NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


May 20, 2008

Global warming isn't to blame for the recent jump in hurricanes in the Atlantic, according to Tom Knutson, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Not only that, warmer temperatures will actually reduce the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic and those making landfall.  According to Knutson, in a study published online in the journal Nature Geoscience:

  • By the end of the century the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic will fall by 18 percent.
  • The number of hurricanes making landfall in the United States and its neighbors -- anywhere west of Puerto Rico -- will drop by 30 percent because of wind factors.
  • The biggest storms -- those with winds of more than 110 mph -- would decrease in frequency by 8 percent.
  • Tropical storms, those with winds between 39 and 73 mph, would decrease by 27 percent.

NOAA hurricane meteorologist Chris Landsea, who wasn't part of this study, praised Knutson's work as "very consistent with what's being said all along."

"I think global warming is a big concern, but when it comes to hurricanes the evidence for changes is pretty darn tiny," Landsea said.

Source: Seth Borenstein, "Study says global warming not worsening hurricanes," Associated Press, May 19, 2008.


Browse more articles on Environment Issues