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41 comments

'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

Posted May 19, 2008 9:00 AM
User-tagged by 3 users

From BBC News | Science/Nature | UK Edition:

Hurricanes and tropical storms will become less frequent by the end of the century as a result of climate change, US researchers have suggested. But the scientists added their data also showed that there would be a "modest increase" in the intensity of these extreme weather events. The findings are at odds with some other studies, which forecast a greater number of hurricanes in a warmer world.

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#1

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/19/2008 11:35 AM

Gee, a few years ago, the so-called experts were telling us that climate change would be the cause of more hurricanes - and deadlier ones at that.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/19/2008 2:18 PM

But global warming is proven science and the mechanisims driving it are so very well understood - how could this be?!?

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#3

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/19/2008 3:11 PM

No.. no... any change is entirely due to my change of toothpaste brand, or possibly Pompey winning the FA Cup.

More bad science and weasel words... lets take a look...

will become less frequent (bold statement) ...suggested...'modest increase' (rapid back pedalling)

The findings are at odds with some other studies, which forecast a greater number of hurricanes in a warmer world.

What a crock of shite.

Del the Cat predicts something may happen but then again it maybe not....

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#4

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/19/2008 7:02 PM

The problem with these so called "studies" is that any empirical data that is expounded is from climate measurements only a century old. According to geological records several hundreds of thousands of years old, the past six centuries have been a period of unusually mild and warm temperatures. Barring of course the odd major volcanic eruption.

Until the experts in meteorology and climatology can give me an accurate forecast for next week let alone ten years from now, I will take what they propose with a large BLOCK of salt.

Dragon

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#23
In reply to #4

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/27/2008 4:39 PM

Yes, our current models are based on only a century of data. Why does no one ask about the reliability of those measurements? We are all engineers and scientists right? Shame on all of you during these sometimes heated discussions for not talking about the precision of said measurements. What are the tolerances on the temperature measurements? Where are the sensors located? What objective evidence exists for the proper calibration of said instruments to known standards? Were there calibration records even kept for these 100 year old measurements????? NO!!

But people talk about global warming as if they know better than to ask these fundamental questions. These questions have not been addressed during any of the discussions I have ever heard in the media or even on this so-called "engineering blog" Shame Shame Shame.

Show me the calibration records!!!!!

Regards,

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/27/2008 6:22 PM

and they do not talk about the core drilling into glaciers and ice packs. They do not talk about the records from deep sea sediment records, etc, etc, etc. Even the ocean acidity tells us a few things. We have learned that this warming period is not alone, but is unique in its rapid onset in correlation with the industrial age and the unchecked increase burning of fossil fuels. We have noted the rapid increase in the atmospheric carbon dioxide and the increase in our ocean acidity to the point it is destroying many calcium crustaceans (coral reefs, etc.).we have noted the doubling of the number of tornadoes this season, many of them more fierce than normal. We have noted the Alaskan tundra melting, glaciers receding, Greenland Ice pack softening, arctic ice sheet disappearing, trees budding out earlier, increased rain and snow fall in areas and desertification in others. Man, don't tell us we don't have enough information; we have more than enough information to know that our little earth is in a major environmental and energy crisis, deserving at least the effort it took to put a man on the moon to correct... if it is not too late already.

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#27
In reply to #24

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/28/2008 8:15 AM

Now that you have our collective undies in a bunch, what do you propose we do? Who do we put in charge of this "restoration"? Al Gore?

The only thing I can conceive of that would be worse than global warming is the cure imposed by a bunch of "good intentioned" liberals.

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/28/2008 9:04 AM

Gosh, at least the "good intentioned" liberals are thinking and some are even taking action. Sitting on your duff and talking the problem gets you nowhere and does nothing more than alienate the "good intentioned" liberals, independents, and even some moderate conservatives. It is a small wonder that the United States is turning blue, the red faced conservatives have all but destroyed any faith the people might have once had with them. Why they will not even support the troops returning from Iraq, tehy think is is too costly.

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#25
In reply to #23

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/27/2008 8:18 PM

G.A. SmithsEng.

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#35
In reply to #23

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/28/2008 2:30 PM

SmithsEng-

The points you mention have been discussed at length on web sites such as realclimate.org, but I still can't help but have reservations. Having worked in a laboratory setting for over 35 years, I know perfectly well that an experienced researcher/scientist can predetermine the outcome of tests/measurements. If he/she has an agenda to promote, it can be done in many ways that are untraceable. And using "models"? Don't get me started. Obviously the issue is highly politicized. Researchers have become apologists for one side or the other. In this climate I have to take all the "research" data with heaping helpings of salt.

