Friday, August 18, 2006

Hurricane Season Ho-Hum

So far, the futurist Dr. Melissa Clouthiers hurricane predictions have been right on target. (Love writing in the third person. Makes me sound authoritative, if a little strange.) Mother Nature is predictable on this account: She loves to poke holes in human hubris. This year she is driving a truck through it.

Instapundit points to an article over at TCS Daily by Roy Spencer called 'Cane Mutiny (clever) about the science of why this is so. It's not bland science. Very interesting. I'll excerpt here:

Hurricanes require warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs), and last year the tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures were running well above normal. Global warming was the explanation given by most 'experts' the media interviewed. And since global warming will only get worse, those SSTs were expected to just keep on increasing.

But now those same regions that had anomalously warm SSTs last year are -- gasp! -- near normal. The accompanying graphic shows large areas in the tropical Atlantic even a little cooler than normal.
Only a few of us contrarians balked at this if only for the silliness of trying to predict weather a year in advance. Here in Houston, they can't predict it in five minutes. Truly, we in The Woodlands can experience a torential downpour while a few miles up and down the road get nothing. And a bunch of experts predict something so crazy as hurricanes?

This is not the only surprisingly cool SST story. A new scientific article now accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters shows that the globally averaged upper ocean cooled dramatically between 2003 and 2005, effectively erasing 20% of the warming that occurred over the previous 48 years!

The rapidity of this observed temperature change is beyond what computerized climate models can explain. This is perplexing for modelers, who tend to believe that their models contain all of the important physics of the problem.

But it is not so surprising for those of us who believe that there are stabilizing feedbacks in the climate system that keep the Earth's temperature from varying too much. If there weren't such stabilizing mechanisms, the climate system would have spun out of control long ago. Up until relatively recently, climate models would 'drift' warmer or cooler over multidecadal runs of the models, indicating that it is a much higher level of complexity that must be understood in order to accurately model the inherent stability of the climate system.

Will Al Gore be as scientifc when the science doesn't support an anti-Capitalism (and anti-Bush) premise? I'll try not to chortle. The fact is, a lot of the science and the alarmism that goes with it is validated because it supports a thesis people want to believe.

While Global Warming may indeed be exacerbated by mankind or even caused by people, and while it seems to me that Americans and Christians should be movitated to be good stewards of the land and environment, it is a far reach scientifically to know unequivocally that man's machinations cause the weather we experience. That theory, as this year thus far proves, is unsupported.

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