Sunday, August 28, 2005
Beyond Katrina and New Orleans
As New Orleans is "threatened with potential catastrophe", more people are likely to ask whether anthropogenic global warming has made a difference, or - more to the point - could make more difference in future.
Rasmus Benestad concluded in his 5 August RealClimate post Storms and Global Warming II that "there is little evidence of a trend in the [Tropical cyclone] frequency, [but ] there are some indications of a trend in the destructive capability of the TCs".
So there could be more category five storms in future. Given its potentially high impact, Hurricane Katrina may concentrate more minds on whether it is...cost effective to go along with those who deny the scientific consensus on climate change.
Meanwhile the scenes from New Orleans push a number of emblematic buttons: the conduit for one third of US domestic oil production shut down; Interstate 10, which was converted on Saturday so that all lanes headed one-way out of town, in total gridlock; and a substantial proportion of the Louisiana National Guard is off in...Iraq.