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Katy Burns

Katy Burns: Our connected – and perilous – world

  • A Filipino girl rests on top of a pedicab parked in front of toppled trees and poles left from Typhoon Haiyan, Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced by Typhoon Haiyan, which tore across several islands in the eastern Philippines on Nov. 8.  (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    A Filipino girl rests on top of a pedicab parked in front of toppled trees and poles left from Typhoon Haiyan, Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced by Typhoon Haiyan, which tore across several islands in the eastern Philippines on Nov. 8. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

  • Firemen carry the body of a Typhoon Haiyan victim to a mass grave in Tacloban city, in central Philippines, on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.  Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, hit the country's eastern seaboard on Friday, destroying tens of thousands of buildings and displacing at least a half-million people.  (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

    Firemen carry the body of a Typhoon Haiyan victim to a mass grave in Tacloban city, in central Philippines, on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, hit the country's eastern seaboard on Friday, destroying tens of thousands of buildings and displacing at least a half-million people. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • A Filipino girl rests on top of a pedicab parked in front of toppled trees and poles left from Typhoon Haiyan, Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced by Typhoon Haiyan, which tore across several islands in the eastern Philippines on Nov. 8.  (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
  • Firemen carry the body of a Typhoon Haiyan victim to a mass grave in Tacloban city, in central Philippines, on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.  Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, hit the country's eastern seaboard on Friday, destroying tens of thousands of buildings and displacing at least a half-million people.  (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Even as we prepare for Thanksgiving, celebrating the bounty of the season, we are haunted by the images of small children in ragged clothes desperately drinking water from dirty ditches and old ladies sitting, weeping, among the wreckage of all they owned.

The juxtaposition of images of abundance here and stark deprivation there is startling, jarring. But increasingly familiar.

Once again we’re witnessing, from the comfort of our warm homes, another natural disaster in some far away land. This time, the sheer power of nature to destroy is on full display in the Philippine archipelago. Typhoon Haiyan – believed to be the most powerful and destructive tropical cyclone (a category that includes hurricanes) ever to make landfall in recorded history – has almost totally flattened a vast swath of the island country.

Thousands are dead, more thousands may be missing and never accounted for, as a wall of water swept and scoured the low-lying land.

The rush of news, including graphic pictures and impassioned pleas for help, was immediate, overwhelming and heart-rending. The physical devastation alone was staggering, and the effect on people was incalculable. Because access to the stricken areas was nearly nonexistent, the immediate plight of the survivors was even more dire.

Aid is starting to flow

Other countries – the United States in a prominent role, as is often the case – rallied their own resources and headed for the area, as did the nonprofit organizations – Doctors Without Borders, the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Relief Services and others – that are in the forefront of such efforts. And by week’s end, aid is starting to flow to the most seriously affected places and people.

But as hard as tending to the immediate needs of the victims is, help will get there. The infrastructural damage will be infinitely harder to repair. Just restoring electricity, water systems and passable roads will be a gargantuan undertaking, especially for a government that is not unduly wealthy.

And as the people of the Philippines try to rebuild their lives, we will revisit and watch the progress. It’s the way things happen today.

For most of recorded history, news of bad, even calamitous natural disasters traveled slowly, if at all. A volcanic eruption in Asia could kill many thousands, yet be unheard of in most of the world. Devastating plagues could make their way from region to region almost stealthily. Even as recently a century ago, news was flashed around the world by telegraph – a miracle for the time, primitive today.

Now we are surrounded by global electronic networks and communications satellites that can almost instantly transport sound and vivid pictures to the furthest corners of the globe. Cell phones and cameras are ubiquitous, in all but the most primitive outposts. We are all, increasingly, witnesses to history, some of it grim.

So we will see more tropical cyclones. More earthquakes. More tsunamis. More floods. And thanks to an ever-warming planet, we may see more destructive ones as well.

Increasingly unstable

While the exact connection between any given storm and climate change isn’t known and perhaps can’t be, there has been widespread agreement by climate scientists that, overall, our increasingly unstable weather is likely to increase the power of individual disturbances, particularly in coastal areas as the oceans continue to rise. And they will, inexorably.

Places like the Philippines, so much of it barely above sea level, are in particular peril. Think of the small Pacific Island nations where people are even now making plans for eventual evacuations. Think of Bangladesh and other countries, many of them utterly impoverished, living at the mercy of the sea that surrounds them.

