Sunday, June 03, 2007

What did Hurricane Katrina have to do with global warming and climate change?

I continue to come across references to Hurricane Katrina that misleadingly link it to global warming and climate change. First, even though Katrina was at one stage a "powerful" Category 5 hurricane, there is nothing that unusual about Cat 5 hurricanes. Sure, they aren't that frequent, but they have certainly occurred in the past. More importantly, people continue to misguidedly suggest that the damage to New Orleans was due to Katrina being a "powerful Cat 5" storm, when in reality the damage in New Orleans was due to poorly designed and constructed levees, and that Katrina was a lot weaker than Cat 5 when it hit New Orleans. An article dated December 22, 2005 in the Washington Post by Peter Whoriskey and Joby Worrick entitled "Report Revises Katrina's Force - Hurricane Center Downgrades Storm to Category 3 Strength" tells us that:

The National Hurricane Center released a summary report on Katrina this week that downgraded the storm's intensity at landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29 from Category 4 to Category 3. The winds in New Orleans, which lay to the west of the storm's center, were probably even weaker than that, at Category 1 or 2 speeds, the report said.

So, contrary is widely-spread and widely-believed mythology, Katrina was only a Cat 3 at landfall and weaker than that when it hit New Orleans.

There is simply no credible excuse for using the victims of poor levee design in New Orleans as the poster children for the global warming/climate change movement.

More importantly, there is simply no credible excuse for the promoters of the global warming/climate change movement to continue to suggest that the extent of the damage in New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina was "caused" by global warming or is "evidence" of global warming.

-- Jack Krupansky

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