Bill Morrow

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#38
In reply to #35

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/28/2008 11:00 PM

Bmorrow492, I would suggest several barrels of salt, as the "fixes" being proposed would allow further intrusion of officials into our lives and more taxes and "fees" for them.

Dragon

P.S. G.A. by the way

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#40
In reply to #4

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

08/18/2008 12:29 AM

Dragonsfarm - you said "...the past six centuries have been a period of unusually mild and warm temperatures." What happened to The Little Ice Age which lasted from about 1200 to 1800 and in the 1600's was the coldest since the last big Ice Age 10,500 yrs ago? Actually we are still warming up from that period, mostly quite naturally. Before 1200 Greenland was warm enough to be colonized by the Vikings, who grew wheat there. Still can't grow wheat in Greenland.

Everyone should check the average temperatures for the Holocene and see that for 7,500 years the Earth was warmer than today, without Man and industry causing it. Temperature records using thermometers date back to about 1850. The Holocene records depend on physical evidence. What is defined as a "normal temperature" by the GW people is an arbitrary period of recent time, about 20 years ago and it has nothing to do with the average of the past 10,500 yrs.

The pro GW scientists adjust their findings to please their superiors and the politicians who are using GW as a power grab.

I do not deny that the Climate is Warming, but I doubt Man has done much to cause it or can do much to slow it. We must adapt to change. Those who refuse to adapt will die, just as it has always been. I want my land to become beachfront and to be able to grow oranges in the back yard. A little tough for those who live on the beaches now though, but it will happen over so many years I think they will be able to walk away with all their belongings.

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#5

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/20/2008 3:33 AM

Hello,

I too thought from supposed 'expert' predictions that we would get more hurricanes.

There will alway be cold air and warmer air naturally mixing that cause these weather patterns.

The problem with these different researches is: daft stuff in-------daft stuff out! All should cooperate and put the same information in that we know most about and see what results.

You can put anything into a computer to give a certain reading. As I think 'Dragon' said.......a Large pitch of salt seems right for this 'another report'!

jfmfit

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/20/2008 9:15 AM

We all need to read the entire article carefully, not just the first sentence or headline. Look at the last sentence of the lead, it clearly states that this study is at odds with other studies. So, let us wait before we make jump to conclusions. One note, however, the USA has experienced a record number of tornadoes, more than twice the normal and beginning earlier in the season, too. I wonder why?

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#9
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Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/20/2008 4:19 PM

Good question.

A decade ago while investigating the cause for coral bleaching in Belize (which has the worlds second longest barrier corral reef formation in the world) I discovered that the mean path of upper altitude jet streams was nudging northward significant miles per year. Jet streams take excess heat energy and moisture out of the tops of hurricanes and let them build to higher and higher magnitudes. But being such broken backed snakes they often just jump to new latitudes and the storms drop down to nothing. A couple years ago jet streams mean paths were (on average) 90 miles north of their average path which had been somewhat over Waco, Texas latitude in 1998 and now halfway above Dallas, Texas and the Red River in a manner of speaking in 2008. (One must recall that Northern Latitude Jet Streams sometimes meander from the north coast of South America to the Arctic Circle in ever changing curves and cycles.). The significance of that questionable factoid is that one needs to understand the connection between the jet stream moving west to east at 180 to 220 mph on average (and their tremendous latitudinal shifts from hour to hour) and violent storms over the continental U.S., too.

When air is unstable enough (difference in temperature per 1000 feet is higher than average) and there is over abundant moisture in the air it creates massive lift of the heat in the lower air to rise into the ever cooler air above. As the moisture reaches its dew point cumulus clouds form. As they reach a critical amount of density, they create a self cooling cycle from both their reflective whiteness and their own shadow, in addition, the presence of a jet stream can also syphon off excess energy; sending the excess heat and moisture downwind such that the Cumulus Matteo's don't choke with dispersed, unused heat energy from the expanding moisture laden air continuing to be sucked up from below. Voila! a massive dangerous storm and an express package of heat and moisture downwind to the east, too.

