away the entire surface temperature record.

What is happening is that it has torn the foundations loose, and now temperatures as deeply buried as the thirties are flying around in the air, now higher, now lower. Over the last three weeks, some stations have had their values adjusted up down and up again, often by amounts greater than those of the alleged trend.

One would welcome the comments of climate orthodoxy on this one. Have adjustments been made, as described on climateaudit? Were they correct? Why have there been so many? What does this tell us about the conclusions drawn from the unadjusted observations we thought we knew and loved?

Have fun with this one, guys.

Anonymous said...

What is happening is that it has torn the foundations loose, and now temperatures as deeply buried as the thirties are flying around in the air, now higher, now lower. Over the last three weeks, some stations have had their values adjusted up down and up again, often by amounts greater than those of the alleged trend.

Newsflash:

The world will start caring when we read about the wonderful, Galileo-like discoveries of the NewScience in the peer-reviewed literature. Instead of the PRbot releases on The Internets.

HTH.

Best,

D

Anonymous said...


Well, there is another very interesting hurricane developing at climateaudit at the moment. It threatens to sweep away the entire surface temperature record.


OK, let's ditch the surface temperature record and go with the satellite temperature record, which shows the very same warming trend over the past three decades that the surface temp. does.

How would that change anything?

stevesadlov said...

Back in '87, I was part of the "Killer AGW" lobby. ("Killer AGW" .... sort of like, "Killer Bees" .... you know, the ones that were supposed to be swarming in San Francisco, Denver and Washington D.C. by now?). I had "The Monkey Wrench Gang," "Ecotopia Emerging" and "Greenhouse: It will happen in 1997" rattling around in my noggin. It is no surprise that Emanuel (and Halpern, and others) were also caught up in the hysteria back then. Somewhere along the line, we parted ways. For me, it was, ironically, 1997.

N. Johnson said...

What is happening is that it has torn the foundations loose, and now temperatures as deeply buried as the thirties are flying around in the air, now higher, now lower. Over the last three weeks, some stations have had their values adjusted up down and up again, often by amounts greater than those of the alleged trend.


Temperature has units of Kelvin; temperature trend has units of Kelvin/decade. Comparing the two has about the same meaning as comparing an acceleration (m/s^2)with a velocity (m/s).

Jaye said...

The world will start caring when we read about the wonderful, Galileo-like discoveries of the NewScience in the peer-reviewed literature.

Hiding behind the rusted altar of "peer review", I see. Try to get past the incestuous good ole boy rubber stamping that goes on in "climate science", you'll find some interesting stuff out there.

EliRabett said...

Obviously you have never had the joy of the good old boys rubbishing your paper. Eli just had one accepted after 1.5 years. It was not a walk in the park.

Anonymous said...

Note this interesting comment on Humberto from the NHC forecast discussion archive:
"BASED ON OPERATIONAL ESTIMATES...HUMBERTO STRENGTHENED FROM A 30 KT
DEPRESSION AT 15Z YESTERDAY TO A 75 KT HURRICANE AT 09Z THIS
MORNING...AN INCREASE OF 45 KT IN 18 HOURS. TO PUT THIS
DEVELOPMENT IN PERSPECTIVE...NO TROPICAL CYCLONE IN THE HISTORICAL
RECORD HAS EVER REACHED THIS INTENSITY AT A FASTER RATE NEAR
LANDFALL. IT WOULD BE NICE TO KNOW...SOMEDAY...WHY THIS HAPPENED."

guthrie said...

I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that people susceptible to hysteria and sloppy thinking will change their views and become just as vehemently opposed to what they once espoused with religious fervour.

Meanwhile, those of us of a more sober disposition carry on working away at things.

Sparrow (in the coal mine) said...

Anybody have graphs of surface temps vs hurricane(season?) intensities?

Here you go (linky)

Jaye said...

Obviously you have never had the joy of the good old boys rubbishing your paper. Eli just had one accepted after 1.5 years. It was not a walk in the park.

No. My stuff just has to work, opinions don't really matter.

However, you could observe the shenanigans at Climate of the Past to get some rubber stamping in realtime.

guthrie said...