But it’s not only faraway places that are at risk. We in the United States are in the eye of coming storms and ocean rise as well. Some 39 percent of Americans in the contiguous 48 states live on a seacoast, frequently in areas not much above sea level. This includes such great cities as Boston and New York City, both extraordinarily vulnerable to ocean rise. Look at the damage done by Hurricane Sandy a year ago.

A recent report by a coalition of scientists said that much of south Florida, including the interior Everglades, will likely be under 5 feet of water within a century. Yet in Florida, as in much of our country, ocean rise is getting only fitful attention, at best.

In poor places like the Philippines, Bangladesh and the tiny Pacific island nations, they’re aware of the perils poised by our changing climate. They just don’t have the resources to do anything about it. In the United States, we have the resources. We just don’t want to think about it.

But as we gather with friends and family to enjoy the holiday, we should give a thought to what we’ve witnessed in the Philippines. And give a little more thought to the disaster that could be awaiting us. Some disasters, like that, are sudden. But others creep up on us.

As Ben Strauss, the director of the Florida study, told the New York Times, “The sea is marching inland, and it’s not going to stop.”

(Monitor columnist Katy Burns lives in Bow.)

Legacy Comments35

"But what I meant that the thrust of the original comment didn't have as much to do with global climate change as it did with the skin color of the people impacted by this latest tragedy."....????? Dan, have you lost your mind? What does skin color have to do with anything I said?

For the Carp Per Diem Gang of Four deniers below: Here are excerpts and links from two separate groups that must live in the real world, the one in the interest of protecting the nation, the other in the interest of mitigating financial loss: the DOD and the insurance industry. Here's what they think about climate change. "Changes in climate patterns and their impact on the physical environment can create profound effects on populations in parts of the world and present new challenges to global security and stability. Failure to anticipate and mitigate these changes increases the threat of more failed states with the instabilities and potential for conflict inherent in such failures. Because of the increasing importance of climate change on US security, the Defense Science Board was charged with examining the need to adapt, manage, and mitigate the consequences of climate change." "The foundation for DoD’s strategic policy on climate change adaptation began with the publication of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) in 2010 by the Secretary of Defense. The QDR is a principal means by which the tenets of the National Defense Strategy are translated into new policies and initiatives. The QDR sets a long-term course for DoD as the Department assesses the threats and challenges that the nation faces and re-balances DoD’s strategies, capabilities, and forces to address today’s conflicts and tomorrow’s threats. The QDR acknowledged that climate change has national security implications and must be addressed by DoD and its partners." "When it comes to the calculating the likelihood of catastrophic weather, one group has an obvious and immediate financial stake in the game: the insurance industry. And in recent years, the industry researchers who attempt to determine the annual odds of catastrophic weather-related disasters—including floods and wind storms—say they’re seeing something new. 'Our business depends on us being neutral. We simply try to make the best possible assessment of risk today, with no vested interest,' says Robert Muir-Wood, the chief scientist of Risk Management Solutions (RMS), a company that creates software models to allow insurance companies to calculate risk. 'In the past, when making these assessments, we looked to history. But in fact, we’ve now realized that that’s no longer a safe assumption—we can see, with certain phenomena in certain parts of the world, that the activity today is not simply the average of history.' This pronounced shift can be seen in extreme rainfall events, heat waves and wind storms. The underlying reason, he says, is climate change, driven by rising greenhouse gas emissions." Read more: "Most insurers, including the reinsurance companies that bear much of the ultimate risk in the industry, have little time for the arguments heard in some right-wing circles that climate change isn't happening, and are quite comfortable with the scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels is the main culprit of global warming. 'Insurance is heavily dependent on scientific thought,' says Frank Nutter, president of the Reinsurance Association of America. 'It is not as amenable to politicized scientific thought.' A pronounced shift can be seen in extreme rainfall events, heat waves and wind storms and the underlying reason is climate change, says Muir-Wood, driven by rising greenhouse gas emissions." "There is growing acknowledgement among insurers that the impact of climate change on future insured losses is likely to be profound. The chairman of Lloyd’s of London has said that climate change is the number one issue for that massive insurance group. And Europe’s largest insurer, Allianz, stated that climate change stands to increase insured losses from extreme events in an average year by 37 per cent within just a decade. Losses in a bad year could top US$1 trillion. Insurers increasingly recognise that it is the lack of action to combat climate change that is the true threat to their industry and the broader economy; engaging with the problem and mounting solutions represents not only a duty to shareholders but also a boon for economic growth. The insurance sector thus finds itself on the front lines...." In June of this year, the Geneva Association, an insurance research group, released a report called “Warming of the Oceans and Implications for the (Re)insurance Industry.” It laid out evidence explaining how rising ocean temperatures are changing climate patterns and called for a “paradigm shift” in the way the insurance industry calculates risk..." "The U.S. insurance industry told Senators that a surge in weather-related catastrophes has forced billions of dollars in payouts, offering an assessment at odds with Republicans who have expressed doubt about global warming. The Reinsurance Association of America, which represents companies such as Swiss Re Ltd. (SREN) and Munich Re, today urged Congress to have federal agencies consider climate risk in project reviews, and offer tax incentives to help homeowners prepare for severe hurricanes, floods, droughts and fires."

