The media’s recent fascination with Hurricane Daniel and the phenomenon of “Medicanes” has sparked a flurry of discussions, with many attributing these rare supercharged Mediterranean storms to anthropogenic climate change. But before jumping to conclusions, it’s essential to delve into the science and understand the broader context.
Medicanes, a portmanteau of “Mediterranean” and “hurricanes,” are rare tropical-like cyclones that form in the Mediterranean Sea. The recent Yahoo News article highlights the intensity and potential devastation of these storms, with Hurricane Daniel serving as a prime example.
They have the characteristics of both tropical and extratropical cyclones and are fueled by the contrast between the warm sea surface and cooler air from the north.”
The Climate Change Connection
The article from the AFP suggests a link between the increasing intensity of these storms and anthropogenic climate change. The argument hinges on the premise that warmer sea surface temperatures, resulting from human-induced global warming, are supercharging these Medicanes.
“The Mediterranean Sea is warming at a rate 20% faster than the global average, making the formation of these storms more likely.”
IPCC’s AR6 Working Group 1 Report: What Does It Say?
To understand the broader context, one must turn to the comprehensive assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the AR6 Working Group 1 report. This document provides an in-depth analysis of the current state of the climate and the potential impacts of anthropogenic activities.
Upon examining the report, a few key points emerge:
Tropical Cyclones: The report states that while there is evidence of an increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones over the last four decades, there is low confidence in long-term (multi-decadal to centennial) positive trends in the global number of very intense tropical cyclones.
Regional Variability: The report emphasizes the significant regional variability in tropical cyclone trends, with some basins showing increases and others showing decreases in various measures of tropical cyclone activity.
Attribution to Human Influence: The report concludes that there is only medium confidence in the attribution of the global-scale observed increase in the proportion of Category 4 or 5 hurricanes since the early 1980s to human influence.
Rebutting the Assertions
Given the findings of the IPCC’s AR6 report, several assertions in the Yahoo News article can be addressed:
Mediterranean Sea Warming: While the Mediterranean Sea may be warming at a rate faster than the global average, it’s essential to differentiate between regional variability and global trends. The IPCC report emphasizes the significant regional differences in tropical cyclone trends.
Linking Medicanes to Global Warming: The article’s suggestion that anthropogenic climate change is directly responsible for the increased intensity of Medicanes is not supported by the IPCC’s findings. The report indicates low confidence in long-term trends of very intense tropical cyclones and only medium confidence in attributing the observed increase in Category 4 or 5 hurricanes to human influence.
To mix metaphors, Hurricane Daniel and the phenomenon of Medicanes are low hanging fruit for alarmist ambulance chasers. The rarity of Medicanes precludes the ability to identify any trend in their intensity and the IPCC’s AR6 Working Group 1 contradicts the overwhelming majority of claims by alarmist activist scientists and politicians. Previously I wrote an entire post about how attribution of extreme weather is nothing but an exercise in the Texas Sharpshooter logical fallacy.