Author: Going. Walkabout

The Great Hurricane Absence

By Steve Campbell

This article was originally published in American Thinker on October 7, 2017. I see that in AT’s archive, my article has lost its graphics – which were a major part of the story. I am reprinting the article now (Sept. 28, 2022) because of the recent Hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico and the unprofessional, unscientific and untruthful reporting of same by the Global Warming Press.

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You will see story after story in the news about how hurricanes are stronger and more frequent. They will tell you that Harvey and Irma are the worst-ever storms and are unprecedented. They will scare up the looming threat of “Global Warming” as if it were a proven fact. They will say that Al Gore predicted this a decade ago in his movie An Inconvenient Truth (2006).

Do not be fooled. That is all a lie. While Harvey and Irma were devastating, they were far from “the worst”. Global Warming has proven to be a myth. Al Gore was dead wrong then and now. What Gore predicted was the exact opposite of what happened. Hurricanes are right now less frequent and milder on average than they were when Vice President Al Gore made that movie.

The data on hurricanes is widely and freely available. So, there is no excuse for the panic-mongering regarding this subject.

The “Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE)” index is calculated by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

Accumulated Cyclone Energy — An index that combines the numbers of systems, how long they existed and how intense they became. It is calculated by squaring the maximum sustained surface wind in the system every six hours that the cyclone is a Named Storm and summing it up for the season. It is expressed in 104 kt2.

This is basically a measure of seasonal hurricane strength as it varies from year to year and should definitively answer the question of whether hurricanes are stronger and more frequent, or not.

The chart below shows the data for 1985 to 2016:

Accumulated Cyclone Energy 1985 to 2016

While there was indeed a peak in 2005, the index has been substantially less – not only in the actual year of Al Gore’s movie debut, but also in every year since then.

To address the frequency of hurricanes, let us examine another NOAA dataset.

The graph below shows the number of days between major hurricane landfalls in the United States. Major Hurricanes are defined as category 3,4 or 5. 

Days Between Landfall of Major Hurricanes in the U.S. Credit NOAA

You see that the dates of the original graph (produced by Roger Pielke Jr.) were from 1900 to June 15, 2017. A new record gap between storms had occurred at that time. This author has added (the orange parts) the intervening time to show the end of the Great Hurricane Absence. You see that this gap (nearly twelve years) is almost twice as long as the previous record in 1900. The “trend” (red line) is now toward slightly longer gaps between storms. i.e., Strong hurricanes are less frequent now.

The IPCC’s website defines their purpose:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change… The main activity of the IPCC is to provide at regular intervals Assessment Reports of the state of knowledge on climate change. The latest one is the Fifth Assessment Report which was finalized in November 2014.

With that in mind, here is the IPCC’s statement on hurricane frequency:

IPCC AR5 (2013) Working Group I, Chapter 2

Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century … No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin.

The deadliest hurricane in American history was the 1900 storm in Galveston, Texas. Speaking from my own family’s oral history:

My great-grandfather Ben was visiting his brother in Galveston when all were trapped by a rising storm surge that reached the attic of the two-story house before it broke apart. Ben was washed across Galveston Bay to Hitchcock, Texas in the midst of that devastating tempest. By then, Ben had lost his brother and all his brother’s family, who died along with six to ten thousand others on the island and the mainland (Galveston had less than 38,000 inhabitants at the time). Ben barely survived by clinging to a wooden bedstead while being torn by building debris with lots of exposed nails.

Ben told his tale and showed his horrible scars to his little granddaughter who later told her son – that’s me. This makes the 1900 storm very real to this author.  

Now that you have the real story, read and watch as the alarmists try to tell you that Harvey or Irma is the worst storm ever and these hundred-year storms are happening every year.

You can tell them of the “Great Hurricane Absence” and show them these graphs. You can quote the IPCC, a group founded to study (allegedly objectively) the idea of manmade climate change. You can tell them that the deadliest hurricane in American history was the 1900 storm in Galveston, Texas.

When you tell the alarmists, they will not believe you because it does not fit their narrative of “Global Warming.” To them, nothing that happened before they were born was real. And nothing since then that does not fit their myth, is fact.

Urban Astronomy – Mars/Jupiter Conjunction 05/29/22

Posted May 18, 2022

The night sky is pretty much a mystery to most City Dwellers.  The glare of city light drowns out all but the brightest stars – and planets don’t do much better.  If you are interested, I can tell you where to look to see these far-off worlds.  If you were not interested, you would have stopped reading after the first sentence. 

So, at this point, I know my audience. 

See Mars and Jupiter in Close Conjunction, Sunday, May 29 – around 5:30 AM Central Daylight Time

Sky Chart from Heavens-Above.com   May 29 at 5:30 AM CDT (UTM -5)

You can print out the chart and hold it with East at the bottom while facing East – to match up the planets with the chart.  Cloudy weather is probable, so  check in the days before and after, just in case.

Hasta Luego,

Steve

Urban Astronomy – Venus/Jupiter Conjunction 04/30/22

Posted April 27, 2022

The night sky is pretty much a mystery to most City Dwellers.  The glare of city light drowns out all but the brightest stars – and planets don’t do much better.  If you are interested, I can tell you where to look to see these far-off worlds.  If you were not interested, you would have stopped reading after the first sentence. 

So, at this point, I know my audience. 

See Venus and Jupiter in Close Conjunction, Saturday, April 30 – around 6 AM

Figure 1: As Close as It Gets

Urban Astronomy  April 19, 2022

Venus is the “skymark” for a collection of planets in the morning sky. 

