In the 1980’s, he warned of thermodynamically driven rise in hurricane intensity from increasing CO2 , and just a few weeks before Hurricane Katrina swamped New Orleans, asserted in a Nature that statistical evidence linked rising hurricane energy and warming. Despite the uncertainty in the science, his work accordinly figured in An Inconvenient Truth,
But his latest study, in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society hardly inspires confidence in Gore's polemics. (The abstract is here. A pdf is downloadable from Emanuel’s home page.) Kerry told the NYTimes Andy Revkin :
The models are telling us something quite different from what nature seems to be telling us. There are various interpretations possible, e.g. a) The big increase in hurricane power over the past 30 years or so may not have much to do with global warming, or b) The models are simply not faithfully reproducing what nature is doing. Hard to know which to believe yet.
The study essentially meshed two kinds of computer models — the massive global climate simulations used to project long-term consequences of building greenhouse gases and small high-resolution simulations of little atmospheric disturbances that can grow into hurricanes. When hundreds of potential storms were seeded across warming oceans, some places in some computer runs — like the North Pacific — saw more activity, but others saw less intensification and fewer storms.
Emmanuel told the Houston Chronicle :
“There’s still a lot of uncertainty in this problem. The bulk of the evidence is that hurricane power will go up, but in some places it will go down.”