December 12, 2006
WMO Press Release on Hurricanes and Climate Change
Posted to Author: Pielke Jr., R. | Climate Change | Disasters
This press release (.doc) from the World Meteorological Organization yesterday:
A consensus of 125 of the world’s leading tropical cyclone researchers and forecasters says that no firm link can yet be drawn between human-induced climate change and variations in the intensity and frequency of tropical cyclones.
The WMO is of course one of the parent bodies of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Given this pedigree and the importance of this consensus statement, I'm sure that we'll now see this widely discussed on science-related weblogs and in the media. For details on the consensus statement, see our earlier discussion here.Posted on December 12, 2006 10:17 AM
I'm afraid I don't share your optimistic expectation. The last few years has shown that much of the mainstream as well as most of the "alternative" media are not interested in reports that undermine the catastrophist framing of climate change.
The WMO consensus statement on hurricanes and global warming has been known to the science media and interested bloggers for many days - yet the general silence on this rather inconvenient consensus is almost deafening. Neither have I noticed any media report on yesterday's WMO press release.
Posted by: Benny Peiser at December 12, 2006 01:34 PM
A 'consensus' that there is 'no consensus'.
Since many denialist bloggers deny even the possiblity of a consensus on climate change I'm surprised you announce this with such confidence.
And if this is 'A' consensus - presumably it's not 'The' consensus??
Posted by: Dean Morrison at December 12, 2006 01:52 PM
While fault undoubtably exists in media coverage, absense of the headline "We don't know anything yet" is just not evidence of any pro or anti GW bias, it is merely evidence that the discovery of something is news, the announcement that something is not yet discovered is not news.
It is also consistent with positions already presented on RealClimate, so while they might do an article on this statement, it will hardly be a critical omission if they don't. Nothing new here...
It is, however, important background, and I would share the hope that it will be properly presented when the context warrants it.
Posted by: coby at December 12, 2006 04:39 PM
Without taking sides on the substance of the GCC/hurricane debate, I'd predict very little news/blog coverage. From the snip you quoted, I'd say there was no news there.
On a related note, how come all the attention is paid to Atlantic hurricanes rather than cyclonic storms generally?
Posted by: Richard Belzer at December 12, 2006 05:08 PM
so the statement by the WMO that contradicts all the post-Katrina hype and celebrity endorsements of pending disaster is not news. Interesting. So anything that fails to prove AGW related disaster is not real, we just need to look harder to find the "right" result? I find Coby's remarks harder and harder to take seriously.
Posted by: graham at December 12, 2006 09:40 PM
"how come all the attention is paid to Atlantic hurricanes rather than cyclonic storms generally?"
Let me guess, you don't spend much time reading Japanese newspapers :-)
An example: a few days after Katrina, on speaking to my Japanese colleagues, I found that some of them did not even know that NO had flooded. However, Japan's worst year on record (~50 years) for typhoons was certainly news over here!
Posted by: James Annan at December 13, 2006 12:05 AM
Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. at December 14, 2006 08:00 AM
Thanks for the link Roger. I think that was a very reasonable piece of science journalism. You didn't comment, did you find anything wrong with it?
While I'm here again I'll respond to Graham: perhaps you find it hard to take my remarks seriously because it seems that somewhere between your computer screen and your mind they get quite garbled. "anything that fails to prove AGW related disaster is not real"...I am quite at a loss as to what that paraphrase is based on. I would also note that a statement that there is no consensus on a hurricane GW link at this point is not a contradiction of claims there is a link.
It would be a contradiction of claims that scientists agree there is a link, or there is a consensus about it. Can you find anyone reputable or even any celebrity in the post-Katrina debate making that claim?
Posted by: coby at December 14, 2006 10:30 AM
Coby- Thanks. I thought the NS piece was pretty good overall. My only quibble is the characterization in the final part about the "two groups" on SSTs led by Goldenberg and Mann. This is just wrong. There are more than 2 scientific perspectives on SSTs and deciding who is "leading" seems an artifact to me.
Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. at December 14, 2006 10:50 AM
I'm sorry, but NS is off the deep end - as this story linked to the bottom of the above shows:
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at December 14, 2006 11:49 PM