Hurricane trend detection

From SpringerLink

A new paper from Drs. Loehle and Staehling. Here is the abstract and references, i.e. the non-paywalled content.

I think the following is money shot.

Hurricane and major hurricane landfall counts exhibited no significant overall trend over 167 years of available data, nor did accumulated cyclone energy over the continental USA over 119 years of available data, although shorter-term trends were evident in all three datasets.

Published: 

Craig Loehle & Erica Staehling

Natural Hazards (2020) Cite this article

Abstract

Because a change in the frequency (number/year) of hurricanes could be a result of climate change, we analyzed the historical record of Atlantic basin and US landfalling hurricanes, as well as US continental accumulated cyclone energy to evaluate issues related to trend detection.

Hurricane and major hurricane landfall counts exhibited no significant overall trend over 167 years of available data, nor did accumulated cyclone energy over the continental USA over 119 years of available data, although shorter-term trends were evident in all three datasets.

Given the χ2 distribution evinced by hurricane and major hurricane counts, we generated synthetic series to test the effect of segment length, demonstrating that shorter series were increasingly likely to exhibit spurious trends. Compared to synthetic data with the same mean, the historical all-storm data were more likely to exhibit short-term trends, providing some evidence for long-term persistence at timescales below 10 years.

Because this might be due to known climate modes, we examined the relationship between the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) and hurricane frequency in light of these short-term excursions. We found that while ratios of hurricane counts with AMO phase matched expectations, statistical tests were less clear due to noise. Over a period of 167 years, we found that an upward trend of roughly 0.7/century is sufficient to be detectable with 80% confidence over the range from 1 to 21 storms/year. Storm energy data 1900–2018 over land were also analyzed.

The trend was again zero. The pattern of spurious trends for short segments was again found. Results for AMO periods were similar to count data. Atlantic basin all storms and major storms (1950–2018) did not exhibit any trend over the whole period or after 1990. Major storms 1950–1989 exhibited a significant downward trend.

All-storm basin scale storms exhibited short-term trends matching those expected from a Poisson process. A new test for Poisson series was developed based on the 95% distribution of slopes for simulated data across a range of series lengths. Because short data series are inherently likely to yield spurious trends, care is needed when interpreting hurricane trend data.

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80 thoughts on “Hurricane trend detection

  1. Well… it looks like Drs. Loehle and Staehling will soon be looking for new employment opportunities.

      • “Jeff Alberts August 15, 2020 at 4:33 pm
        Dr. Loehle is a proper skeptic. So he’s been fighting an uphill battle for a while”

        Craig Loehle is an ecologist as good as they come particularly in the area of forest management. He is a giant in that field.

        That someone like Craig is taking a critical look at AGW speaks well for climate skepticism in general.

        • Indeed.

          He’s been looking at it critically for some time. Used to comment regularly on Climate Audit, when it was in its heyday.

  2. Thanks for the article, but why would you want to copy the entire list of references from the article? It makes no sense.

    • Probably that like the abstract the references were not pay walled. I agree that without the context of how the references were used it wasn’t necessary to include them.

    • I think maybe to illustrate that more than enough money has been wasted studying the subject already, but they’ll keep looking for something that isn’t there as long as the research grants are still available.

    • Javier
      August 15, 2020 at 2:21 pm

      I disagree…it’s always good to see where their data comes from and often there are some little gems in there to click on.

      You don’t have to read the list of abstracts if you don’t want to and it takes a 1/10 second to scroll past them if you’re in a hurry. Better too many references than too few I feel.

      However, some of these ‘research’ pieces do have way, way too may authors! This one is about right with just two.

  3. From the boxed quote near the top of the above article: “Hurricane and major hurricane landfall counts exhibited no significant overall trend over 167 years of available data, nor did accumulated cyclone energy over the continental USA over 119 years of available data, . . .”

    Now wait just one minute . . . I have it on good authority that the both the frequency of hurricanes and their cyclone energy, as measured by economic damage per hurricane, 😉 , experienced step changes upward shortly after the IPCC was founded (1988, only some 32 years ago).

