Hurricanes in New York — Blame Global Warming?

by Marlo Lewis on August 29, 2011

in Features

Post image for Hurricanes in New York — Blame Global Warming?

Google “Hurricane Irene” and “global warming,” and you’ll find 23,000 sites where these two topics are both discussed.

The Huffington Post served up the standard alarmist narrative. Reporter Lynne Peeples quotes NRDC senior scientist Kim Knowlton, who told her: “No one is going to point to Irene and say this is climate change. But we can say that we are seeing the fingerprint of climate change this year.” Huh? Peeples interprets for us:

Knowlton was of course referring to the growing list of extreme weather events that have ravaged the U.S. in 2011 — from tornadoes and flooding, to droughts and heat waves. And now millions of Americans, many of whom have never seen a real tropical storm in their lifetime, are facing a major hurricane.

Note the clever juxtaposition of Knowlton’s two statements. Although the NRDC scientist does not openly — and unscientifically — attribute a particular weather event to global climate change, she encourages readers to do just that.

Hurricanes in New York are certainly not as common as hurricanes in Florida or Louisiana, but if Irene is evidence of global warming, then global warming has menaced the Empire State for centuries, because hurricanes have hit New York since before the industrial revolution.

Wikipedia has a List of New York Hurricanes going back to the 17th century. The strongest was the New England Hurricane of 1938, a category 3 storm that killed upwards of 600 people. A photo of the storm surge from that hurricane appears above.

As I read the Wiki list, the following number of hurricanes have affected New York: 6 before 1800; 23 from 1800 to 1899; 11 from 1900 to 1949; 15 from 1950 to 1974; 21 from 1975 to 1999; and 18 from 2000 to the present (including Irene). Each storm in the Wiki list is footnoted, usually with a link to the source referenced.

Lest anyone see a “fingerprint of climate change” in the larger number of hurricanes since 1975, 16 were “remants” of tropical storms. In contrast, only one “remnant” is identified for 1950-1974 and none is identified for 1900-1949. No doubt New York experienced many hurricane remnants that were not identified as such before the advent of weather satellites and hurricane hunter aircraft.


adsfsd August 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm

so you obviously don’t believe in global warming and make no attempt to restrain your bias in your articles. Then you write about others allegedly doing the same thing.

How does this get us anywhere?

BobRGeologist August 30, 2011 at 12:46 am

Global Warming has so much money invested in it by so many nut cases (think Algore) and many other rabid Environmentalist that it has achieved zombie (walking dead) status. It will not die of its own accord as long as stupid politicians keep wasting our taxes on research grants to unscroupulus climate scientists. But, eventually history will classify AGW as the biggest scam ever to hit science

Ray R August 30, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Well put Bob, thanks!

Tim August 30, 2011 at 11:56 am

The Atlantic Ocean along Irene’s path is the warmest it has ever been, due to the buildup of greenhouse gases, particularly CO2 and, via positive feedback, water vapor. Irene was bigger than almost all recorded Atlantic hurricanes. Had the ocean been cooler and the air drier, Irene would have been less wet, and the floods less severe. We are ramping things up with more CO2 production year-to-year, causing increased temperatures nearly year to year, increased water vapor in the atmosphere year-to-year, and increased severity of floods, all of this worldwide. Irene is part of this phenomenon.

There is a lot of hard work on these subjects being done by thousands of scientists worldwide bringing us the real news and the real analysis. Meanwhile the forces of disinformation, like this glib jibe, try to keep us in the shadows. Why?

TjConfer September 1, 2011 at 8:51 am

Maybe you’re right and if things had been different then it wouldn’t have been so bad. Then again maybe something else could have happened. It’s no good using what ifs.

Andrew August 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Hey Tim, where did you read that? I’m asking because studies over the last several years have shown a decrease in ocean temperatures, not an increase.

Tyler Saurey September 1, 2011 at 9:37 am

What Would Al Gore Say About This Global Warming Video?

Wally September 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm

And where did you get that Irene was larger than almost all recorded hurricanes. I’ve been studying hurricanes since 1973 (going both ways), and I’ve seen plenty that were larger (radius). Irene was in a perfect trajectory to be cat 4, and was forecast to be about such, but excluding slower path and the water (pure hydrological) factors, it just wimped out as far as sheer power and energy metabolism. It was almost remarkable in that it did NOT become a true monster in light of supposed global overheating. It was a very unfortunate storm, but to tout it as anything special is baseless.

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