WaPo: Trump 'complicit' in hurricane Florence

The Washington Post has published some silly editorials over the years, but perhaps none reach the pinnacle of silliness like the editorial they published today that accuses Donald Trump in being "complicit" in a hurricane.

President Trump issued several warnings on his Twitter feed Monday, counseling those in Florence’s projected path to prepare and listen to local officials. That was good advice.

Yet when it comes to extreme weather, Mr. Trump is complicit. He plays down humans’ role in increasing the risks, and he continues to dismantle efforts to address those risks. It is hard to attribute any single weather event to climate change. But there is no reasonable doubt that humans are priming the Earth’s systems to produce disasters.

Even if you believe the theory of global warming, stating that there is "no reasonable doubt" that humans are responsible for any increase in hurricane intensity is either a statement of ignorance or an outright lie.

Data for the years 1999-2009 are analysed and tested against long term data for the North Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, Western Pacific, Northern and Southern Indian oceans. It is concluded that Hurricane intensity and frequency is significantly higher in this period in the North Atlantic. However in the Eastern Pacific, Western Pacific, Northern and Southern Indian oceans, there is no evidence of signifi- cant change.Taken together, there appears to be no significant difference in either frequency or intensity of hurricanes globally. Repeating the analysis for 1999-2007 gives the same result and this conflicts with statements made in the IPCC 2007 report.

In fact, the IPCC amended it's conclusion about the frequency and intensity of hurricanes as a result of human caused climate change in it's 5th assessment published in 2014. The IPCC is only 50% certain that the frequency and intensity of Atlantic storms will increase significantly. (If that doesn't sound like the "consensus" of 2000 scientists, I don't know what does). Many scientists are even more skeptical.

So the flat statement that humans are "responsible" for severe weather events that are more intense because of climate change is moronic. 

The editorial gets even sillier:

Kevin Trenberth, a climate researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, co-wrote a May paper showing that Harvey’s cataclysmic wetness came from the unusually hot Gulf of Mexico water that fed the hurricane before it slammed into Texas. “Harvey could not have produced so much rain without human-induced climate change,” he and his colleagues concluded. Now Florence is feasting on warm Atlantic Ocean water. “The ocean is warming up systematically,” Mr. Trenberth said, explaining that, though natural variation can turn surface temperatures up or down a bit, the oceans’ energy content is inexorably rising. “It is the strongest signal of global warming,” Mr. Trenberth added.

Scientists also warn that climate change may be slowing the wind currents that guide hurricanes, making storms more sluggish and, therefore, apt to linger longer over disaster zones. Tropical cyclone movement has slowed all over the planet. Harvey’s stubborn refusal to leave the Houston area was a decisive factor in its destructiveness. Florence may behave similarly.

And human-caused sea-level rise encourages higher storm surges and fewer natural barriers between water and people.

To debunk this nonsense, Professor Roger Pielke, a scientist who believes in the global warming theory, had this to say:

‘It is misleading, and just plain incorrect, to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally."

Hurricanes have not increased in the US in frequency, intensity or normalized damage since at least 1900. The same holds for tropical cyclones globally since at least 1970 (when data allows for a global perspective).

To be fair - something the Washington Post never is - there is disagreement over the issue of human caused climate change causing more severe weather. But the important thing is that there is no scientific consensus one way or another.

But the Post states these questionable opinions as facts. And making Trump "complicit" is bizarre. Even the most rabid global warming advocate describes the phenomenon as happening over the last several decades. Trump has been in office less than 3 years - less than a blink of an eye when talking about climate change.

And climate change hysterics wonder why their pronouncements are questioned?

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