Bruce, just saying that posting things like this does more to turn people away from the issue than it does to convince them of anything. I don't think that the majority of the population believe that global warming is 100% caused by man and the more extremists push and push and push and go on and on, the more people it turns off. Just saying.

I think you mean: "Don't confuse the issue with the facts." Posting what the DOD and the insurance industry think about climate change "does more to turn people away from the issue" of climate change? No. What confuses people are the unrelenting and deliberate efforts of deniers to post contradictory nonsense in response to any and every news story or column on the topic. You yourself just posted links that include the false claim that the climate is really cooling. There must be 10 or more links on various posts on this thread to inaccurate and distorted, if not outright false stories on climate change. And yet you're calling me the extremist.

I guess what you want is an echo chamber where you and other progressives decide that "these facts" are the only thing we can consider and therefore....everyone else should challenge or question any of the facts that you present. I am not sure which troubles me more, the fact that you feel you always have the answer and it is irrefutable or if that you accuse others of the same behavior which you yourself engages in. In any event, public forums like this are not echo chambers. That is why is it called an opinion page.

I'm quite willing to discuss a topic, and by no means do I feel my take on an issue is always irrefutable. In fact, I welcome honest and forthright discussion of issues such as climate change. But that's not what happens. There is opinion, and there is informed opinion. You and some others seem to think that everyone's 'opinion' has equal weight, regardless of how much or how little evidence exists to support that opinion, regardless of how much nonsense is posted. Based on your own posts about climate science, you seem to have little understanding or regard for how science actually works. Otherwise you wouldn't post links to claims that the planet is really cooling, when it demonstrably is not. I can't state it any more baldly--there is no dispute that the planet is warming, and that the warming is due almost entirely to human activities--deforestation and agriculture, and fossil fuel use. You can find any number of contrarian claims on this topic on the internet--but almost none from actual scientists who are working in the field. Unlike issues such as healthcare or taxes, where there may be many sides to an issue, each with some claim to legitimacy, the findings of climate science leave little room for doubt at this point regarding the on-going changes we are causing. To make claims otherwise--to disregard the findings of scientists from all over the planet whose life work is the study of climate science and its many related fields, requires at the deepest level a belief in conspiracy theories: that somehow thousands of scientists in hundreds of universities and institutions are participating in a lie. A lie to what end? And for what motive? At this point we're heading down the rabbit hole with our tin-foil hats in hand. I'll state it again: everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not their own facts.

FACT: EPIC FAIL: UN climate talks fall apart as 132 countries storm out

Keep posting your lockstep diatribe. It does more to hurt the global warming movement than help it. Just saying. Everyone is entitled to post facts but those facts are not without opinion as well.

News Flash, Bruce believes he has an Open Mind.

reply to said "Dan, I think my original point that the Carp Per Diems will post counterclaims to any and every piece on climate change has been validated here. Some are just more subtle than others--at least initially."...My point is..this was a weather event. Just like the Colorado 1000 year flood that was really a 30 year flood. Hurricanes and floods happen. Tornadoes in November happen. 30 inches of snow in October in NYC happens. Its weather.

While it's true that no single weather event can be attributed to climate change, at some point trends begin to emerge. While correlation is not causation, the increasing number of extreme weather events worldwide does correlate with our warming, and less stable (hence less predictable) climate.

Ok so let's say that you are correct. How can we deal with this situation so that it won't diminish our prosperity, mean that only the US will have to do it while others like India and China contiune to become world powers, that won't involved taxes as carbon taxes would be just spent on social programs anyway. Do we restrict birth? Do we embrace euthanasia? What do we do professor?

