Hurricane History and the Phony Myth

Hurricane History and the Phony Myth

Radical environmentalists continue to claim that CO2 emissions cause climate change and that global warming, aka, climate change, will bring more severe storms.

Every year, the facts prove them wrong: Storms are not getting more severe or more frequent.

Even this year, when three large hurricanes hit the mainland of the United States, the historical record shows no increase in the severity or number of large hurricanes.

The following table shows the decades of greatest Atlantic hurricane activity affecting the United States.

The decades before 1960 consistently had more large storms hitting the United States than during the past 55 years. There were fewer storms over the past 55 years, while there was greater atmospheric CO2.


All Category 1-5

Major Category 3,4,5































21st Century

2000- 2009



2010 – 2017



* Includes Matthew, whose track paralleled the U.S. coast without actually coming ashore while a category 3 or 4.

Hurricanes that hit mainland U.S.

Source for 20th century storms:

Source for 21st century storms

And the years 2010 through 2017 were supposed to be the warmest in history, where atmospheric CO2 levels are higher than at any time in the past 10,000 years.

Dr. Chris Landsea, National Hurricane Center, has also noted that many hurricanes went undetected before the advent of satellites. He has also shown the effect of hurricanes of short duration, less than two or four days, on the trend of hurricanes over the past century. Hurricanes of shorter duration only became known with the advent of satellites. His paper is available at

This is important since we can now see embryonic hurricanes as they emerge from North Africa — and then track them as they cross the Atlantic, with many swerving to the North and missing the United States by a wide margin. We might never have known about these storms prior to the use of satellites unless some hapless ship got in their way.

Hurricane Lisa in 2010, that rambled around the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa, is an example of a storm that might not have been seen without satellites.

The area west of Mexico, the Gulf of Tehuantepec, has been known as the birthplace of Pacific hurricanes for at least the past two centuries.

These hurricanes typically travel west and sometimes threaten the Hawaiian Islands.

Occasionally, they turn eastward, and hit Mexico, with wind and rain sometimes extending into New Mexico and Texas. The path of Eastern Pacific hurricanes can be seen at

It was one of these Tehuantepec hurricanes that we went through on our way to Japan while I was a cadet/midshipman.

S.S. Reuben Tipton in edge of Typhoon. Photo by D. Dears
S.S. Reuben Tipton in the edge of Typhoon. Photo by D. Dears

The insurance industry is clamoring for action to stop global warming because they have suffered large losses in recent years.

However, it was the increase in coastal populations that caused the higher insurance losses. In his testimony to Congress, Professor Lomborg pointed out that, “The two coastal South Florida counties, Dade and Broward, are home to more people than the number of people who lived in 1930 in all 109 counties stretching from Texas through Virginia, along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.”

Another way to look at the history of hurricanes is to see what the trend has been over the past 120 years. This chart, using NOAA data, shows that the trend has been down.


And the story about tornadoes is similar.

In 2017 the number of tornadoes has been about the same as in recent years.

For more information about tornadoes, and for years prior to 2000, go to

As with hurricanes, satellites have resulted in more small tornadoes being seen than would have been seen otherwise.

The idea that global warming is causing larger and more frequent storms is a phony myth.

It’s being perpetuated by alarmists in their efforts to scare people over CO2 emissions.

And the facts debunk it.

Storms are not getting more severe or more frequent.

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