When Hurricane Isaac made landfall in southern Louisiana last week, the storm provided a rare break in one of the longest periods of hurricane inactivity in U.S. history. Seeking to deflect attention away from this comforting trend, global warming alarmists attempted a high-profile head fake, making public statements that the decline in recent hurricane activity masked an increase in strong, damaging hurricanes.
“The hurricanes that really matter, that cause damage, are increasing,” John Abraham, a mechanical engineer on the staff of little-known University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, told Discovery News.
Let’s go straight to the data to find out if major hurricanes are indeed increasing.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) provides information on major U.S. hurricanes during the past 100-plus years. According to the NHC, 70 major hurricanes struck the United States in the 100 years between 1911 and 2010. That is an average of 7 major hurricane strikes per decade.
According to the NHC data, not a single decade during the past 50 years saw an above-average number of major hurricanes.
During the past 5 decades, an average of 5.6 major hurricanes struck the United States. During the preceding 5 decades, and average of 8.4 major hurricanes struck the United States.
“The hurricanes that really matter, that cause damage” are not increasing. Hard, objective data show exactly the opposite. Indeed, during the past 4 decades, the time period during which global warming alarmists claim human-induced global warming accelerated rapidly and became incontrovertible, the fewest number of major hurricanes struck during any 40-year period since at least the 1800s.
Read more in my weekly Forbes.com column, available here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2012/09/05/dont-believe-the-global-warmists-major-hurricanes-are-less-frequent/.