Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More IPCC Headaches: how reliable is the hurricane data?

More trouble looms for the IPCC. The body may need to revise statements made in its Fourth Assessment Report on hurricanes and global warming. A statistical analysis of the raw data shows that the claims that global hurricane activity has increased cannot be supported.

Les Hatton once fixed weather models at the Met Office. Having studied Maths at Cambridge, he completed his PhD as metereologist: his PhD was the study of tornadoes and waterspouts. He’s a fellow of the Royal Meterological Society, currently teaches at the University of Kingston, and is well known in the software engineering community – his studies include critical systems analysis.

Hatton has released what he describes as an ‘A-level’ statistical analysis, which tests six IPCC statements against raw data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) Administration. He’s published all the raw data and invites criticism, but warns he is neither “a warmist nor a denialist”, but a scientist.

(The number of intense, category 3-5 hurricanes has nearly doubled since 1970, but it's difficult for climatologists to connect the dots and say that climate change is resulting in MORE hurricanes. In the end it may be that we're loading the dice, warmer ocean water increasing the potential for severe hurricanes, but making the claim that man-made warming is producing more hurricanes can't - yet - be supported by the data). The complete article is here.

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