Multiple experts contacted by Fox News Digital argued that there is insufficient evidence to suggest that climate change caused Hurricane Ian or any individual natural disaster.
The experts’ comments come as a host of media outlets, Democrats and progressive commentators continue to blame the hurricane for man-made global warming. Hurricane Ian slammed into southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday, leaving more than a million residents without power and prompting stern safety warnings from Florida officials.
“What they are trying to do is politicize the pain and suffering of these people to further their green agenda,” Gregory Wrightstone, executive director of climate policy think tank CO2 Coalition, told Fox News Digital in an interview. “Well, his policies and his agenda to promote renewable energy will cause much greater economic destruction in the country and in Florida.”
In recent days, news outlets including the New York Times, Associated Press, Politico, NPR, and Axios have published stories reporting that climate change is to blame for Hurricane Ian and the storm’s rapid intensification. A Time magazine article said “the science is well known” that climate change created the conditions for Hurricane Ian.
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Additionally, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., appeared to suggest that Americans should vote Democrat to avoid future hurricanes during an interview Tuesday. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, tweeted Thursday that “the rapidly intensifying storms we are seeing with Hurricane Ian will become more common and more dangerous” as the weather changes.
And a number of progressive commentators and climate activists took to social media to similarly link the hurricane to global warming.
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“Ian is a climate change hurricane,” Pam Keith, a former Democratic Senate candidate and founder of the left-wing firm Center for Employment Justice, tweeted Wednesday.
“[Hurricane Ian] it is a textbook example of the impact of climate change on people,” added Nina Turner, a senior fellow at the progressive think tank Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy. “Climate change is not political, it is reality.”
However, Wrightstone and the other experts contacted by Fox News Digital rejected those arguments, arguing that individual storms cannot be linked to climate change.
“If you read what [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)] says about hurricanes, there just isn’t enough data,” Steve Milloy, senior legal fellow at the Energy and Environmental Law Institute, told Fox News Digital.
“There is nothing to back up what they say,” he continued. “There were about 16 major hurricanes between 1916 and 1965, but only six since 1965. So clearly big hurricanes happen with lower carbon dioxide levels. That doesn’t add up for them.”
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A NOAA to study last reviewed in July, it concluded that its models and analyzes did not support the notion that greenhouse gas-induced warming leads to large increases in the total number of Atlantic tropical storms or hurricanes. The study, authored by NOAA chief scientist Tom Knutson, added that it was “premature to conclude with a high level of confidence” that the human-caused increase in greenhouse gases has had any impact on the activity of marine mammals. hurricanes in the Atlantic.
Jamie Rhome, acting director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, echoed the study’s findings in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, rejecting host Don Lemon’s argument that Hurricane Ian’s intensification is linked to climate change. . Rhome said he would “warn against” linking any storms to climate change.
“Trying to blame global warming for Hurricane Ian not only defies the scientific evidence, the sheer weight of scientific evidence, but is a despicable politicization of a real tragedy that requires our attention and focus on the people negatively affected,” he said. James Taylor, president. of the conservative think tank Heartland Institute, said in an interview with Fox News Digital.
“These types of hurricanes existed before SUVs and coal-fired power plants were invented,” Taylor added. “In fact, they were much more prevalent and severe before coal power plants and SUVs.”
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Wrightstone, who also serves as an expert reviewer for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), added that the number of hurricanes this year has actually been lower than in previous years.
“The IPCC does not see a correlation between rising temperatures and more hurricanes,” he told Fox News Digital. “And we saw that this year. Until this hurricane, which is massive, there had been an almost historically low number of hurricanes.”