Daily Kos: Science Friday: Tis The Season: “Science Friday: Tis The Season
Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 03:41:48 AM PDT
In the aftermath of the devastating 2005 hurricane season, the following soundbite was repeated incessantly, packaged in various ways, on every network news station by head meteorologists with impressive four-letter acronym’s after their names:
There is consensus among NOAA hurricane researchers and forecasters that recent increases in hurricane activity are primarily the result of natural fluctuations in the tropical climate system known as the tropical multi-decadal signal.
It sounded credible, it came from experts, it was reassuring–it was also known to be highly suspect. The view put forward indicated a consensus that simply didn’t exist. To be fair, even some of the natural cycle people at NOAA were said to be uncomfortable with it. We’ve also since learned that at the same time this misinformation was being doled out to a nervous public, dissenting views were being censored at other institutions by a heavy handed White House, often enforced by hand-picked ‘minders.’ Even more disturbing, at the time carefully selected NOAA spokespeople were making the decadal cycle pronouncement on national news stations, research indicating that climate change was producing more intense storms was growing.
A new study by Professors Michael Mann (Realclimate) and Kerry Emanuel (MIT) adds even more weight to the idea that human-caused increases in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are responsible for higher intensity hurricanes:
Human induced climate change, rather than naturally occurring ocean cycles, may be responsible for the recent increases in frequency and strength of North Atlantic hurricanes, according to Penn State and Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers. “
As I am working on this post, our local public television station is doing a debate on Global Warming. They have two PhD’s arguing that Global Warming is a fact, A rep from BP just saying “Hey, whether it is or isn’t we are lowering our carbon emissions.” And then, the only person arguing against Global Warming is a local Meteorologist, and that floors me…
I guess what it boils down to now is, do we trust what our government is telling us? Do we trust that if they are wrong they will be prepared for the consequences of being wrong?
As I look out my window tonight, there is still water standing from the last three days of rains. Now my part of America is flat…F L A T…water does not drain fast. My elevation is probably less than twenty feet above sea level, and according to the latest maps my home is just outside of the Cat 4 storm surge area. Were will that leave me if the sea level rises and the Gulf storms get stronger…hopefully, living on a mountain and not here. But I will have family and friends still living here. And that gives me reason for concern…