I wonder how David Hicks felt when Hurricane Dennis passed through Guantanamo Bay on Saturday apparently downing a guard tower.
According to some reports the hurricane left 10 dead in Cuba and 22 in Haiti.
According to the BBC, Hurricane Dennis is the Atlantic’s first hurricane this year (formed last Tuesday) and the strongest to form in the Atlantic this early in the season since records began in 1851.
A state of emergency has now been declared in Florida.
Will this hurricane be ‘attributed’ to global warming or will there be at least some reflection on the words and actions of Chris Landsea?
Early this year there was much excitement amongst ‘climate skeptics’ when hurricane expert Chris Landsea withdrew from the IPCC process.
In an open letter Landsea wrote,
After some prolonged deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I am withdrawing because I have come to view the part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become politicized. In addition, when I have raised my concerns to the IPCC leadership, their response was simply to dismiss my concerns.
With this open letter to the community, I wish to explain the basis for my decision and bring awareness to what I view as a problem in the IPCC process. The IPCC is a group of climate researchers from around the world that every few years summarize how climate is changing and how it may be altered in the future due to manmade global warming. I had served both as an author for the Observations chapter and a Reviewer for the 2nd Assessment Report in 1995 and the 3rd Assessment Report in 2001, primarily on the topic of tropical cyclones (hurricanes and typhoons). My work on hurricanes, and tropical cyclones more generally, has been widely cited by the IPCC. For the upcoming AR4, I was asked several weeks ago by the Observations chapter Lead Author – Dr. Kevin Trenberth – to provide the writeup for Atlantic hurricanes. As I had in the past, I agreed to assist the IPCC in what I thought was to be an important, and politically-neutral determination of what is happening with our climate.
Shortly after Dr. Trenberth requested that I draft the Atlantic hurricane section for the AR4’s Observations chapter, Dr. Trenberth participated in a press conference organized by scientists at Harvard on the topic “Experts to warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense hurricane activity” along with other media interviews on the topic. The result of this media interaction was widespread coverage that directly connected the very busy 2004 Atlantic hurricane season as being caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas warming occurring today. Listening to and reading transcripts of this press conference and media interviews, it is apparent that Dr. Trenberth was being accurately quoted and summarized in such statements and was not being misrepresented in the media. These media sessions have potential to result in a widespread perception that global warming has made recent hurricane activity much more severe.
I found it a bit perplexing that the participants in the Harvard press conference had come to the conclusion that global warming was impacting hurricane activity today. To my knowledge, none of the participants in that press conference had performed any research on hurricane variability, nor were they reporting on any new work in the field. All previous and current research in the area of hurricane variability has shown no reliable, long-term trend up in the frequency or intensity of tropical cyclones, either in the Atlantic or any other basin. The IPCC assessments in 1995 and 2001 also concluded that there was no global warming signal found in the hurricane record. …
An impressive letter.
So how many hurricanes have there been over the last 100 years? What appears to be the official site for hurricanes hitting the US at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdec.shtml indicates there was a peak in hurricane activity in the 1940s. But why does this site only record one cyclone for the period since 2000. I thought there were four hurricanes just last year?
There is some interesting information about hurricanes at
And a blogger has been following Hurricane Dennis at