In decades past the Gulf often choked the storms with more moisture than they could sustain because the lapse rate (temp differential per 1000 ft) was too low. That is still a factor which can stifle massive storm development. However - with the gradual rise in mean temperature the jet streams meander on average somewhat higher in latitudes; often setting up the states downwind from Texas and Oklahoma for delivery of a massive amount of moist air to feed tremendous thunderstorms.

The way the heat engine works, as I understand it, a greater number of hurricane of higher intensity is the resultant of higher Gulf and Caribbean water temps NOT more hurricanes - just a small number of hurricanes of higher magnitude. Thunderstorms over land masses have a somewhat altered physics, however.

Hurricanes actually have the effect of re-balancing the heat energy stored in the solar heated seas by cooling them and moving the heat out of the water and further north via the air... Each massive hurricane actually lowers the ocean temperature a fraction, hence the next one, triggered randomly off the west coast of Africa, won't likely be as intense unless sufficient time has passed before the formation of the one that follows. Climate models bolstered by more computing power than ever in history now factor in the 200 million parts per cubic meter higher CO2 in the atmosphere than a hundred years ago as a factor in more thermal energy being trapped in the ocean; that green house gas increase has apparently been an integral factor for the earlier yearly warming and longer heating season trend of the oceans into modern times.

It is a basic law of thermodynamics that heat flows FROM Hotter TO cooler, and not vice versa. Higher Gulf and Caribbean temperatures or more accurately, sea water warming tends to start earlier each year than historically so they warm more over a longer period. THAT heat and the greater evaporation that warmer waters cause is all packaged in the Sea to Land air mass and sent north and east each year for longer periods of time at greater intensity than historically during the current upward mean temperature of the Earth as a whole.

I hope that explains for you the mystery of greater abundance of violent storms in the Central and Eastern Continental U.S.; already the trend this year. You may recall that Texas and Oklahoma had record rainfall last year. Again, all part a related phenomena, of the rising amount of heat energy available from the Gulf and Caribbean earlier each year and later into the fall. I suspect this year if one were to research jet streams, one would find they were snaking their way over these sectors quite a bit during that time this year. Seems to me there was a record breaking commercial airline flight time from DFW Airport to New York on the news; the day before the east took a pounding, as I recall. Is that a significant anecdotal factoid, too?

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/20/2008 4:38 PM

And you will note, too, that Houston and south Texas has experienced significant capping in the past couple years leading to fewer and fewer "sea breeze" showers and causing us some below normal summer rainfall. Plays heck with my gardening. BTW, I am a regular visitor to NOAA for my forecasts, find them to be the most accurate of them all and I did take meteorology course in college, a way back in the late 50's. However, my filed is physics and engineering.

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#11
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Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/20/2008 5:09 PM

Thanks for the NOAA tip. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/ I had dropped that out of my "normal" preparatory of research. Actually my interest in meteorology was very serious and very personal for almost three decades as I advanced through the years as a hang glider pilot. When one is in pursuit of world record breaking flights one must must must understand micro meteorology for selfish and obvious safety reasons. Knowing or better yet understanding what one is looking at dimly out in front of their flight path through fogged goggles at 16 grand while porpoise flying under a cloud street is a serious activity and not for the amateur; some of whom paid with their lives during those heady wonderful years when one flew with knowledge and little else to buffer them from the vaulted blue sky. Meteorology was where one interested in world record hang glider open distance flying started their studies; micro meteorology was self-taught and word of mouth among pilots when I was active in that indevour...

I'm the guy that formulated the accepted theory as to why it rains shortly after one hears a thunderclap overhead. I still study the sky, to this day.

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#13
In reply to #9

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/20/2008 8:56 PM

Tinker65, It seems to me that either your experience in meteorology or your living on the edge of it, so to speak, has served you well. Good Answer either way.

Dragon

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#29
In reply to #9

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/28/2008 10:41 AM

You have provided a very interesting and educated response but you, nor anyone else, have proved to me that global warming – if it exists - is man-made.

I have heard reports that man made greenhouse gasses only account for 1% of said gasses emitted into the atmosphere. Also, volcanic activity has increased substantially over the past century (major contributor of greenhouse gas). If this is true, how can we do anything about it? I am not so naïve to state that this is unequivocally true, but I am also not so naïve to state that it is not! Can you or anyone refute it?