    How dare you! (go against the alarmist meme)

      • Actually, the IPCC hedges it bets on this topic: “On hurricanes, climate models predict it is more likely than not – meaning that there is over a 50 per cent chance – that the number of the most intense storms will increase in certain parts of the world. Globally, however, the IPCC says it’s likely the number of tropical cyclones will ‘either decrease or remain essentially unchanged’. . . .
        All in all, the IPCC report demonstrates that some types of extreme event will become more severe or intense or long lasting as the world warms. As we’ve noted before, it’s not one size fits all when it comes to extreme events. Scientists are more certain about extremes related to temperature, while finding patterns or predicting changes in small, localised climate extremes like hurricanes is harder to do.” (source: https://www.carbonbrief.org/what-the-ipcc-report-says-about-extreme-weather-events )

        Caveat emptor.

    • If the frequency and intensity of hurricanes suddenly increased with the founding of the IPCC, doesn’t that mean that mean that the founding of the IPCC caused the increases? It’s so simple when you know how to do the logic.

  4. Never worry though. Government scientists are hard at work adjusting their methodology to keep that ever critical government funding flowing with alarmism.
    The Carnival Barkers at NOAA National Hurricane Center are coming to the rescue of the Climate Scam on this one. They’ve taken to slapping next hurricane name on every squall out in the Gulf or batch of clouds with a low pressure in the Atlantic that comes along.
    A record breaking year we’re having so government scientists say.

    Here’s a recent one from National Propaganda Radio:
    “NOAA Now Predicts Up To 25 Named Storms In The Atlantic Hurricane Season”
    https://www.npr.org/2020/08/06/899736652/noaa-now-predicts-up-to-25-named-storms-in-the-atlantic-hurricane-season

    “The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is off to a record start – and it will only get worse as the season’s traditional peak begins next week and will run through October. The latest estimates call for nearly twice the normal number of named storms this year.

    Even before Aug. 1, nine named storms had already formed – “the most ever recorded since the satellite era began in 1966,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

    Gotta love that alarmist rhetoric from Propaganda Radio. Be scared everyone. If Corona virus lockdowns, lawless rioting, defunding police isn’t enough, let’s also hype a fake number of tropical systems in the Atlantic through October.

    • Yeah National Propaganda Radio has really become a self-parodying medium. It’s so bad that even professional parodists likely cannot produce a mock story that could be reliably identified as such from a set of randomly selected broadcasts.

      The only reliable way to detect the fake story would be if the fake story failed to attack Trump within the first five seconds, or if an opposing viewpoint were allowed to be expressed without conclusively stating that the claims were lies.

      On the other hand, I must admit that I have learned a lot about the heartbreaking struggles of indigenous transgendered poets and musicians threatened by repressive intolerance, made all the worse by the ravages of climate change.

    • joel….they are using 70 years of non-satellite data….and combining it with about 40 years of name every poof satellite data…..to get that no trend

      …I’ll bet if it were like for like…there’s a strong downward trend

      • Latitude – why must you frequently make yourself look like an idiot?

        “they are using 70 years of non-satellite data…”

        Weather satellites have been in orbit since the 1960’s – what are you talking about?!?!

        “combining it with about 40 years of name every poof satellite data”

        You wouldn’t know the difference between a tropical, sub-tropical or extra-tropical cyclone if your life depended on it. What an embarrassment to this blog…

          • BTW…I’m right

            Good god, no.

            So…since you didn’t answer my pointed question, I’ll presume you *don’t* know the difference between a tropical, sub-tropical & extratropical cyclone. It shows in your statements and yet you are always so quick to criticize the NHC for what they do.

            Color me surprised…

          • It’s all a matter of L’attitude….;)

            ….the NHC is a running joke….when the cone of death runs from Maine to Rio

        • Yes, there have been weather satellites since the 60’s. Perhaps before calling other people idiots, you should fact check yourself.

          BTW, how does your whine refute Latitude’s point about naming every little poof. You are aware that they naming storms today, that a few years ago would have only gotten numbers, aren’t you? If you know as much about meteorology as you want us to believe, then you should already be aware of that.

          There’s also the problem with satellites being able to spot storms that would have been missed years ago. The more sensitive the satellite, the more storms found.

          • Yes, there have been weather satellites since the 60’s. Perhaps before calling other people idiots, you should fact check yourself.

            You just did for me – THANKS for the confirmation!

            There’s also the problem with satellites being able to spot storms that would have been missed years ago. The more sensitive the satellite, the more storms found.

            Hmmm…I’ve only been working in satellite meteorology for the past 30 years – please, educate me on how the “satellite sensitivity” kept from identifying tropical cyclones.

            I’m waiting…

          • Either you are lying, or your job involved sweeping floors.

            If you knew half as much as you pretend to know, you would know that the issue has to do with detecting wind speeds so that you can determine whether bunch of clouds is just a bunch of clouds, a tropical depression, a tropical storm, or a hurricane.

