Dr. Ryan Maue releases new hurricane frequency data showing a negative trend in the last 30 years

Meteorologist Dr. Ryan Maue has released the latest hurricane frequency data updated through September 2012 showing a continuation of depressed global major hurricane numbers.

He announced on Twitter today:

Still going down, global major hurricane numbers during last 12-months: 15 (hint, it’s negative PDO climate change)

The data since 1978 with trends: 

The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) for the North Atlantic for this year compared to other years — the season just went over 100 with long-lived fish-storm Nadine.  During the last 30-years, the season has averaged an ACE of about 104.  However, with recent unfavorable MJO conditions, Nadine was the only show in town (helpful when GOES-13 is on the fritz).

The Accumulated Cyclone Energy dissipated by tropical cyclones worldwide this year (2012) is near-normal across the board from the Northern Hemisphere, and was below normal for the Southern Hemisphere during the last season (Fall 2011-Spring 2012). Globally, ACE is below normal for this year.

See more at Maue’s website here.

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53 thoughts on “Dr. Ryan Maue releases new hurricane frequency data showing a negative trend in the last 30 years

  1. Let’s see, what will the defense of Hansen and CAGW be?
    1. Ignore it and hope for more disasters next year? (most likely)
    2. Find a prediction that says rising Man-made CO2 levels would cause this?
    3. Claim that Hansen would have be right if not for the Montréal Protocols or if Anthony hadn’t put solar panels on his roof?
    4. ????

  2. The table you show doesn’t contain any of the current data, only the normal ACE totals per year for each region and the normal ACE totals for the year to date for each region.

    You want the top-most table on the left-hand side at policlimate.com/tropical, Dr. Maue’s website, for the current year-to-date values of ACE, which has the northern hemisphere right on top of normal for the year so far, and the last southern hemisphere season was below normal.

  3. NOAA are still rating this year as having ACE 50% higher than average – I think they are using a weird baseline as their number of storms is nothing special.

    And Nadine is hanging on in there as a TS now – 20 days since she was named and has crept into hurricane status three times so far without moving out of the mid-Atlantic. A classic case of a storm no-one would have noticed prior to satellite observations.

  4. Gunga Din:
    4. The season isn’t over yet and lots of butterfies are stamping like mad in West Africa as we speak.

  5. Obviously, more extreme weather events cause less extreme weather events. Our models predicted it. To warm-cold and drought-flood, we now need to add calm-hurricane.

    sarcoff

  6. Has anyone compared this to what was predicted for those years? In 2005, Gore told us the number and intensity of hurricanes would increase. That clearly did not happen. But a comparison of academic predictions to observation would be useful.

  7. First graph: Standing back and squinting, it looks like the hurricane number is indeed following about a 60-70 year sine curve that lines up with the PDO, as Ryan points out.

    Second graph: Since most other years tacked on a few percent of their total ACE after Oct 1, it’s a bit misleading to extend 2012 out to Nov 1. Maybe at least “ghost out” the black squares after Oct 1 or even better just drop them. Then we would see that 2012 is in a near tie or even slightly above 2011 instead of well below it.

  8. Edited the post:
    The trend is not statistically significant. But as we have been beaten over the head by NOAA, lowest-ever and historical records are supposedly signals of climate change. The time-series above probably won’t change for the next 10-15 years as the PDO remains cold. Oh well.

  9. In related news, the Australian Institute of Marine Science has released a new survey of the Great Barrier Reef. Storms (cyclones) are responsible for 48% of all damage in the last 27 years, nature (Crown-of-Thorns Starfish) is responsible for 42%, and Man (global warming bleaching events) are responsible for only 10% of all damage to the Great Barrier Reef in the last 27 years.

    Where’s the “it’s worse than we thought”? Going by what alarmists say, I’d expect Man to be responsible for 120% of the damage.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/half-the-great-barrier-reef-gone-in-under-30-years-says-aims-study/story-fncynkc6-1226486114293

  10. Actually, as a number of physicists have pointed out (at least Richard Lindzen and myself) one actually does expect the frequency and energy of hurricanes to diminish with a more uniformly warm planet, that is, with better heat distribution from the tropics to the poles (which is net global warming). Storm violence arises primarily from the difference in temperature between a warm reservoir, e.g. the ocean, and a cold reservoir. In fact, hurricanes are self-organized heat engines, driven by temperature difference as surely as your automobile.

    Like your automobile or any other heat engine, they are less efficient when the temperature difference between the driving reservoirs is smaller. If the Earth were much colder, so that the warm tropics stood in stark relief to colder polar waters, warm water driven oceanic storms would grow much more violent indeed!

