Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Facts, we don't need facts: The New York Times isn't putting its editorials behind its TimesSelect wall of silence -- maybe it should. An editorial in today's Times urges readers to "connect the dots" on global warming and its influence on hurricanes.
Hurricanes derive their strength from warm ocean waters. Ocean temperatures have been rising over the last 100 years, along with atmospheric temperatures. Hurricanes have therefore become bigger and more destructive and are likely to grow even more violent in the future.
This suggests that there is is a straight line trend upward in hurricane strength over the past 100 years in line with warming ocean temperatures. Unfortunately this is wrong.
Major hurricanes (3,4,5) by decade:
If you can see a linear trend upward, well, then you're not really interested in reality -- or a member of the Times editorial board.