Two new studies link increased hurricane intensity to global warming

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The New York Times reports May 31 that climate researchers at Purdue University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology separately have presented new evidence, in forthcoming science publications, supporting the idea that global warming is causing stronger hurricanes.  A NOAA meteorologist is quoted as referring to the researchers’ analysis as “theology.”  We wonder whether this NOAA meteorologist was the only federal scientist the Times reporter asked for a comment (if so, why?), or whether he was the one the Times was offered by the NOAA Public Affairs operation.  (Archived

The Times reports that, in one new paper, to appear in a forthcoming issue of Geophysical Research Letters, Purdue scientists Huber and Sriver found that their results matched earlier work by Kerry A. Emanuel, a hurricane expert at M.I.T. Dr. Emanuel has argued that global warming, specifically the warming of the tropical oceans, is already increasing the power expended by hurricanes.

In the other new study, to be published in Eos, a publication of the American Geophysical Union, Emanuel and Mann compared records of global sea surface temperatures with those of the tropical Atlantic and said the recent strengthening of hurricanes was attributable largely to the rise in ocean surface temperature.

Stanley B. Goldenberg, a meteorologist with the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is quoted as referring to the researchers’ analysis as “theology.”

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