    The same thing happens on a smaller scale with tornadoes. Tornadoes typically happen on warm spring or fall or summer days when a cold front moves in. A uniformly warm day might produce a convection-driven thunderstorm, but is unlikely to produce a tornado or even a particularly violent wind. Bring in cold air — especially cold air that overruns a much warmer surface layer of air — and you have the right conditions for a tornado, with strong convective shear along the front and usually a horizontal turbulent roll where the warm/cool interface lives.

    Even a thunderstorm is driven by convection from a warm/moist ground up into the cooler upper troposphere — a stable convective updraft lofts warm moist air up until it starts to precipitate out, creating a local low pressure system underneath the storm cell that acts like a “defect”, attracting warm moist air from the ground in to replace the warm moist air that lofts up into the increasingly turbulent and wet storm cloud.

    So, to the unknown, but probably nonzero extent that manmade CO_2 has indeed contributed to the naturally increasing global warmth over the post LIA era, you are more right than you know. One would absolutely expect storm intensity and frequency to decrease or remain about the same, all things being equal. Of course in the Earth’s climate system, all things are never equal, and separating out systematic signal from chaotic noise is very, very difficult. But the result is hardly surprising.

    The only thing that is surprising is that Gore and many other numb-nuts are so eager to promote the CAGW hypothesis that they openly mis-state — or if you prefer lie — about this and claim that storm frequency and violence is increasing.

    In truth, IIRC, every day that passes is currently extending the longest period without a major (category 3 or higher) North Atlantic landfall in the US in recorded history. We’ve eclipsed the previous record (set last November) and are within a couple of month of extending it by a full year, without a major hurricane in sight. The boundary between warm and cool water is creeping south already (although there is plenty of warm enough water to produce a strong hurricane if shear conditions permit) but there is only one respectable tropical wave with the potential for further development at the moment, predicted to spin out nowhere near the US (and probably never even make hurricane in status).

    rgb

  11. Based on the greatly reduced hurricane landfalls and tornadic activity, I am sure that the insurance companies have greatly reduced premiums on related property-damage policies……Sure they have…

  12. PF says:
    “Gore told us the ……………………But a comparison of academic predictions to observation would be useful.”

    PLEASE, do not use the words ‘Gore” and “academic” in the same paragraph. !!!

  13. oldseadog says:
    October 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm
    Of couse that should read “butterflies” My computer can’t spell.
    ===================================================================
    The same butterflys inhabit my keyboard. 8-)

  14. Mark Wagner says:
    October 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm
    @ Gunga Din

    4. All of the above.

    ================================================================
    I didn’t think of that. The shotgun defense.

  15. Ryan Maue says:
    October 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm
    lowest-ever and historical records are supposedly signals of climate change.
    ____________________________________________________

    Climate change can be blamed of everything – be it extreme weather, or extreme lack of it.

  16. oldseadog says:

    October 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Of couse that should read “butterflies” My computer can’t spell.
    ==========
    Didn’t even notice the keyboard error.
    Yes, those butterflies bear watching.

  17. Now, wait a minute! Projecting the current Oct 1 data flat through the rest of the year is just not being objective! The expectation is that this will not be much different than the 2011 curve, so another 25 days from the current level of 100.

    Add in some uncertainty, a gray fan that extends from 100 @ Oct 1 to maybe 102 to 125 on Nov 1 for an 80% confidence interval. Come on, do you really think there is less than a 10% chance we won’t get another 2 hurricane-days in the atlantic in the next 31 days of the month? The highside is only as low as 125 because we don’t currently have a hurricane, only a 65 mph Nadine.

  18. rgbatduke

    THANKYOU!
    I think making that point on a warmist blog was the first time I got one of my comments “disappeared”. I raised that point repeatedly for years, but gave up trying to get broad attention to it. I think it would make a GREAT post. Hint. Hint. Your comment would need very little work to become a post. Hint. Hint. Please?

  19. eqibno says:
    October 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm
    Based on the greatly reduced hurricane landfalls and tornadic activity, I am sure that the insurance companies have greatly reduced premiums on related property-damage policies……Sure they have…

    =========================================================================
    Will there be hurricane landfalls? Sure. Always have been. Always will. Will there be tornados? Sure. Always have been. Always will. Will Man cause them? Nah. They don’t increase the rates for ships sailing or planes flying through the Bermuda Triangle, do they? If there was any truth to the myth (remember, we’re talking about evil capitalist) they would. The first insurance company that charges a premium based on the myth of CAGW will lose customers to those who don’t. If any premiums have gone up it’s only because of the increased development of coastal or other flood prone regions.

