Following Hurricane Katrina and Al Gore’s movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ many have come to expect an increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes hitting the US coast each year as the so-called “climate crisis” intensifies.
According to the US National Climatic Data Center, over the 10 years to the end of 2005, seasonal activity in the North Atlantic basin was 13 named storms, 7.7 hurricanes and 3.6 major hurricanes representing an increase over the average of the preceding 25 years (1970-1994) of 8.6 named storms, 5 hurricanes and 1.5 major hurricanes.
Today, the 30th November marks the official end of the 2006 hurricane season in the US and this year, according to a recent press release from the National Center for Public Policy Research, the number of hurricanes was 38 percent below the number originally forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The number of hurricanes that qualified as “major” – category 3 or above – fell 50 percent below NOAA forecasts and not a single hurricane made landfall.
“If we can’t depend on hurricane forecasts made one to six months ahead of time, how can we expect to depend on predictions about the behavior of hurricanes decades from now,” asked David Ridenour, Vice President of The National Center for Public Policy Research. “Those who claim that rising global temperatures would definitely lead to more intense hurricanes appear to be relying upon political science, not climate science.”
The 2006 summary at the US National Climatic Data Center simply states that the Atlantic season has been much quieter than had been initially forecast.
All good news.