Response to GWTW regarding Camille vs Haiyan below: From Jeff Masters' blog: "Haiyan hit Guiuan, on the Philippine island of Samar, at 4:40 am local time November 8, 2013 (20:40 UTC November 7.) Three hours before landfall, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) assessed Haiyan’s sustained winds at 195 mph, gusting to 235 mph, making it the 4th strongest tropical cyclone in world history. Satellite loops show that Haiyan weakened only slightly, if at all, in the two hours after JTWC’s advisory, so the super typhoon likely made landfall with winds near 195 mph. The next JTWC intensity estimate, for 00Z UTC November 8, about three hours after landfall, put the top winds at 185 mph. Averaging together these estimates gives a strength of 190 mph an hour after landfall. Thus, Haiyan had winds of 190 - 195 mph at landfall, making it the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in world history. The previous record was held by the Atlantic's Hurricane Camille of 1969, which made landfall in Mississippi with 190 mph winds." JeffMasters, 3:44 PM GMT on November 12, 2013 And as for barometric pressure in the eye: "These readings suggest that Haiyan had a pressure gradient of about 4 mb per mile. If we assume the airport was 17 miles north of the center of the eye, and there was a 4 mb/mile pressure gradient, Haiyan could have had an 888 mb central pressure." JeffMasters, 5:10 PM GMT on November 15, 2013

Data from the national weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, or PAGASA, showed that Typhoon Haiyan’s intensity – measured by the wind strength at its center and the speed of gusts at landfall – Haiyan ranks at number 7 among the strongest storms ever to have hit the Philippines....AGAIN Bruce is WRONG

The other troubling thing here is linking weather events and climate change. The left in this country seem to do it every time some weather event happens. 1000 year floods in Colorado. Strongest typhoon ever. Worse tornado season ever. Now, we know now that the Colorado floods were not 1000 year floods, but 30 year floods. So how did that get into the narrative? Because some leftist put it there. We had terrible tornadoes this year in the US, and the left said...SEE!!..but in actuality, tornado events are way down in the US...And now its this...Strongest typhoon ever...Now if I cant point to the fact that there were no Atlantic hurricanes this year, tornado events are way down, and the US experienced one of the quietest weather years on record as any indicator of climate change, then you shouldnt be able to with this typhoon. Right?"

"Climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow. 
Climate-related changes are already observed in the United States and its coastal waters. These include increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the ocean and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows. These changes are projected to grow... Widespread climate-related impacts are occurring now..." "Climate change will stress water resources. 
Water is an issue in every region, but the nature of the potential impacts varies. Drought, related to reduced precipitation, increased evaporation, and increased water loss from plants, is an important issue in many regions, especially in the West. Floods and water quality problems are likely to be amplified by climate change in most regions. Declines in mountain snowpack are important in the West and Alaska where snowpack provides vital natural water storage." "Heavy rainfall events have increased both in frequency and in intensity by 20%, and are the main cause behind the increase in overall precipitation in the US. The Northeast and Midwest have seen the greatest increase in such events. The frequency of drought has increased in areas such as the Southeast and the West, and decreased in other areas. Rising temperatures make droughts more severe and/or widespread, and also lead to the earlier melting of snowpacks, which can exacerbate problems in vulnerable areas...the bell-curve method makes it possible to say just how much more hot weather there is. Dr Hansen defined extreme conditions as those occurring more than three standard deviations from the mean of his reference curve. In that curve, this would be an eighth of a percent at each end, which is more or less the value in the curve for 1951-61. Nowadays, though, extreme conditions (or, at least, those that would have been considered extreme half a century ago) can be found at any given time in about 8% of the world.

One point I will make in reply to Bruce below...Hurricane Hunter aircraft actually dropped tubes into Camille, accurately "measuring" wind speed, not estimating. The typhoon was only estimated by satellite, never actually measured. And Camilles storm surge was higher, by all accounts so far. And in the Monthly Weather Review, the National Hurricane Center said this about Camille.."Maximum winds near the coastline could not be measured, but from an appraisal of splintering of structures within a few hundred yards of the coast, velocities probably approached 175 k[nots]. (201 mph). I make no other claims, other than the statement "Typhoon Haiyan – believed to be the most powerful and destructive tropical cyclone" not accurate.