Forgive my skepticism, but I just have a bit of a problem being forced to pay more taxes to politicians who certainly have no clue what they are talking about based on an unproven theory. And on a side note, don't misconstrue my appropriate scientific and justified challenge to think that I am a "red-faced republican". I am tired of paying 50% of my hard earned cash every week to these meat heads who are just looking for another excuse to take my money.

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#30
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Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/28/2008 11:13 AM

If your icon flag is correct and you are in the USA, then it is sad that you are paying 50% of your income in taxes. Either you are very, very rich and as spending money like mad (sales tax) and you own a huge home (property tax) that requires thousands of kilowatts of electricity to run (energy taxes) or your accountants are ripping you off.

It sad that you have not studied the reports or you reject them as untrue. 1% is way low for our contributions to the CO² being put in our atmosphere. In addition, we put methane and other hydrocarbons into the atmosphere; methane being 25 times a more powerful greenhouse gas. Take you hear out of the sand. But I am guessing you are not an engineer or scientist or you would understand the inconvenient truth that science, including the USA Dept or Energy, the USA Environmental Protection Agency, the United Nations research scientist, NASA, and the many Colleges and Universities of the world are telling us each day. It is not a question of whether we are poisining our environment, that is a given, the question is, what can we do about it or is it already too late.

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/28/2008 11:50 AM

I'll give up my hair spray when Al Gore gives up his Lear jets and his big honkin' mansion.

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#32
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Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/28/2008 12:17 PM

Again, with due respect (which is not very much based on your aggressive comment to me), I am not so naive as to state that my reported stats were true. If you weren't drinking the cool-aid, you would see that I was asking if my stat was true, not stating that it was.

So you accuse me of not reading up on the studies, eh? How ironic of you to say that and then follow up with a reference of NASA data. Do you not read up on these things either? Are you not aware of the multiple articles released by NASA stating that they had a "bug" in their data regarding the warmest year on record not being '98, but some year in the forties. Are you also not aware that NASA has released articles about the poor placement of their temperature measurement devices (i.e.: near A/C heat sinks and in cities which retain the heat accumulated during the daytime)?

The problem is that you are now emotionally involved which is unfortunate. You have drank so much cool-aid that your mouth is red. You say that I must not be an engineer when I should say that about you. However, I won't say that, if only to rob you of the satisfaction. I truely do not feel that sentiment. To quote a great thinker:

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell

You will notice that I was the one with doubt in my first comment, and of course you are so certain of yourself. Ironic how some statements are universally true.

Additionally, I consider you to be not worthy of any further investment of my time which you surely appreciate because you can now have the last word.

Good day, smitheng

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#36
In reply to #32

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/28/2008 2:51 PM

SmithsEng-

Great reply. Factual, to the point, polite.

Bill Morrow

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#37
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Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/28/2008 10:55 PM

Again a G.A.

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#39
In reply to #30

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

08/11/2008 10:37 AM

The inconvenient truth is: we have "planet warming" Of course , those who see the opportunity of creating new industries and money, have an agenda, creating the propaganda depicting human activity as the cause.

It is seldom mentioned that other planets in our system are also being effected by the sun's cyclic behaviour. or that as the oceans warm the release of CO2 is responsible for the increase in atmospheric levels. The rise in CO2 levels takes place AFTER the water temperature increases,as shown in ice core samples.

There would be no money to be made with such counter propaganda.

The grant system applied to the "research" on global warming is suspect.

I agree with www.channel4.com/science/microsites/G/great_global_warming_swindle/ - 24k -

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#33
In reply to #29

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/28/2008 1:46 PM

Hello SmithsEng:,

I agree with your first sentence for sure. There is no absolute proof we humans are the cause of warming. There has been warming at various times in history, mainly before we came along. All due to other things like Volcanic expulsions, and of course the gas escaping from the Lava thousands of years afterwards as it dissolves by water and the natural brake up of rocks in general.

Forest fires also must be significant. And then it could perhaps be a natural occurrence caused by the Sun sending a little more radiation over many years? Who knows?

We were not here when all the other various Ice-ages and so on happened. It is a natural cycle which happens regularly.

Re' reporting statistics about weather, oceans, and various kinds of nature means very little in real terms. Who set the 'rules' by which all these reports and info' are gathered? Even if the report have some 'facts' (debateable) they are often taken over just a few tens of years. Which is hardly representative of the 'real' world. It seems to me (not to be unkind) but the 'answers' are already known before and reports have been published. Why else ask for reports?