            First off, early satellites send down pictures only once every few hours. Impossible to track wind speeds from that.

            Secondly, if you weren’t aware that the resolution of satellites has been improving with each generation, then you simply are lying about being involved in satellite meterology.
            It is the increasing resolution that permits estimates of wind speeds using ever smaller cloud features. It is this that makes it easier to determine which tiny little storms have managed to breach the TD/TS wind speed barrier for 15 minutes so that it can be declared a TS.

          • “First off, early satellites send down pictures only once every few hours. Impossible to track wind speeds from that.”

            First off, the VISSR instrument could image the full disk every half hour – smaller sectors more frequently. Cloud motion wind speeds were not needed to estimate the strength, they had ADT (Automatic Dvorak technique – see below #2). They only needed to see the cloud mass & basic cloud motion combined with ship reports to send out a hurricane hunter to do detailed investigation.

            Secondly …
            The Dvorak technique (developed between 1969 and 1984 by Vernon Dvorak)
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_technique

            You just LOVE making a fool of yourself don’t you. I guess it’s not in your capacity to say: “I guess I’m wrong – thanks for the information and correction.” You have *yet* to give any information to back up any of your claims yet…I’m always wrong. Hmmm…

          • They could estimate strength based on size and density.
            In other words it was a wild guess.

            So far you haven’t demonstrated I’m wrong about anything. You just keep making more and more wild claims, and keep getting further and further away from your original lie that they have always named tropical storms.

          • Jkrob says, “They only needed to see the cloud mass & basic cloud motion combined with ship reports to send out a hurricane hunter to do detailed investigation.”

            If you are comparing that to today’s satellites, well we will call it a self goal.

    • Didn’t they start naming lesser storms in the last 20 years? Making for more named storms per season. “Named” is meaningless.

        • Actually at the end of the 1990s they “changed” the criteria regarding the naming of hurricanes to include tropical storms, then the TV “weathermen” started naming winter “storms” simply for dramatic effect.

          • Actually at the end of the 1990s they “changed” the criteria regarding the naming of hurricanes to include tropical storms

            LOL – *ACTUALLY*, they were naming tropical storms back in 1965…

            Hurricane Anna – “At 0600 UTC on August 21, it is estimated that the system became Tropical Storm Anna.”

            Hurricane Betsy – “After re-curving to the northwest, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Betsy on August 29”

            Hurricane Carol – “A tropical wave emerged into the Atlantic from the west coast of Africa on September 15[13] and developed into a tropical depression by early on the following day. It headed steadily westward and strengthened into Tropical Storm Carol late on September 17.”

            Hurricane Elena – “early on October 14, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Elena.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1965_Atlantic_hurricane_season

          • Once again, the guy who claims to be involved in the science is utterly unaware of the many changes in his proclaimed profession.

        • They have been naming storms, since 1953, it was just that until recently, storms only got names once they became hurricanes. Now they assign names as soon as a storm reaches tropical storm status. In a few years they will probably start naming tropical depressions as well.

          • I don’t know if you really are that stupid, or like griff you never bother to actually read the article you link to.

            The first storm of that season, was named, wait for it, Tropical Storm One.

          • “The first storm of that season, was named, wait for it, Tropical Storm One.”

            OH GOOD GOD!!!

            …and every hurricane was assigned a name when it was a TROPICAL STORM!!!

          • No, there weren’t. This naming of every cloud formation is purely theater for the gullible and easily fooled, which clearly includes you.

          • I’m guessing that you are so incapable of admitting that you are wrong, that it causes you to see things that were never there.

    • Ref. 22 sounds like a keeper:

      “Simulated reduction in Atlantic hurricane frequency under twenty-first-century warming conditions.”

      Reduction? How in the world did this get past the gatekeepers?

    • This “record” number of early storms includes:
      Arthur which lasted 4 days, max 60 mph
      Bertha which lasted 2 days, max winds 50 mph
      Dolly which lasted 2 days , max winds 45 mph
      Edouard which lasted 3 days, max winds 45 mph
      Faye which lasted 2 days, max winds 60 mph
      Josephine lasted 3 days as TS, max winds 45 mph, now TD
      Kyle lasted 2 days max winds 40 mph, now post tropical

      I know 60 mph winds can cause damage if sustained so maybe Arthur gets a pass as OK, but Faye no way.

