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Are we just in another phase of the usual hurricane cycle that was calm in the period 1900-1925, busy 1926-1960, then calm again until things started picking up in 1995? Jeff Masters at Weather Underground has published an extraordinary list of the records broken by the 2005 hurricane season, including several events that have never occured in the 500 years for which we have relatively good knowledge of hurricane activity in the Atlantic and Carribean. (Hurricanes are big, so they were hard to miss by all those Europeans sailing to and from the New World).

There is no issue as important as global warming. We are all Jews in Germany, and it is 1938.

Originally posted to AceDeuceLady on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 08:24 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't think it's appropriate (none)
    to compare this to being "Jews in Germany 1938." That was undeniably a matter of human depravity, while hurricanes are a natural phenomenon. The Holocaust was deliberate cruelty carried out by one group of humans against another; Hurricanes are a natural force that does not care, that has no intent.

    As for global warming, that is an extremely complex matter. Although many believe that artificial global warming may have contributed to the increased intensity of hurricanes in the past few years, it is impossible to say if or how much of an influence it is.

    •  Actually, the "holocaust" meme (none)
      and the climate change meme would make a lovely couple in the right "frame".  

      It's not an exact or obvious analogy, but the more I think about it...I think it's intended to illustrate that there is a very real possibility of the extermination of most or all of the human race in the next several decades, and if we are ever going to anything about it, the best time to start would be NOW.  It'll be an accidental, messy, decidedly unsystematic (and racially indescriminate) holocaust, but a holocaust just the same. Which is an excellent point with which I whole-heartedly concur!  It may be impossible to quantify the exact percentage of cause of global warming which is attributable to human activity.  If you're interested in doing so, what is the unit of cause?  An ounce?  An inch?  An acre?  It is enough to know that given the highest levels of atmospheric CO2 in at least 650,000 years, it likely to be substantial.  And to know that regardless of cause, that it will be catastrophic.  All in all not a bad diary.  Try again with more meat.  

  •  I don't actually see anything too strange there (none)
    The "most hurricanes" record was broken by 1 (13 vs. 12), so hardly a major shift that would be indicative of underlying causal factors rather than random variation.  Same with most category 5 storms: there were 3, and on at least 2 occasions (in a row!) there have been 2 in the year.  2004-05 has been less active than 1960-61 by this measure.

    The most obvious non-record is most property damage---there is simply a lot more property on the water these days.  In 1900, Galveston was a major port city that was flattened---but "major port city" in 1900 meant only 38,000 people.  If it had been, say, 380,000 people, there would've been a lot more monetary damage.

    This isn't to say it's not worth keeping an eye on things, but I think it's far too shaky to say that there definitely is an increase.  Academic meteorologists anyway, are not willing to make that conclusion yet (there have been a few back-and-forth articles in Science, but nothing conclusive).

    "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

    by Delirium on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 09:06:56 PM PST

    •  I assume he calls it once in 500 year event (none)
      of the totality of extremes. It started early, it got intense early, it stayed intense, and it is still continuing. It also has extended to areas that have not ever been effected before, such as the Iberian peninsula. No one storm, and no one season, "prove" anything about global warming. However, if you look at all the changes that are taking place over the last few years, especially in the Arctic, it is pretty clear that things picking up pace. This corresponds to changes that were predicted to happen as China develops, but people were not expecting China to carry out the massive investment in infrastructure that is moving them closer to our level of carbon use.
      •  oh, I didn't mean global warming generally (none)
        I'm convinced of global warming; what I'm not convinced of a causal connection to hurricane frequency, which is very tenuous.

        "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

        by Delirium on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 01:23:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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