  Look East before dawn to find Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn lined up in the Southeast.  Jupiter is the lowest in the sky and second-brightest.  A bit higher is Venus – the brightest by far with Mars next and then Saturn.  See the sky chart below for reference.  If you print it out, the best way to use it is to hold it with “East” at the bottom and face East. 

Figure 1:  Skychart for April 19th from Heavens-Above.com

Don’t imagine that these planets are actually anywhere near each other. The diagram below should give the reader the “Big Picture”. The positions of the planets (including the one you are standing on). Figure

Figure 2: Yellow lines depict the “lines of sight” from an observer on Earth to the four planets. To give scale: The line from you to Saturn is almost a billion miles long.

Skymaps from Heavens-Above.com  

Solar System diagram from NASA Small Body Database Lookup

Ex Scientia, Trivia!

Steve

Urban Astronomy  April 19, 2022

Urban Astronomy – Comet Leonard 12/20/21

Posted December 20, 2021

The night sky is pretty much a mystery to most City Dwellers.  The glare of city light drowns out all but the brightest stars – and planets don’t do much better.  If you are interested, I can tell you where to look to see these far-off worlds.  If you were not interested, you would have stopped reading after the first sentence. 

So, at this point, I know my audience. 

Comet 2021 A1 – Leonard Dec 20, 2021

Leonard is even brighter – in fact much brighter – tonight. The current magnitude of Leonard is +2.3 (the smaller the number, the brighter – the comet was +4.6 yesterday and Saturn is +0.23 – VERY bright by comparison) so in the city, the Comet is visible and would be still better seen with binoculars. 

You may have heard the expression “by an order of magnitude”  – well this is over two orders of magnitude – OK?

Once again, do not use telescopes or binoculars to view the Sun – blindness will result!  I said “after sunset” so you should be OK if you listen to me. 😉

As is usual in these cases, the comet gets brighter not only because it gets close to the Earth.  It also gets brighter because it gets closer to the Sun.  The third brightening influence is the material that the closer sun vaporizes.  That stuff makes a cloud around the comet and is it also partially blown away by what is called the Solar Wind – in a comet’s tail.

Figure 1, above shows the location to view, which is conveniently close to Venus, which is the brightest thing in the sky.  If you can see the Planet, you should be able to see the comet – although you may need those binoculars to do so. 

The sky is currently “mostly clear” (look-out-window method) in Houston at 3:22 PM.   Sunset is at 5:26 PM.  These next few days are literally the last chance to see Leonard, as it is on a hyperbolic orbit – which is a nerdy way to say that it will never return to the Solar System.  (Please see figure 2 below)

For readers not in the Houston area, just look for Venus (and Jupiter for orientation) and use the chart in Figure one above to find the comet.  We are lucky to be able to have the two brightest objects in the sky (now that the moon is not around in the early evening) as our reference points.

Hasta Luego,

Steve

Urban Astronomy – Comet Leonard

Unmasked and Unafraid

Posted December 19, 2021

The night sky is pretty much a mystery to most City Dwellers.  The glare of city light drowns out all but the brightest stars – and planets don’t do much better.  If you are interested, I can tell you where to look to see these far-off worlds.  If you were not interested, you would have stopped reading after the first sentence. 

So, at this point, I know my audience. 

Comet 2021 A1 – Leonard

There is another “Eyes Only Visible” comet to be seen in the Southwestern sky, just after sunset. The current magnitude of Leonard is +4.6, so in the city, it is only just visible and would be better seen with binoculars.  Once again, do not use telescopes or binoculars to view the Sun – blindness will result!  I said “after sunset” so you should be OK if you listen to me. 😉

As is usual in these cases, the comet gets brighter not only because it gets close to the Earth.  It also gets brighter because it gets closer to the Sun.  The third brightening influence is the material that the closer sun vaporizes.  That stuff makes a cloud around the comet and is it also partially blown away by what is called the Solar Wind – in a comet’s tail.

Figure 1, above shows the location to view, which is conveniently close to Venus, which is the brightest thing in the sky.  If you can see the Planet, you should be able to see the comet – although you may need those binoculars to do so.  

We have had very cloudy weather here in Houston (today, Dec 19) is “Mostly Cloudy” at 4 PM, changing to “Cloudy” around Sunset at 5:26 PM.  Tommorow at Sundown the prediction is “Mostly Cloudy” and the comet will have moved slightly relative to Venus.  These next few days are literally the last chance to see Leonard, as it is on a hyperbolic orbit – which is a nerdy way to say that it will never return to the Solar System.  (Please see figure 2 below)

Figure 2. Comet Leonard is diving through the Solar System, never to return.

For readers not in the Houston area, just look for Venus (and Jupiter for orientation) and use the chart above to find the comet.  We are lucky to be able to have the two brightest objects in the sky (now that the moon is not around in the early evening) as our reference points.

Hasta Luego,

Steve

Uber Alley – The Golden Orb

The following photo is of an abandoned building in Southwest Houston. This place is a local legend and when I pick up a passenger who lives nearby, I ask if they know anything about it.

UPDATE: One of my sharp readers found that this building is a part of a failed Taoist Temple and is only about 20 years old. But, I was “on the money” with the Deportation bit and my “Golden Orb” title was close to correct. See complete description at the link below:
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/palace-of-the-golden-orbs

So far, I have one “failed shopping center” and three “Buddhist Temple” stories. At least two of the Buddhist theories mention that the owner/builder was deported. There are some fenced-off lots around this place with similar fencing and “style”. The building has been there for at least thirty years that I know of – and perhaps a decade or two before. If Readers would care to look it up, it is found at this intersection:

Hasta Luego,

Steve