  5. Nice to have more confirmation, but I was under the impression that this was shown to be true a few years ago, and not only hurricanes but also fewer tropical cyclones, notably in the Bay of Bengal.

  6. Why alarmists get away with their anti-scientific nonsense is a question that deserves a lot of study.

  7. Tropical Storm Josephine is now in the Atlantic Ocean with 45 mph winds. Here in the Great Left Coast State of Washington we get wind gust in this range ( >40 mph ) frequently. Not a mention in the main stream media. And the darn things never get named.
    I have not found an account of the “accumulated cyclone energy”, or the accumulated energy, cyclonic or not, but . . .
    View this: Dust Devils in Washington State [1:14 you tube video]

    • Two things: Firstly, you posted the same off topic comment twice. Secondly, it’s “etc” not “ect”.

  8. The western Pacific certainly isn’t seeing typhoons so far this year. I doubt no one is complaining but Al Gore.

  9. So to sum it up. They find no evidence that “climate change” is resulting in more or less hurricanes of any category. Completely at odds with the wailing and gnashing of teeth after the record 2005 season that some claimed would be the new normal.

    I wonder how those guys adjusted for the increasing ability to detect and classify the storms over that long period of time? They had to do some kind of adjustment to account for those factors. NOAA hasn’t done so for hurricanes though they have for tornadoes.

  10. “Hurricane and major hurricane landfall counts exhibited no significant overall trend over 167 years of available data, nor did accumulated cyclone energy over the continental USA over 119 years of available data, although shorter-term trends were evident in all three datasets”

    Empirical tests of the climate science theory of the impact of AGW on tropical cyclones should be responsive to Knutson 2010. Specifically, in terms of the Loehle and Staehling paper, climate science does not claim that there will be trends in the North Atlantic Basin nor in any individual basin and it does not claim an increase in the frequency of tropical cyclones. ACE is the right metric but it needs to be global – for all six cyclone basins – not just one. In fact the Knutson 2010 paper makes it very clear that no trends can exist in individual basins because of the large year to year variability in the data for a single basin.

    Three links below.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/11/14/hurricane-obsession/

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/11/28/trends-in-tropical-cyclone-activity/

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/03/22/ace-sst/

    • ACE is still a very crude measurement since it just takes into account the top speed of the wind in the storm, but not the area over which that wind speed exists. A small but tight storm could have a high ACE but do little damage except in a limited area. A large storm could cover ten times as much area with the same wind speed and cause much more damage (and have much more energy). In this age of computers, it is easy to integrate the wind speed and area to give a more accurate measure of the energy of the storm.

      • They would have to give this new index, a new name. Since they are no longer measuring the same thing. If you start integrating over the size of the storm, you could no longer compare the value to years where they didn’t do this integration.

        Beyond that, before you can integrate over the size of the whole storm, you would need to know the actual speed at each location in the storm.

  11. “climate science does not claim that there will be trends in the North Atlantic Basin nor in any individual basin and it does not claim an increase in the frequency of tropical cyclones. ”

    But politicians and activists do, and mainstream climate scientists don’t correct them.

  12. Isn’t the really remarkable fact here that they got it published, that the climate mafia couldn’t prevent publication?

  13. It’s worth observing that trends in lives lost and damage caused by hurricanes or tropical storms do not tell us very much either…the huge expansion since the 1940s in population and urbanised areas in the coastal regions (and indeed inland from the coast in some places) across the hurricane prone states skews these trends. It’s a bit of a case of “if a tree falls in the woods and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a noise”….

  14. Hurricane Greta anyone?( “Full of sound and fury signifying nothing!” )
    I knew you guys would appreciate Shakespeare!( Macbeth)

  15. Mikey Mann is still holding out as a “denier” of Atlantic hurricane trends.

    Here he is flaunting his massive ego a few months ago https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/28/climatologist-michael-mann-2020-atlantic-hurricane-season-hate-say-we-told-you-so

    Predicted likely range of 16-24 named storms with a “best estimate” of 20 but said that “might be too low.” Well DUH 20 < 24 so obviously their likely range goes higher than 20. And calling 20 the best estimate but saying it might be too low is not "we told you so" because you went with 20 as your best estimate, not something higher.

    • Even in the time of satellites, the storm may not have been missed, but if the resolution wasn’t there, or the short time during which the storm managed to hit hurricane strength happened to occur between snapshots, it would still be missed.

    • I think it’s 10 years old, and from a PR firm paid front website (deSmogblog)…but sure, if they are dumb enough to take that, they are likely unreachable with logic.

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