  20. Gunga Din says:
    October 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm
    Let’s see, what will the defense of Hansen and CAGW be?
    [...]
    4. ????

    Easy. It is well known hurricanes leave a trail of cool sea surface behind. With extremely low ACE of late there is nothing to remove that heat from the oceans. So it can go nowhere but to the pipeline, just to come back later with a vengeance. It is certainly worse than we thought.

    There, you have it.

  21. Dr. Maue is muddying the waters with facts:

    2 Oct: Bloomberg: Jason Plautz: Presidential Showdown Evokes Last Call for Climate Debate
    Nine environmental organizations Friday delivered more than 160,000 petitions to Jim Lehrer urging him to ask a question about climate change during Wednesday’s first presidential debate…
    350.org, a climate advocacy organization founded by author and activist Bill McKibben will put up a billboard in Denver this week asking for more climate talk. Friends of the Earth Action and Forecast the Facts teamed up for a social media campaign called “Climate Silence” to urge more talk on the trail, and beyond…
    And 350.org, among other actions, has organized a national speaking tour led by McKibben that launches the day after the election, called “Do the Math.”
    The post-election campaign builds off an article by McKibben, published in Rolling Stone, that uses math to explain why the world must now transition to green energy. The crux of his argument is that countries can only burn 565 more gigatons of carbon by mid-century to keep global warming limited to a rise of 2 degrees Celsius.
    McKibben says energy companies now have five times that amount in their reserves…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-01/presidential-showdown-evokes-last-call-for-climate-debate.html

  22. OH NOES!!! What about all those shacks I built along Cape Cod for the nutty surfers,when a CAT5 hits?Mind you,who cares.They were built using a nice chunk of green cash from my Save the Beachs.

  23. Berényi Péter says:
    October 1, 2012 at 3:12 pm
    Gunga Din says:
    October 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm
    Let’s see, what will the defense of Hansen and CAGW be?
    [...]
    4. ????

    Easy. It is well known hurricanes leave a trail of cool sea surface behind. With extremely low ACE of late there is nothing to remove that heat from the oceans. So it can go nowhere but to the pipeline, just to come back later with a vengeance. It is certainly worse than we thought.

    There, you have it.
    =====================================================================
    So the missing heat is clogging the pipe? 8-)
    Is that unnatural?

  24. Stephen Rasey says:
    October 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm
    Now, wait a minute! Projecting the current Oct 1 data flat through the rest of the year is just not being objective!
    ———————
    That would depend on what the objective is, is?
    Did I just quote Bill Clinton?
    cn

  25. rgb,

    Great post as usual. However let us be cautious with the claim about major Hurricanes. I believe that if Hurricane Ike had hit before the satellite era it would have been considered a major Hurricane. There would not have been the games NHC plays with storms now a days. Ike had a pressure of 950 mb. Damage was consistent with a major Hurricane.

    Furthermore, who is to say our records from the 1800 and early 1900’s are accurate? Researching past recorded major hits there was one in 1860 along the gulf coast, then not another until the 1869 Hurricane in New England (and that is considered a Cat 2 by some sources). The major Hurricane “drought” along the US coast is bad science and would be in our best interests to leave that stat alone. Luckily most of the alarmists are ignorant of past weather events or this statistic would have been shouted down long ago.

  26. Our grandchildren won’t even know what hurricanes are, and they won’t have wifi access to google it.

  27. this is the way to get the MSM interested:

    1 Oct: Nature: Amanda Mascarelli: Earth’s carbon sink downsized
    Abundance of soil nutrients a limiting factor in plants’ ability to soak up carbon dioxide
    But the latest study, by ecologists Peter Reich and Sarah Hobbie at the University of Minnesota in St Paul, suggests that estimates of how much CO2 land plants can use are far too optimistic…
    “Rather than building a time machine and comparing how ecosystems behave in 2070 — which is hard to do — we basically create the atmosphere of 2070 above our plots,” says Reich…
    1.Reich, P. B. & Hobbie, S. E. Nature Climate Change advance online publication, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1694 (2012).

    http://www.nature.com/news/earth-s-carbon-sink-downsized-1.11503

    1 Oct: Scientific American: Amanda Mascarelli: Plants’ Carbon-Sinking Capacity Is Much Lower Than Thought

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=plants-carbon-sinking-capacity-is-much-lower-than-thought

  28. rgbatduke :

    I’ve mentioned many times that everything to do with climate is about “differences”.

    These are differences in temperature, pressure, concentrations, solubility etc etc etc.

