CLEMSON, S.C., Sept. 22 (UPI) — U.S. scientists say they’ve determined hurricanes and tropical storms are increasing in the Atlantic Ocean, but aren’t getting stronger as others contend.
Clemson University researchers led by Professor Robert Lund said they studied changes in the tropical cycle record in the North Atlantic between 1851 and 2009.
“This is a hot button in the argument for global warming,” said Lund. “Climatologists reporting to the U.S. Senate as recently as this summer testified to the exact opposite of what we find. Many researchers have maintained that warming waters of the Atlantic are increasing the strengths of these storms. We do not see evidence for this at all, however, we do find that the number of storms has recently increased.”
Lund, who was joined in the research by Michael Robbins and Colin Gallagher of Clemson and QiQi Lu of Mississippi State University, says the study represents one of the first rigorous statistical assessments of the issue.
“Hopefully such a rigorous assessment will clear up the controversy and the misinformation about what is truly happening with these storms,” Lund said.
Their study has been submitted to the Journal of the American Statistical Association.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International