Look at it from a different point of view and the 'answers' will be totally different as well. I think there are too many people trying to 'fit' what actually happens in nature into answers thrown in the air, and who knows what the true answers are when hardly any alternative reports which give a different outcome are published?

I certainly do not think 'man' is the one and only cause.

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#7

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/20/2008 12:06 PM

The conclusion is inescapable to me that certain celebrated climatologists simply adjust the parameters of their climate models until they get the results they want. Some might call this "cooking the books" or even "falsifying data", but it seems to be acceptable practice in today's climate science "climate".

Bill Morrow

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#21
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Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/23/2008 1:13 PM

Hello bmorrow492,

could not agree more!

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#8

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/20/2008 1:44 PM

All politicians should be required to take and pass geology 101 and econ 101. Maybe some basic understanding of how the world really works would be of benefit.

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#12

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/20/2008 8:08 PM

It's just more journalese and speculation:

<"....researchers have suggested....">

<"....modest increase....">

<"....findings are at odds with some other studies, which forecast a greater number of hurricanes in a warmer world.....">

<"....said the team's model used a different approach to previous efforts, which gave them a high degree of confidence in their results.">

<"....We tried to simulate the fundamental fluid dynamics and thermodynamics....">

<"....We do not regard this study as the last word on this topic....">

And so on.

Let nothing, including the truth, get in the way of a good story.

Kind Regards....

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#14

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/20/2008 11:10 PM

No, no, you're all wrong. It was a butterfly flapping it's wings down in Australia that started all the hurricanes. It all chaos anymore.

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/20/2008 11:40 PM

StandardsGuy, ROTFLMAO.

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#16

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/21/2008 11:21 AM

Wow - who would have thought modeling the atmospheric, oceanic, biological and geological processes for an entire planet (and it's associated star and satellite) would be so complicated?

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#17

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/21/2008 11:43 AM

all on a Radio Shack TRS80!

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/23/2008 1:44 AM

No, No! Noho!!

Modern weather models are made by using the same algorithm that the universe science folks invented to figure out where the missing steller mass was hiding. Multiple (volunteered) PC's scattered all over the Internet. More computing power available than modern Crays or undisclosed CIA covert systems can muster and one doesn't have to wait ones turn on those monsters to do one's weather calculations or predictions, either. The data is available to anyone who knows where to look, or better yet to anyone who truly knows HOW to ask a question on the Internet. Take a look, folks. T'ain't purty.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/23/2008 2:01 AM

P.S,

Turn off your pc's Internet modem at night if you do not want anyone else to use it when you are away. Firewalls are the chew toys of hacker dogs.

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/23/2008 9:25 AM

And of course, you can use Linux and shut down you computer at night, too. both of these things help being chewed upon by hacker dogs. Now, if only there were a way to hang all those spammers. Thank God for gmail's excellent filter.

Back on the hurricane stuff, it seems that this is to be a very active season, equal to last years season with 15 named storms and 2 to 5 cat 3 of greater. The prediction does not single out one area on earth for the strikes and for all I know, they may all remain over water to disrupt only the shipping lanes.

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#26
In reply to #20

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/28/2008 4:15 AM

Hello chtank

You refer to <"....hacker dogs....">, and <"....5 cat 3....">

Are these related to the cats and dogs which fall, when raining heavily?

Kind Regards....

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#22

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/24/2008 1:32 AM

Still as the world warms and there is less difference in temperature between the poles and the tropics there should be fewer storms because it is the difference in temperatures that feeds weather systems. As the warmth is carried north by the jet streams, perhaps the storms will track further north over cooler waters and be less violent.

Still, if the data doesn't fit the desired conclusion, change the data input. Seems to be too common with climatologists with an axe to grind.

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#34
In reply to #22

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

05/28/2008 2:05 PM

Hello Taganan:,

well said, and with so few words! I agree absolutely with all you say, especially the last sentence.

jfmfit

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#41
In reply to #34

Re: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms

08/07/2009 5:38 PM

In 2004-5, while I was working to house Floridians in those news-maligned FEMA trailers, a friend shared these lines with me from William Butler Yeats' poem Lapis Lazuli:

"All things fall and are built again,
And those that build them again are gay."

For all the debate and hand-wringing that sometimes goes on in these forums, I envision each of you, in your heart of hearts, ever so grateful that no answer which came before has ever lasted long enough to deprive your facile, well-educated, and eager mind from feeling needed to search for an even better solution.

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