    If the temperature difference between Artic and tropics is reduced, there must, on average, be lest “difference” to drive climate systems… unless some other difference occurs.

    And a small change in concentration of a beneficial trace gas, is NOT a driver of climate.

  29. Are my eyes deceiving me or have major hurricanes been trending down during the “hottest decade on the record”?

    Anyway, this is what I understand happens with global warming. Less extreme weather.

    WARMISTS commence your sermon for the day!

  30. rgbatduke says:
    …………………
    The only thing that is surprising is that Gore and many other numb-nuts are so eager to promote the CAGW hypothesis that they openly mis-state — or if you prefer lie………..

    You have pointed out what many on WUWT have said before. The question is why would these people who know full well that global warming should lead to less extreme hurricanes – lie? The answer is in your back right pocket. Is it still there?

  31. Clearly the point of the continuation of the North Atlantic 2012 line is to show what would happen if no additional ACE were recorded. Consider this an addendum figure caption.

  32. pat says:
    October 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm
    The post-election campaign builds off an article by McKibben, published in Rolling Stone, that uses math to explain why the world must now transition to green energy. The crux of his argument is that countries can only burn 565 more gigatons of carbon by mid-century to keep global warming limited to a rise of 2 degrees Celsius.
    McKibben says energy companies now have five times that amount in their reserves…
    ============
    The solution is simple. Pass a law outlawing the use of carbon based energy. It worked for drugs and alcohol. It is sure to work for energy.

    Oh, better yet. Outlaw the use of carbon based energy in OTHER countries, while keeping it perfectly legal at home. This will solve global warming and extend the reserves for centuries to come. Anyone else uses fossil fuels, nuke them back to the stone age to save the world.

    It would certainly solve the unemployment problem.

  33. davidmhoffer says:
    October 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm
    rgbatduke
    THANKYOU!
    I think making that point on a warmist blog was the first time I got one of my comments “disappeared”.
    ======
    Agreed, it would make a great post. You might as well try and rape the pope as raise this issue at RC. The only “facts” permitted are those consistent with AGW as a the greatest threat humans have ever faced, and thus worthy of the greatest funding humans have ever received.

  34. Jimbo says:
    October 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    “The answer is in your back right pocket. Is it still there?

    I believe you mean money and/or a wallet but this image carries poorly in a modern age.

    All the gold in California
    Is in a bank in the middle of Beverly Hills
    in somebody else’s name

    [Larry Gatlin, 1979]

    Seriously – 1: You have neglected more than half of the human race:

    Seriously – 2: It’s a pain —

    http://chirocentre.co.uk/wallet-sciatica-hip-pocket-syndrome-lower-back-pain/

  35. I am really sick of this unscientific idea of fitting a linear trend to a chaotic system. It is easy to say “the trend is” but this implies proposing that fitting a linear model nay actually mean something, which of course it does not.

    Before you fit a linear model you need to say what that model represents and why it is meaningful.

    Now hats off to Ryan for the data , it looks truly important and useful but the linear fit is just more cargo-cult science. You can show whatever your church requires of you by appropriate choice of end points.

    What can be said about this data without linear fits is that is was generally rising before 1994 and has been sinking ever since. That seems to have been a turning point in recent climate.

    i50.tinypic.com/2s12an6.png

  36. @ferdberple:

    The use of nuclear weapons is an excellent suggestion!

    Conventional weapons should be phased out and replaced with the use of nuclear weapons! First of all, the use of nuclear weapons is more or less CO2-neutral. And secondly it is much more efficient than killing the unruly locals one by one (or wedding by wedding, funeral by funeral) with drones and bombs. And lastly didn’t I hear something about cooling effects of nuclear weapons?

    I for one am really missing the last ice age, hunting wooly mammoths in a sparsely populated world – I am sick and tired of living in a warm house with all those evil technology! Get rid of it all, use nukes!

    And now I understand why the warmists have such an desperate urge to save the polar bears: We need something to hunt when the ice age comes!

  37. Plotting ACE against AMO shows a very strong correlation, not surprisingly since it is heat energy from the ocean that drives the storms.

    Adding a one year lag to the ACE plot aligns the peaks beautifully.

    Now some caution is needed since AMO is a _detrended_ index that removes a long term rise.

    However, it is clear that much of the increase in storm energy is due to known long term climate variation. Any multi-century scale warming would presumably add an underlying increase.

    Attempts to link this AGW or recent “weird climate” is yet another case of taking the rising part of long term, natural climate variation and making spurious, short term correlations.