The poster below demonstrates the compulsion of climate change deniers to produce some kind of response whenever news appears that doesn't fit their preconceptions. The logic goes like this: if it can be shown that any earlier storms were stronger than Haiyan ( likely), then some or all of the claims that climate science makes are suspect." Suffice to say that the conclusion does not follow from the premise. The likelihood of Increasing storm intensity is far from the only indicator that we live in a changing, warming climate. That our planet is warming is not up for debate among the scientists, nor is the attribution of that warming to the burning of fossil fuels. Moreover, there has been no 'pause', and there has been no 'cooling' over the last decade or two, as some have claimed. As to whether Camille or Haiyan is the stronger, the poster overlooks the fact that the same uncertainties that apply to the relative strength of Haiyan applied to Camille also. According to Masters, Haiyan had sustained winds of 190 to 195 mph when it struck the Philippines, making it the strongest cyclone ever at the time of landfall. It was also the fourth strongest cyclone ever recorded, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. In his blog a few days later, and one source of GWTW's complaint, Masters points out that once a hurricane or typhoon hits land, its wind speed diminishes by about 15%, and so Haiyan's wind speeds would have dropped. But similar uncertainties and a reliance on estimates apply to Camille as well: "Late on August 17, a reconnaissance flight was forced to end its mission early due to a damaged engine.[4] Before it left the storm, the crew recorded a pressure of 909 hectopascals (26.8 inHg) and estimated surface winds at 190 mph (305 km/h), while Camille was located about 100 miles (160 km) southeast of the Mississippi River Delta.[5] There were no subsequent Hurricane Hunter flights, but it is estimated the hurricane maintained much of its intensity… gusts were estimated to have approached 200 mph (325 km/h). By 7 p.m., Camille was 60 miles south of Gulfport, moving north-northwest about 15 mph and was expected to move inland near Gulfport that evening (USACE 1970) (Figure 2). An offshore drilling rig was raked by winds estimated to be about 170 miles per hour.

Ummmm. Bruce. I don't think the poster in question's comments have anything to do with either an anti or pro global climate change mindset.

Dan, I think my original point that the Carp Per Diems will post counterclaims to any and every piece on climate change has been validated here. Some are just more subtle than others--at least initially.

It is so easy to thwart your false globull warming alarmist religion with easily searchable FACTS. The only thing you are validating is you are bad at your game of climate alarmist "Whack a Mole'

Perhaps you're right. Given how hard they reputedly are to kill, it's currently less like "Whack-a-Mole" and more like "Whack a Zombie".

But what I meant that the thrust of the original comment didn't have as much to do with global climate change as it did with the skin color of the people impacted by this latest tragedy.

Couple of comments and then some links to sites which you probably will dismiss without actually reading the material on them, but, we will try. Last week scientists revealed that the sun is going through a rather strange period of activity or lack thereof. There have been few if any eruptions on the sun and sunspot activity has been nil and the sun is quiet beyond its usual cycle. That means that we may enter a period of cooling without sun activity. To your point on global warming, you still call for severly reduced fossil fuel emissions. What you are calling for is a substantial reduction of commerce, mobility and lifestyle in order to achieve this. It is Draconian and honestly, if we are going to reduce emissions and fossil fuel usage we should work with energy providers to do so and use them to help fund the research. Yet, in the past you want no part of allowing, for instance, Mobil or Exxon to be the leaders, you would rather have the highly ineffcient government to take the lead. Finally, you read only one side of arguments so I will direct you to just a few (there are thousands) of sites refuting your science.

Response to Itsa below: None of your links is to any actual science, but instead is information filtered/interpreted and distorted by individuals with axes to grind. Contrary to Goddard's and McIntire's claims, there was no attempt to hide the changes made to the temp. record by NASA. An explanation for NASA's adjustments to the temperature record can be found here: That the sun has been behaving oddly for some time is not news--it has been somewhat 'quieter' and less energetic (fewer sunspots than expected in the current cycle) for some time. Despite slightly reduced output, the globe continues to warm, as more and more CO2 and other greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere. As I've pointed out before, we are over-riding a natural cooling cycle with man-made warming. Finally, you again include a straw man in your post: I made no "call for severely reduced fossil fuel emissions." But since you bring it up; so long as we continue to ignore the effects of climate change, or worse, deny its existence, we make it more likely that the next generation will have to endure at the very least "a substantial reduction of…lifestyle." And if that's the worst of it 2 or 3 generations hence, we'll be lucky.

more predictions from the Swanee that hasn't got 1 prediction right yet.

