We have completed maintenance on DiscoverMagazine.com and action may be required on your account. Learn More

Fun With Fumento

The Intersection
By Chris Mooney
Dec 7, 2009 8:26 PMNov 20, 2019 4:15 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

You wouldn't think he'd come around for a second round after this post...but, I guess he wanted to dig the hole even deeper. Here's his response:

Mooney writes: “In order to lampoon the view that hurricanes are worsening, [Fumento] relies on this year’s weather in just one hurricane basin of the world–it was a quiet hurricane season in the Atlantic (although busy in the Pacific).” From my article, paragraph three: “This year ended quietly with the fewest storms since 1997, and for the first time since 2006 no hurricanes even made landfall in the United States according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Indeed, hurricane activity is near a 30-year low.” Chris, you’re just plain dishonest.

Here is his article. Try as I might, I don't find anything at all like that in paragraph 3. I find bits and pieces of it elsewhere, but nowhere the striking claim that hurricane activity is "near a 30-year low." Indeed, such a claim would come as a shock to NOAA: We're widely considered to be in a highly active era for Atlantic hurricanes (no matter what the year 2009, an El Nino year, does). Here's the relevant slide from the Climate Prediction Center:

So how could Fumento think we're "near a 30-year low"? Answer: Only if he's cherry-picking 2009--once again, an El Nino year--and inappropriately basing conclusions on one data point in a noisy record.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.