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Hurricane Irma formed over cooler water, 7th worst, but ‘Climate Druids’ see fingerprints, tea leaves, crystals everywhere

Via JoNova:

Hurricane Irma is a big bad storm, like other big bad storms. Six awkward facts:

  1. It’s only the 7th most intense at landfall in US history.
  2. It formed over water that was two degrees cooler than normal,
  3. 1893, 1933, 1950, 1995, and 2005 had more Accumulated Cyclone Energy by Sept 10.
  4. In 1933 two hurricanes hit the US in just 24 hours
  5. In 1893, 1909, 2004 there were three Cat 3+ landfalls in US (blame climate change).
  6. NOAA itself says there’s no evidence anyone can detect that greenhouse gas emissions have an effect on hurricanes.

Not to be stopped by a lack of any scientific connection, climate druids are out in force finding fingerprints in every storm. Like all the great witchdoctors of history, Big Storms are a chance to pump fear and sell their services.

Tim Flannery is up with other great scientists like actress Jennifer Lawrence:

Graham Lloyd, The Australian:

Oscar-winning actor Jennifer Lawrence said Harvey and Irma were signs of “Mother Nature’s rage and wrath” at the US for electing Trump to the presidency and not believing in man-made climate change.

The Tim Flannery-backed Climate Council declared: “Fingerprints of climate change all over Tropical Storm Harvey.”

Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie issued a statement to claim climate change was driving and influencing extreme weather events around the globe. “Climate change is now supercharging extreme weather events including storms, bushfires, heavy rainfall and floods,” she said. “This is occurring in a more ­energetic climate system, that’s warmer and loaded up with more moisture than ever before.” McKenzie said Harvey was a “window into our future”.

Let’s not forget Michael Mann and “Irma and Harvey should kills any doubt that climate change is real”

“Hurricanes get their energy from warm ocean waters, and the oceans are warming because of the human-caused buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, primarily from the burning of coal, oil and gas. The strongest hurricanes have gotten stronger because of global warming. “

Irma formed over water that was only 26.5C, fully 2 degrees below the normal threshold

Judith Curry: “In a matter of a few hours, Irma became a major hurricane.  The surprising thing about this development into a major hurricane was that it developed over relatively cool waters in the Atlantic – 26.5C — the rule of thumb is 28.5C for a major hurricane (and that threshold has been inching higher in recent years).

We can’t blame 26.5 C temperatures in the mid Atlantic on global warming.

The dynamical situation for Irma was unusually favorable.  In particular, the wind shear was very weak.”

NOAA: There is no evidence that there is a human influence on hurricanes.

 The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab at NOAA on August 30th 2017: 

It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity. That said, human activities may have already caused changes that are not yet detectable due to the small magnitude of the changes or observational limitations, or are not yet confidently modeled (e.g., aerosol effects on regional climate).

The NOAA team go on to say that maybe by the end of the 21st century man-made climate change will make cyclones 2 -11% more intense. The odds are “likely” or “greater than 66%” as defined by the IPCC, and calculated by climate models that have exaggerated every effect so far in the last 30 years. So, not a wild increase, not spooky, and odds are only “better than even” (yes, they use that phrase).

 Hurricane expert Phil Klotzbach: #Irma at landfall comes in 7th behind 1935 Labor Day storm

Some interesting facts about Hurricanes from Phil Klotzbach:

  • #Irma has now generated enough Accum. Cyclone Energy by itself to meet the NOAA ACE definition of an average full Atlantic hurricane season
  • #Irma‘s 2nd landfall, on Marco Island, is same lat-lon given for Wilma’s landfall in 2005: 25.9°N, 81.7°W. Both also Cat. 3s at landfall
  • In only 5 years has the Atlantic generated more Accumulated Cyclone Energy by Sep. 10 than in 2017: 1893, 1933, 1950, 1995 & 2005.
  •  Major hurricanes making US landfall 23 hours apart in 1933 did so in Jupiter, FL and Brownsville, TX.
  • While 2017 is 1st time with 2 Cat. 4+ US landfalls, US had 4 Cat 3+ hurricane landfalls in 2005 & 3 Cat 3+ landfalls in 1893, 1909, 2004
  • Table of all hurricanes with landfall pressures <= 940 mb at time of U.S. landfall. #Irma was 929 mb and #Harveywas 938 mb.
  • Hurricane Strength, 2017, Irma, Harvey, table, chart.

h/t WattsUp.

I’d bet that Al Gore already has shots of Irma in his Climate-Porn File, but no one would bet against me.

Images: Crystal Ball, by Eva K. Hurricane Isabel MODIS rapid response team