Climate Change: Hurricanes

Figure 1.--The Great New England Hurricane/the Long Island Express of 1938 was one of the deadliest and most destructive tropical hurricanes to strike Long Island, New York and New England. It is not a namd Hurricane because the naming conventions had not yet been developed. The storm formed near the coast of Africa (September 9), becoming a Category 5 hurricane before making landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on Long Island and a scond landfall in Rhode Island (September 21). The Hurricane killed 682 people, damaged or destroyed more than 57,000 homes, and caused property losses estimated at $306 million ($4.7 billion in 2016 dollars). Damaged trees and buildings could be seen in the affected areas as late as 1951. It remains the most powerful and deadliest hurricane in recorded New England history, some believed it may only have been eclipsed in landfall intensity by the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635. Here we see a damage scene, a boy playing on a fallen tree in Providence, Rhode Island the day after the Hurricane (September 22).

Huricans impacted the Americas annually. And they have been notd since Columbus' discovered the New World. The most famous was the 1900 Hurricane that destroyed Galveston and killed 6,000-12,000 people, making it the dedliest natural disaster in American history. Death tolls have been sharply reduced by modern forecasting and warning systems. The most poweful hurricane in the Northeast was the Great New England Hurricane/the Long Island Express of 1938 (figure 1). The issue of hurricanes comes up each year when hurricane season rolls around. When ever a majpr hurrican strikes, we are told by the mainline media which sees the climate change narative basically a religious crusade that this is evidence of climate change being accelerated by greenhouse gasses without the slightest evidence that this is the case. It seems likely that climate chnge meaning global warming could cause a greater number of hurricanes and/or more intense hurricanes. This has not yet been proven, but it is certainly something that should be followed closely. It is not something that the talking heads on televisiom are doing. One way of telling that that the climate change advocate is poorly informed or being dishonst if he or she uses dollar damage data to compare hurricanes over time. This is because the damages have more to do with where a hurricne strikes than the intensity of the hurricane. A massive category 5 hurricane is going to do limited damage if it stays out to sea. On the other hand a category 2 hurricane can do emormous damage if it strikes a heavily populated area or in conjuction with other weather formations. Damage tolls are also rising by factors that have nothing to do with climate change, including indlation, and increasing populations in hurricne prone areas such as Florida and Gulf coast states. Frequency and intensity are a differnt matter. The number of hurricanes can be easily counted. And for some time intensity has been measured. The Saffir-Simpson scale measures the intensity of a hurricane. It is based on measurements of wind speed, height of storm surges, and central barometric pressure in millibars. The Saffir-Simpson scale ranges from Category 1 hurricanes with a barometric pressure of greater than 980 millibars that cause minimal damage, to Category 5 hurricanes with a central pressure of less than 920 millibars. Category 5 hurricanes are capable of causing catastrophic damage, but this will be determined by where they strike.


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Created: 8:11 PM 3/1/2018
Last updated: 8:11 PM 3/1/2018