The “King of Cool” writes in our recent Open Thread
Weather is never just weather
Says Sophie Cunningham in her new book which she is promoting all over Australia at the moment warning us to be afraid, extremely afraid.
Why? Well, guess what – this year marks the fortieth anniversary of Cyclone Tracy which hit the city of Darwin on Christmas Eve 1974, killing 71 people, destroying 80% of the houses and leaving 41,000 of the 47,000 inhabitants homeless.
(Expect lots and lots more cyclone hysteria leading up to Dec 24)
Listen here to Sophie’s grave warning on the ABC (17.44 on the download audio):
“We can expect more Tracys unless we begin to take climate change seriously” Sophie tells us.
“In the last three decades the number of cyclones and hurricanes has remained constant, but the number of Category 4 and 5 cyclones has increased. Cyclone Tracy, the cyclone that wiped out Darwin on Christmas Day 1974, was a Category 4 cyclone”.
The number of Category 4 and 5 cyclones has increased? Really!
Hey, hang on for a minute Sophie; this is what the BOM actually says about cyclones:
“Trends in tropical cyclone activity in the Australian region (south of the equator; 90–160°E) show that the total number of cyclones appears to have decreased to the mid 1980s, and remained nearly stable since. The number of severe tropical cyclones (minimum central pressure less than 970 hPa) shows no clear trend over the past 40 years.”
Ok it also says that:
“There is substantial evidence from theory and model experiments that the large-scale environment in which tropical cyclones form and evolve is changing as a result of greenhouse warming. Projected changes in the number and intensity of tropical cyclones are subject to the sources of uncertainty inherent in climate change projections. There remains uncertainty in the future change in tropical cyclone frequency (the number of tropical cyclones in a given period) projected by climate models.”
And if you go to the technical report link it does state:
“Substantial disagreement remains between climate models concerning future changes in tropical cyclone intensity, although the highest resolution models show evidence of an increase in tropical cyclone intensity in a warmer world”
(Wonder what the lowest resolutions say?)
Sorry Sophie, when am I going to build my cyclone shelter in Sydney?
When we see something different on this trend graph of the REAL world, not the imagined model one:
Cyclone Tracy damage: