Ill-conceived point on global warming
Regarding Bob Lowth's letter of Dec. 13 attempting to dismiss global warming because the "experts (at nothing)" had predicted the U.S. "would be subjected to 12-15 hurricanes this year, of which five or six would be catastrophic."
Before charging climatologists with being "experts (at nothing)" using apparently bogus "data," I suggest at least checking Wikipedia.
Hurricane season starts in June, and the stronger storms tend to form in the last half of the season. NOAA's May prediction was for 7-11 Atlantic hurricanes and in August revised that to number to 6-9. NOAA did not predict any would hit the U.S., nor that any would be "catastrophic." NOAA never predicts in advance of the season how many will hit the U.S. because the path of a hurricane can't be predicted prior to its development. Most never make landfall.
There were 13 tropical storms (three hitting the U.S.) and two hurricanes (one hitting Africa and one striking Mexico). This was, in fact, less than estimated; the comparatively smaller number of full hurricanes in the Atlantic has been attributed to unexpected anomalous conditions produced by unusual African weather. Keep in mind, this is weather, not climate.
Meanwhile, there were 20 Pacific tropical storms (several hitting Mexico) and 9 Pacific hurricanes (one major), well exceeding the numbers anticipated.
On the other hand, the Eastern Hemisphere experienced a colossal typhoon (hurricane) seasons, with total of 31 tropical storms, including 13 typhoons (five of them super typhoons), one of which was Typhoon Hayan, which had the highest wind speeds ever recorded and devastated the Philippines.
All in all, 2013 had an exceptional hurricane season. Missing the mark in an inexact science on specific numbers in a single season's weather and a specific region does not belie what most creditable scientists see to be apparent regarding climate.
Robert F. Beltran
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