Hurricane History Phony Myth

Hurricane History Phony Myth

Radical environmentalists continue to claim that CO2 emissions cause climate change and bring more severe storms.

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

It’s unfortunate but true: People who believe CO2 is causing more severe storms are ignorant. 

It’s not that they are stupid, it’s that they lack knowledge, most likely because they haven’t been exposed to the true facts during their education or in later years.

Because they haven’t been educated in relevant disciplines they are susceptible to propaganda. 

And the media is negligent by regurgitating the propaganda produced by AGW fanatics, like the Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace, or the UNFCCC.

You can decide whether the media’s reporters are ignorant, or whether they have some other motive.

Here are the facts you won’t find in the media.

The following table show 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 58 years. There were fewer storms over the past 58 years, while there was greater atmospheric CO2.

(See Note for an update on links)

And the years 2010 through 2018 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 Eastern 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

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 2018, the number of tornadoes has been below average.

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.

Roger Pielke Jr. in his book The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters & Climate Change goes to great length to debunk the myth that climate change is causing more storms … or more natural disasters.

He quotes, Gilbert White, the great geographer and disasters expert, who wrote in 1945, “Floods are acts of God, but flood losses are largely acts of man.”

Later Pielke says, “There is no evidence to suggest that hurricanes have become more common, intense, or costly for any reason other than more people and their property are in locations vulnerable to their impacts.”

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.

You can satisfy yourself by looking at the historical record that what Pielke is saying is the truth.

Storms are not getting more severe or more frequent.

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Note: UNISYS no longer provides the data for 21st-century storms. Here is the link for 20th-century storms:

Hurricanes that hit mainland U.S.

Source for 20th-century storms:


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2 Replies to “Hurricane History Phony Myth”

  1. Like most of the alarmist claims, fairly good recent data is compared with very bad or nonexistent historical data to show a specious trend. I believe that hurricane size and strength are in this category and could be added to the items above. Just how did we measure size and especially strength of hurricanes other than by surface wind speed pre-war without today’s instrumentation and satellites ?

    • That is an excellent question. Instrumentation didn’t exist 100 or more years ago to accuratey measure barometric pressure, now a key measure of the strength of hurricanes. Satellites allowed us to see hurrricanes that were never seen in the 1800s, or even in the 1900s before 1970 or so. Even windspeeds are measured more accurately today when compared with the Beaufort scale.
      Thanks for your comment.