Watts Up With That?
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
Now IPCC hurricane data is questioned
Open science: Got Excel? Debunk this
By Andrew Orlowski The Register
Above: Hurricane ACE data from Ryan Maue.*Note where 2009 is in the scheme of things. More here.
More trouble looms for the IPCC. The body may need to revise statements made in its Fourth Assessment Report on hurricanes and global warming. A statistical analysis of the raw data shows that the claims that global hurricane activity has increased cannot be supported.
Les Hatton once fixed weather models at the Met Office. Having studied Maths at Cambridge, he completed his PhD as metereologist: his PhD was the study of tornadoes and waterspouts. He’s a fellow of the Royal Meterological Society, currently teaches at the University of Kingston, and is well known in the software engineering community – his studies include critical systems analysis.
Hatton has released what he describes as an ‘A-level’ statistical analysis, which tests six IPCC statements against raw data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) Administration. He’s published all the raw data and invites criticism, but warns he is neither “a warmist nor a denialist”, but a scientist.
Hatton performed a z-test statistical analysis of the period 1999-2009 against 1946-2009 to test the six conclusions. He also ran the data ending with what the IPCC had available in 2007. He found that North Atlantic hurricane activity increased significantly, but the increase was counterbalanced by diminished activity in the East Pacific, where hurricane-strength storms are 50 per cent more prevalent. The West Pacific showed no significant change. Overall, the declines balance the increases.
“When you average the number of storms and their strength, it almost exactly balances.” This isn’t indicative of an increase in atmospheric energy manifesting itself in storms.
Even the North Atlantic increase should be treated with caution, Hatton concludes, since the period contains one anomalous year of unusually high hurricane activity – 2005 – the year Al Gore used the Katrina tragedy to advance the case for the manmade global warming theory.
The IPCC does indeed conclude that “there is no clear trend in the annual numbers of tropical cyclones.” If only the IPCC had stopped there. Yet it goes on to make more claims, and draw conclusions that the data doesn’t support.
Read the rest of the story at the Regsiter here