Thursday, July 10, 2008

Global Warming Update

Sorry for posting this so late. I've had it in the queue for a while and wanted to tweak it just a bit more before posting it this morning, but then got interrupted and am just now getting back to it.

Before we go on, though: Giraffe, that was sick. Absolutely hilarious, according to my inner 12-year-old, but sick.

Returning to serious topics, then, you probably missed this BBC news item explaining why, because of global warming, the 2007 hurricane season was the most violent and deadly on rec—

Er, excuse me, I've just been handed this bulletin. Make that, the 2007 hurricane season was not the most violent on record, and in fact was remarkably tame. Writing in the journal Nature Geoscience:
The team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (Noaa) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) said its findings did not support the notion that human-induced climate change was causing an increase in the number of hurricanes and tropical storms.

"There have been some studies published that have suggested that this is the case, but this modelling study does not support that idea," observed lead author Tom Knutson.

"Rather, we actually simulate a reduction in hurricane frequency in the Atlantic."


In a concluding statement, the researchers said that although there was evidence both for and against the existence of a detectable anthropogenic signal in the tropical cyclone climate record, no firm conclusion could be made.

One reason for the uncertainty is the changes in observation methods used to record Atlantic hurricanes - a record that dates back to 1850.

From 1944, air reconnaissance flights were used to monitor tropical storms and hurricanes. This development allowed researchers to monitor a much greater area and not rely on ships' logs and storms reaching land.

And from the late 1960s, satellite technology has been used to monitor and track hurricanes.

Therefore, a reliable record of past hurricane activity only stretches back about 35 years.
Meanwhile, in other retroscience news, a team of researchers writing in the journal Nature have quietly erased the sharp dip in ocean surface temperatures that was previously believed to have occurred in the late 1940s, after having discovered that the reported change was in fact due to the different temperature measuring techniques employed by the U.S. and Royal navies. Commenting on this reversal, scientist Mike Hulme from the University of East Anglia, who was not involved in the study, said:
"I suspect there will be people who want to say it discredits the whole dataset, and that's not the appropriate response."
No, of course not. Totally inappropriate. Wouldn't dream of suggesting such a thing.

Meanwhile, from the Australian Herald Sun comes news that a team of doctors at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, writing in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, have identified a dangerous and previously undiagnosed new form of mental illness, climate change delusion, in which patients suffer from bouts of chronic depression and visions of apocalyptic events. For more information about this troubling new disorder, click this link.

And remember: have a nice day.