Tropical Researchers Put Aside Differences To Warn About U.S. Hurricane Problem

Good evening everyone,

I had quite a busy day today. Went to the dentist, did some shopping, and most importantly, have begun to write up some new articles for the web site. Anyway, I’ve been updating some aspects of the web site including my links page. In the course of finding new links for the web site, I stumbled across Kerry Emanuel’s home page, and a link to a statement he and other scientists have made with regard to the Hurricane problem in the United States. The significance of this statement is the fact that the researchers that came together to make this joint statement have been involved in a heated debate over the issue of global warming, and the link to stronger and more intense hurricanes.

However, for this statement, Emanuel and others such as Chris Landsea of NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division, and Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center, have put those differences aside to state their unanimous and unequivocal concern for the rapid growing of populations along our coastlines, particularly in hurricane prone areas from Maine to Texas. This statement continues to echo a long line of statements made by the likes of previous directors at the NHC such as Dr. Bob Sheets, Neil Frank, and Jerry Jarrell.

Scientists such as Daniel Sarewitz and Roger Pielke, Jr. shared similar ideas in a paper written for the July, 2000 edition of The Atlantic Monthly. In the concluding statement of their paper both stated that, “Environmental prospects for the coming century depend far less on our strategies for reducing carbon-dioxide emissions than on our determination and ability to reduce human vulnerability to weather and climate.” In other words, while the global warming issue is still important, it is still not as imperative as the need for people to stop building along the coastline, and densely populating our coasts. In addition, those coastal communities must do whatever they can to be properly equipped to handle such extreme weather.

People have to realize that current building policies coupled with sub-standard building codes, and poor enforcement of those codes, is creating the possibility of another Katrina or Andrew like scenario. Moreover, residents of these vulnerable areas must recognize that they are vulnerable, and make the proper precautions. Unfortunately, the latest polls from various media seem to indicate that the opposite is happening, which is especially alarming in light of the disasters from both the 2004 and 2005 seasons.