There are statements of FACT from the top Globull warming alarmists ( Bruce in NOT 1 of them...never has been.... never will be) Here are their statements of FACT and you can google any one of the statements that proves Bruce is wrong again: “even the New York Times has at last been constrained to admit what Dr. Pachauri of the IPCC was constrained to admit some months ago. There has been no global warming statistically distinguishable from zero for getting on for two decades.” “Forget global warming!? Earth undergoing global COOLING since 2002! Climate Scientist Dr. Judith Curry: ‘Attention in the public debate seems to be moving away from the 15-17 year ‘pause’ to the cooling since 2002’” “Even CRU’s Phil Jones admitted in a BBC interview that there had been no “statistically significant” warming since 1995” “IPCC Head Pachauri acknowledges ‘No warming for 17 years’" “Climate modeler Dr. Gavin Schmidt of NASA GISS comments on the failure of models to match real world observations.” “UN IPCC Lead Author Hans Von Storch Blasts Climate Scientists: Not The 'Keepers Of The Truth' -- Says They 'Oversold' The Science -- Accuses colleagues of hype & 'methodical failure'” “The planet is no longer warming. The brief warming episode of the late 20th century completed its course in the mid 1990s, and is now extinct. These are now uncontroversial statements.” Bruce is akin to the orchestra continuing to play as the Titanic sinks

I've responded to these cut-and-paste links repeatedly with accurate information. None of your links is accurate, each distorts the science. Anyone with an interest in the science and an open mind can sort fact from the fiction. As this thread demonstrates, that qualifier--" an open mind", excludes a quartet of regulars on this site.

those are 100% factual documented searchable quotes ...Bruce is the orchestra that continues to play as the Titanic sinks. On a daily basis Bruce insults the readers common sense. FACTS are not Brucies friend.... FACT: NOAA closes 600 ‘hot’ weather stations. 'They continue to use a polluted mix of well-sited and poorly-sited stations.' - Anthony Watts

From the statement by the US National Academy of Sciences: "...there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring... It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities... The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action." This is in a joint statement with the Academies of Science from Brazil, France, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom.

So thats my argument ...previous storms to make landfall have had higher winds, higher storm surges, and lower pressures.

TODAY: Mt Etna Volcano spewing again.....must be globull warming....... "The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years... And we've only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we're a threat? "The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles... hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages"... And the globull warming alarmists want you to think a 0.04 C increase in deep ocean temperatures are fatal

In response to your latest reposted cut-and-paste from one of the usual unattributed deniosphere sources (J. Delingpole?): The screed says those who claim humans are doing lasting harm to the environment are guilty of "conceit" to think that our actions can alter the climate. First, our emergence from prehistory to the present (the Holocene) has been an era with a particularly moderate climate. We didn't evolve and develop civilizations during a time of asteroid strikes or ice age. Second, if our atmosphere were as dense as water, it would be all of about 33 feet deep (depth of water equivalent to 1 atmosphere).That's the ocean of air into which we pour much of our effluvia, and which you imply we can't affect in the long term. In fact, much of the CO2 we are now putting into the air, or which is in the 'pipeline', will affect our planet for hundreds of years to come.

I'm going to try to be very fair here, so as not to upset my critics. The statement by Burns: "Typhoon Haiyan – believed to be the most powerful and destructive tropical cyclone" incorrect. Typhoon Haiyan, by everything I have read so far, including Dr Jeff Masters, who is quoted as saying on Nov 9th "Typhoon and hurricane maximum wind speed estimates are only valid for over water exposure, and winds over land are typically reduced by about 15%, due to friction. This would put Haiyan's winds at 165 mph over land areas on the south shore of Guiuan Island." A terrible storm yes, certainly. Has our ability to observe and estimate winds in a hurricane gotten better over the years? Yes. Have we overestimated the strength of past storms? Yes. I still say Camille was the most powerful storm in terms of wind speed and storm surge. As far as pressure goes, I still have not read any reliable ones on the Typhoon. 895 mb seems to be the agreed upon number, still higher than Wilma, Gilbert or the labor Day hurricane.

Hurricanes, Typhoons and Cyclones are created by differing factors of wind patterns, ocean currents, land masses and temperature. To be sure they all have similar characteristics such as wind, rain, and rotation. But, you can't truly compare the effects of a typhoon to a hurricane or cyclone you have to take into account factors such as ocean depth, land above sea level, terrain etc.

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