Environment

Here We Go Again: Hurricane Felix and Global Warming

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneySep 3, 2007 7:38 PM

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With a storm like Felix out there, I've been spreading it around in terms of my blogging. I've just posted about the storm at both The Daily Green and The Huffington Post. Here's the gist from the latter post:

To be sure, it might be the case that there's a natural up-and-down cycle in the Atlantic for intense hurricanes, and we're only now seeing a peak comparable to the 1960s. Some scientists would argue that point, and [you'd] only have to reclassify two hurricanes from the 1960s in order to have just as many Category 5 hurricanes during that decade as we've seen so far during the 2000s. The 1960s were very busy for strong hurricanes, period; and so were earlier decades when our observations were even less reliable. But nevertheless, I can't get over these numbers: The 1980s saw three official Category 5 hurricanes. The 1990s saw two. The 2000s, so far, have seen eight, all clustered from 2003 to 2007. In this context, the past five years certainly look like a scary anomaly compared to what has come before. And while that might be all that we can say definitively at this point, I think it's worth remembering something that Thomas Kuhn noted in his famous book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: When enough scientific anomalies accumulate, they can sometimes force a paradigm shift.

Waiting for the next update on Felix in just under a half hour...

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