This post has nothing to do with the Kerry Emanuel’s new climate model-based paper, Downscaling CMIP5 climate models shows increased tropical cyclone activity over the 21st century, but feel free to comment about it. The USA Today article here about Kerry Emanuel’s paper has interviews with Judith Curry and Roger Pielke, Jr., both of whom appear a bit skeptical.I went and read the article in USA Today and here are some extracts:
The Atlantic Ocean -- where most hurricanes that impact the USA come from -- is projected to see more hurricanes develop. The world could see as many as 20 additional hurricanes and tropical storms each year by the end of the century because of climate change, says a study out today.
...His study found that these killer storms will not only increase in intensity during the 21st century, as many previous studies had predicted, but will also increase in frequency in most locations.
What's different about this new PNAS study? Improved computer models, Emanuel says: "Studies using the same technique applied to the previous generation of global climate models showed very little change in global frequency, but an increase in intensity," he says.
"Our study suggests that the largest increases might occur in the western North Pacific region, but with noticeable increases in the South Indian Ocean and in the North Atlantic region," he says. Most hurricanes that affect the USA form in the Atlantic.
"It is important to emphasize that most studies suggest that the frequency of the highest category tropical cyclones (those of Category 3 and higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale) should increase as the globe warms," Emanuel says. "There is less agreement about the frequency of the weakest category of storms."
What will cause the additional tropical cyclones to form? "Our study has not established a cause," Emanuel says, "but we suspect that the projected decrease in man-made aerosol particles may be at least partly responsible."
"Uncertain" Judith Curry probably hadn't read the paper because she just repeated what she always says whenever anyone asks her anything about climate (tossing in "theory", "assumptions", "models" and "uncertainty"):
"The conclusions from this study rely on a large number of assumptions, many of which only have limited support from theory and observations and hence are associated with substantial uncertainties. Personally, I take studies that project future tropical cyclone activity from climate models with a grain of salt."
Roger Pielke Jr is more accommodating and is quoted as saying, among other things:
"Kerry Emanuel is a smart scientist; I'll trust that he has done good work here."
Bob Tisdale gets it wrong againBack to Bob Tisdale, who writes:
We know that climate models cannot simulate the sea surface temperature anomalies of the past 31 years. See here. (Bob's "here" refers to his own interpretations of projections from some multi-model ensemble means using R6.0 scenario, not the specific five models used by Kerry Emanuel using the R8.5 scenario.) So why should we have any confidence in a climate model-based study of hurricanes that depends on flawed simulations of sea surface temperatures? We shouldn’t. Also, tropical cyclones are strongly impacted by El Niño and La Niña events, and climate models still can’t simulate El Niños and La Niñas. Kerry Emanuel’s new climate model-based paper is nothing more than computer-aided speculation, using models that can’t simulate fundamental components of the study.Bob Tisdale wants something more than "computer-aided speculation" about the future. Probably Bob would be satisfied with nothing less than a time machine, and even when he gets to the future he'll still be in denial. Anyway, the technique used by Emanuel does not "depend on simulations of sea surface temperatures". And while Bob talks about climate models not being able to simulate ENSO, the actual paper states (my bold and italics):
The technique captures well the observed spatial and seasonal variability of tropical cyclones around the globe, as well as the effects of such climate phenomena as ENSO and the Atlantic Meridional Mode. Thus there are objective reasons to have some confidence in the ability of the downscaling technique to simulate the effects of climate and climate change on tropical cyclone activity. An important advantage of this technique over explicit simulation with global and regional models is that its high resolution of the storm core allows it to capture the full intensity spectrum of real storms.
The results indicate an increase in frequency of tropical cyclonesFrom the paper:
An increase in global mean frequency during roughly the first three quarters of the 21st century is indicated, with a total increase in the range of 10-40%. ... most of the increase in frequency is in the North Pacific, but with substantial increases in the North Atlantic and South Indian oceans as well. The only coastal region that experiences a substantial decline in track crossings is the southeast coast of Australia.
Projections to remain uncertain for some time to comeI would say it's almost a certain bet that neither Curry nor Tisdale read the Emanuel paper or at least not all the way through. In the final paragraph Emanuel writes:
The differences between our results, those arrived at by applying the same technique to CMIP3 models, and the conclusions of other groups using different models and/or using different methods suggest that projections of the response of tropical cyclones to projected climate change will remain uncertain for some time to come.
Bob Tisdale's "it's only natural" chant
The rest of Bob's article is about a current storm, Chantal. In it, Bob repeats his claim that it's little green natural men who are boiling natural cauldrons under the natural sea that are naturally causing the oceans to heat up. He writes:
For four years, I’ve been illustrating and discussing how ocean heat content and satellite-era sea surface temperature data indicate the oceans warmed naturally.Here is the result of Bob's naturally warming oceans:
|Data source: NODC/NOAA|
One thing is certain - deniers will deny
Will deniers stop denying? Will they stop saying really dumb things? I guess not. Here is a sample of comments to Bob's article:
higley7 doesn't seem to appreciate that virtually all science uses models of one kind or another and says:
July 9, 2013 at 6:06 am As Emmanuel’s new paper is on models and models are not science, why is it in PNAS?
July 9, 2013 at 6:30 am Downscaling? Not again!!!
With all this flogging of dead horses one can only surmise sadistic necroequinophilia is a common condition among media-star alarmists