from: Mike Hulme <m.hulmeatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: Re: hurricane Floyd
to: Adam Markham <Adam.MarkhamatXYZxyzUS.ORG>
Despite a few recent studies that try to test the GCMs ability to simulate hurricane futures, the latest preliminary IPCC TAR conclusion on hurricanes (*dont* cite me) is ............. yes, still sitting on the fence!! They basically say nothing that would make any headlines.
Models are still too coarse to really give us any confidence about their hurricane predictions, especially since hurricanes are in some ways/regions related to ENSO and ENSO is still ambiguous in GCMs. There remain theoretical grounds for hurricane intensties and/or frequencies to increase under warming, but there are too many secondary factors that models are dumb about for IPCC to plump for a bolder statement.
In terms of leading people I would suggest:
Tom Knutson (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the GFDL lab in Princeton (he has some new papers on the issue), Leonard Bengtsson at the Max Planck in Hamburg (big name who has tried to model hurricanes), and then Barrie Pittock at CSIRO is always good for some precautionary sense, and/or Kvvin Hennessey from the same group. And closer to the Gulf I met a Mexican meteorologist last week in Mex. City (Victor Magana: email@example.com in the Center for Atmospheric Sciences in the National University of Mexico) who had some interesting views on the matter.
CRU's position (we don't take positions!), well my position is simply that we can't use hurricane changes as a detection variable, but precautionary principle clearly suggests (given some theoretical grounds for danger) we should reckon our systems are going to have to cope with more and worse in the future.
At 12:21 13/09/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Great press for Dave Viner's tourism report!
>Meanwhile, Hurricane Floyd seems to be heading for Florida. Various
>WWF offices are keen that we have something to say on this. Do you
>have any idea where I can get the latest, best, short analysis of the
>relation between tropical storms and climate, the link to La Nina etc.?
>Who would be the 5 or 6 best scientists to talk about this? Does CRU
>have a position? Thanks for the help, A