While there is still lots of caterwauling about Hurricane Sandy and climate, it is telling that this new update shows that the last five years record the lowest period of landfalling hurricane intensity of any five-year period dating all the way back to 1900.
Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. writes on his blog today:
The figure above comes courtesy Chris Landsea of the US National Hurricane Center. It shows the annual intensity of US landfalling hurricanes from 1900 to 2012. The figure updates a graph first published in Nature in 2005 ( Figure 2 here in PDF, details described there).
The data shown above includes both hurricanes and post-tropical cyclones which made landfall at hurricane strength (i.e., storms like Sandy). In addition to Sandy, there have been 3 other such storms to make landfall, in 1904, 1924 and 1925. The addition of the storms does not make a significant impact on the graph.
Here’s another opportunity for the caterwaulers like alarming Al Gore, weepy Bill McKibben, joltin Joe Romm, and kid blogger Chris Mooney to learn from actual data and history and stop trying to turn Sandy into a poster child for climate .
Unfortunately, based on their past history, I’m betting they’ll pull a Sgt. Shultz and profess “I’ve learned NOTH-ING!”.
Going back to what Pielke wrote in 2005 in his rebuttal to Kerry Emanuel this still holds true, and even more so related to the infrastructure damage seen from Sandy:
Looking to the future, Emanuel1 provides no evidence to alter the conclusion that changes in society will continue to have a much larger effect than changes in climate on the escalating damage resulting from tropical cyclones.