  38. davidmhoffer says:
    rgbatdukeTHANKYOU!
    I think making that point on a warmist blog was the first time I got one of my comments “disappeared”. I raised that point repeatedly for years, but gave up trying to get broad attention to it.

    But you have to understand: It really detracts from the warmist picture, if you start pulling their pidgin-theories apart, now does it?

    I recently had the pleasant experience of being called an idiot, because some (non-climate) physicists posted pictures of an trip to an glacier, which the post boiling down to “See!!! We are melting the glaciers with CO2!!!” I posted comments trying to show that it is anything but this clear cut, that glaciers had been melting for some time before CO2 emissions, and that glaciers aren’t the best proxy for CAGW (well, all proxies seem to be bad examples for CAGW, but I didn’t make that the main point of my comment). Best of all, after I posted examples of glaciers that have been warming for much longer, I got accused of cherry picking – not the physicists who posted one (!) image of an receding glacier, that he visited. Oh, the irony.

    I would really like to venture into AGW land, so not to stay in a skeptic opinion-ghetto, and to challenge the skeptic position from time to time – but it so incredibly awful there in CAGW land. Either they try to hit you over the head Gore/AIT-style, or they try to shout you down. It is as if they want to enforce the skeptics in their opinion.

  39. Found some longer term ACE data provided by Landsea: (ref on graph)

    Storm recording was obviously much more sparodic in mid 19th c. The war time dip also suggests data collection and archiving may have been disrupted.

    It seems the cyclic component is far larger than any upward drift. Current AMO peak is slightly larger than previous two. Maybe there’s some scope for a small long term rise in that difference, though it would certainly be smaller that any statistical uncertainty in the data.

  40. PS. The one year lag seems clear enough to be used as a warning indicator. This years AMO determines next years storms?

  41. Not being a fan in linear and linear “detrending” I thought storms may more logically be associated with actual sea temps. So hear is comparison to the same AMO data without the detrending. In fact the removed “trend” was not that significant.

    What this does show is a rapid dislocation of the two data sets around 1925.

    AMO is based on Kaplan which is based on Met Office Hadley reworking of the GOSTA data set:

    “This data set is produced by taking the the MOHSST5 version of the GOSTA data set from the U.K. MET office as the input SST data ”

    I think the dislocation tells us more about Hadley processing or a problem in the underlying SST data that it tells us about storms. It would be interesting to see if there was a “bias correction” applied about that time.

    I have much more faith in independent physical data like storms than speculative adjustments based on speculative guesses about what buckets sailors were using to collect water. But that’s for another days.

    The key point here is that the vast majority of the variation in storm energy is a reflection of a 60-70 year oscillation is SST and the storm data suggests it’s not just the land data that has a spurious warming signal in the data.

  42. In other words, Dr Ryan Maue adds weight to IPCC AR4 predictions of less frequency of hurricanes, but an increase in major hurricanes.

    IPCC AR4 WG1: 10.3.6.3 Tropical Cyclones (Hurricanes)
    “A synthesis of the model results to date indicates that, for a future warmer climate, coarse-resolution models show few consistent changes in tropical cyclones, with results dependent on the model, although those models do show a consistent increase in precipitation intensity in future storms. Higher-resolution models that more credibly simulate tropical cyclones project some consistent increase in peak wind intensities, but a more consistent projected increase in mean and peak precipitation intensities in future tropical cyclones. There is also a less certain possibility of a decrease in the number of relatively weak tropical cyclones, increased numbers of intense tropical cyclones and a global decrease in total numbers of tropical cyclones.”

  43. J Bowers says:
    October 4, 2012 at 1:58 am
    >>
    In other words, Dr Ryan Maue adds weight to IPCC AR4 predictions of less frequency of hurricanes, but an increase in major hurricanes.
    >>

    No , what Dr Ryan shows is that you can form all sorts of misguided ideas of “trends” by fitting straight lines to data that have got nothing to do with straight line behaviour. Both his plots went from rising to falling in the period shown.

    Major huricanes peaked a bit later in that time window. Your comment is a pretty good example of how to draw the wrong conclusion by looking at inappropriate models (linear trend) to the data.

    The plot I posted shows that there is a very strong correlation between Atlantic SST and total yearly accumulated cyclone energy (big and small).

    And what the cyclone ACE data tells us is that there has beem a small increase in the recent peak above the level of the previous peaks.

    It also suggests there was a problem with the temperature data that shows a spurious warming in the early 1920s.

    Current attempts to make a series of “corrections” to warm up surface temp records and then wail about increasing storm risk go against the evidence of very little increase is storms that *by their own logic* suggests surface temps have increased far less than their rigged data indicate.

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