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More Storm World Reviews: Real Climate, Outside, Wired

The Intersection
By Chris Mooney
Jun 19, 2007 12:12 AMNov 5, 2019 10:17 AM


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The longer form reviews of Storm World are starting to come out, even as the book is now shipping from Amazon (and presumably other sites). I'm excited that the first really meaty review has gone up today by Mike Mann at RealClimate.org. You can read it here. The review is very positive but does include "minor quibbles" such as the following:

As we have remarked before, one should be very careful about giving too much weight to any one late-breaking paper. Where there are certainly exceptions where paradigms are dramatically broken on the strength of one groundbreaking paper, science rarely works that way. Instead, scientific understanding generally advances slowly and steadily, based on the results of many independent studies. Mooney however gives quite a bit of weight to the recent article by Kossin et al just published as the book was completed. While this study is undoubtedly an important contribution to the literature, introducing a potentially useful methodology for refining estimates of past tropical cyclone activity in all the major basins, it is hardly the last word (see e.g. the discussion thread in our previous article on the paper). And in places, the implications of that paper are overplayed. For example, Mooney appears in places to imply that the paper's findings challenge the contention that climate change can be tied to increasing hurricane intensity. While the Kossin et al results do challenge some of the findings described in the work by Webster et al (2005) (i.e., the trends for the Pacific and Indian basins), they reinforce the conclusion of positive intensity trends for the Atlantic. Perhaps more importantly, the paper in no way challenges the Emanuel (2005) study demonstrating a close linkage between warming sea surface temperatures and hurricane intensity for the Atlantic. Indeed, those latter findings have been reinforced, not challenged, by more recent work (e.g. Sriver and Huber).

I may do a reply to this, but first I'll see what other commenters have to say over at RealClimate. Feel free to join in. Meanwhile some July magazine issues also cover Storm World. The review in the latest Outside can be read here (Microsoft Word). Wired also has a review in its July issue, which I will see about posting soon.....

P.S.: Posted a reply concerning the Kossin study at Real Climate, readable here.

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