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Scientists: ‘Worldwide, tropical cyclone activity is now at its lowest level in 40 years’

By Dr. Madhav Khandekar and Tom Harris

Former Vice-President Al Gore could not have chosen a worse time to release his new climate change film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. For, ‘global temperatures’ were higher in 2006 – 2007 when An Inconvenient Truth was released and Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize and there has been no additional warming since 2000. We are also currently setting a record for the least amount of extreme weather (EW) in history.

Even a long-term view shows that Gore’s concerns are misplaced. Stockholm University sea level expert, Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner estimates that sea level will rise only about five cm (about two inches) in the next 100 years. Amazingly, the uncertainty on this estimate is plus or minus 15 cm, because of the large uncertainty in future climate. Regardless, even the highest of Mörner’s forecasts poses no danger to most of the low-lying areas of the world.

Similarly, the data tabulated by the U.S. State Climate Extremes Committee shows that not a single state-wide EW record was set in 2017, 2016, or 2015. One has to go back to the 1930s to find a period when state-wide EW records were being set on a regular basis.

Worldwide, tropical cyclone activity is now at its lowest level in 40 years and no major hurricane (category 3 or above) has made landfall in the U.S. in 12 years. University of Colorado Boulder Professor Roger Pielke Jr. calls this “a streak of good fortune not seen in the historical record.” 

The data for floods, droughts, and tornadoes show little to no indication that these events are becoming more severe or frequent either.

Gore’s unfounded alarmism takes attention away from preparing for naturally-occurring events. Especially important is preparing for dangerous heat waves, whose deadly impact can be mitigated by making air-conditioned facilities more widely available.