So jaye, first you claim that climate stuff is rubber stamped by the old boy network, then when this is shown not to be the case, you then claim that your stuff has to work, but give no examples of it. Are you trying to make a point here?

Anonymous said...

Jeff Masters' weather blog today (www.weatherunderground.com) goes into great detail about how Humberto's intensification rate compares to those of previous storms. Of course, there's not much of a record of pre-AGW hurricane intensification rates.

Anonymous said...

Yes, now tell me: why are we adjusting temps from the thirties up and down three times in as many weeks?

Anonymous said...

Here is a graph of ACE (accumlated cyclone energy) for each year since 1900.

http://davidsmith.auditblogs.com/files/2007/09/0914073.JPG

It looks like the ACE has a downward trend.

Anonymous said...

One can argue about the numbers of hurricanes of a particular intensity over the past century, but it is hard to argue with Emanuel's basic thesis that higher SST's should increase the maximum intensity of tropical cyclones.

While people will probably be arguing forever about the former ("Better living through Cherry Picking"), few, if any scientists are arguing about the latter point that I am aware of.

So the argument is really about whether there are other factors (eg, wind shear)that would tend to counteract this effect.

The jury is still out on the relative importance of increasing SST's vs possible increased wind shear.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the principle makes sense but it's good to see actual historical data too, seems they correlate very well:
http://www.logicalscience.com/skeptic_arguments/images/hurricanes.jpg

Thanks, Sparrow!

-flavius collium

Anonymous said...

Sigh, let's try the link again:
here!

-f c

Horatio Algeranon said...

Some chase hurricanes, others for AC's.

Steve Bloom said...

Eli, a few months ago Michael Tobis pointed to some new work by Emanuel minion Matt Huber in support of a 2001 Emanuel paper that complemented the 1987 paper. The upshot is that much-increased TC activity is necessary to explain the relative temperatures of the poles and tropics during warmer climate regimes.

Steve Bloom said...

Steve Sadlov (sixth comment in this thread), I'm beginning to suspect that there's some sort of strange short-circuit between your rhinencephalon and keyboard. Either that or you just make stuff up compulsively. In this case, please try to remember for future reference that Kerry Emanuel remained an AGW skeptic for several years after the 1997 paper. You can find the description of his transition from one view to the other in the "Phaeton's Reins" article on his website. Oh, and about your claimed pre-1997 AGW lobbying: You don't even believe you, so why keep making such stuff up?

Anonymous said...

Steve Bloom,

For some reason, some people believe that if they claim they were once "Monkey Wrench Gang"-carrying environmentalists, that will make their current un-scientific contrarian views more credible.

They are just deluded, of course.

Most people have the opposite reaction. They are immediately suspect of such claims.

John Mashey said...

re: Monkey-wrench & such

I've discussed this with some psychologist professor friends/relatives earlier this year. It's usually called "either/or" or "all-or-nothing" thinking, usually applied to people with a low tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty, and a large number of people tend in that direction.

So, what happens (and I've seen this before around AGW) is that somebody gets really fervent at one side, then that certainty gets cracked, and by reaction, they go all the way to the other side. One of the more common would be:

The AGW argument (like some others) is 3-sided:
- real alarmists (ahead of the science) at one extreme,
- real deniers at the other, and
- skeptics (in the classical sense) who assess data, change their minds, and may think in terms of balance of evidence, levels of certainty, error bars, confidence intervals, probability distributions rather than means. Many of this group have been been finding their positions moving in response to that mountain of evidence.

Of course, there are the usual "anchoring" effects that everyone has to watch out for.

The psychologists also say there's a (rare in adults) effect called "splitting", in which the person abruptly switches back and forth between two extremes, generally in their opinion of some other person.

I haven't seen that yet in AGW, unless some arguing Anonymice are really the same person oscillating and thus needing to argue with themselves. :-)

Anonymous said...

At issue is not just whether someone has undergone such flip-flops, but whether it is credible when they make the claim in a public forum.

I think most people would be (and are) suspect when they see such claims -- especially the extreme ones.

A "large number of people [may] tend in that direction", as you say, but it is nowhere near "most people". After all, the claims of flips are considered "extreme". Also, I'd suspect that most who have made such a claim would not admit it, especially not in a public forum.

