10.19.2017

Global Warming and Hurricanes: A Guide for Policymakers

Bullet-Point Summary:

  • There has been a global decline in global hurricane frequency and intensity during the past 25 years.
  • Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 is the first major hurricane to (category 3 or higher) to make landfall in the continental USA since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
  • S. hurricane frequency and intensity is at all-time historic lows.
  • Hurricanes, including very severe hurricanes, have always occurred and always will. The existence of modest global warming will not change this.
  • Global warming is causing more upper-level wind shear in places where hurricanes form and strengthen. This prevents hurricane formation and intensification, negating the impact of warmer oceans and modest sea-level rise for the fewer hurricanes that form.
Short Summary: Real-world hurricane activity shows little or no impact from global warming. During the past 25 years there has been a global decline in the number of hurricanes and the number of major hurricanes. During the past 45 years there has been little change in either category. Hurricanes, including very strong hurricanes, have always impacted human civilization and likely always will. The fact that hurricanes still occur while global warming occurs does not mean global warming suddenly is the cause of all or even any hurricanes. Guide for Policy Makers – Global Warming and Hurricanes]]>

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