"Flip-flopping" has quite a negative connotation and most people certainly understand this.

guthrie said...

I have occaisionally seen people who claim to have flopped from "AGW is real and we're all going to die" to "AGW isn't real and your all evil babykillers". Only a couple though.

Anyone here recall General Semantics? A/ not A is replaced by myriad shades of gray. It seems to me many people still havn't worked out that the world is not black or white.

As for the "monkey wrench gang", I am half way through it, and don't really see what all the fuss is about. Instead, what I wish to point out is that claiming to be a book carrying member of the "evil humans are killing the planet" side of things, and yet not apparently engaging in the activities said book talks about, is rather a cop out. Were they too scared?

Anonymous said...

It's "feel-good" environmentalism, like that practiced by so many Americans.

They do a few things to make themselves feel like they are saving the planet -- reading a book, belonging to the Sierra Club, recycling a few bottles and cans -- while they continue with their incredibly wasteful lifestyle: living in (heating/cooling) a 6000 sq foot house, driving around the corner to get a quart of milk instead of walking or biking, using resources as if they owned the planet.

On the other side of the coin are the "feel-good" conservatives, of course. They are the ones who claim to be all for "conserving" this that and the other, but who have no clue what the word means.

For all their ideological differences, Liberal and Conservative Americans are not very different from one another in practical terms.

They -- we -- are "resource hogs".

Anonymous said...

And tell me, are any of you guys ever going to explain why it was necessary to revise the 1930's temperatures of ground stations not once, but three times, in as many weeks, in the year of Grace 2007?

Was this just a funny thing that happened - we have been wrong about all those temps all those years, and then we were wrong again a couple times last month?

Was it incompetence? Or was there some reasonable explanation? If so, what the hell was it?

Or are we in former Soviet Union mode? That is the picture, those were the people on the stand then, there never were any others. Trotsky? Who was he? I never heard of him and neither did anyone else.

Its not going away, you know. It gets worse every time you look at it.

Mitchell said...

Anonymous, I am just a passerby here, but my guess is that this is "Y2K aftermath". I can see, from poking around at Climate Audit, that the station time series are statistically adjusted to correct for various things, and it's already been suggested that these changes in the data actually arise from parameter changes to the adjustment process. I would in turn suggest that this has something to do with the Y2K discontinuity that McIntyre discovered - not that Hansen is massaging the data to put 1998 back on top (as a few people at CA seem to think), but that correcting Y2K required parameter changes to the statistical model behind the adjustment process, whatever it is... I hope CA makes its wiki soon, as it can take a while to figure out what they're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:30 said "Its not going away, you know. It gets worse every time you look at it."

You mean "Climate Audit", right?

stevesadlov said...

Bloom cannot stand the fact that there are people who used to be radical enviros, but who grew and developed beyond that. Evidence is right here, in this thread. Bloom has no future - at least in his own mind - beyond his rote learned, radical indoctrination. He is stuck in a meme which I used to also be enslaved by.

Dano said...

Bloom cannot stand the fact that there are people who used to be radical enviros, but who grew and developed beyond that.

That rhetorical tactic is soooooo 2003. And 2004. And 2005. And...

Why? That's all they've got.

And the widdle marginalization gamie-games they do, like AlGore resource consumption.

Yawn-o-rama.

Best,

D

Anonymous said...

Hey Dano why is AlGore chewing up the equivalent energy of small nations- widdle is your contribution to this so far.

JohnS

stevesadlov said...

Dano, what is even sadder is to see a scientifically trained person who's stuck in that meme. Bloom I'll excuse - his "scientific training" is from osmosis and his beloved Google Scholar. But you, you have hands on science to your credit. I was there. Now I'm free.

Dano said...

Well, Steve, I'd be happy to have my mind changed if there were actual robust data, evidence, models, testable hypotheses, etc for me to look at to judge their merit. IR iris, Shaviv-ish CR flux, well, buh-bye. Not robust.

Hence my importuning you, Steve, to edit Galileo: The CA Journal of NewScience to change my mind and the misled masses of fact-based scientists.

Best,

D

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