He is author of What Climate Scientists Think about Global Warming (Heartland Institute, 2007) and coauthor of State Greenhouse Gas Programs: An Economic and Scientific Analysis (Heartland Institute, 2003) and New Source Review: An Evaluation of EPA's Reform Recommendations (Heartland Institute, 2002).
He has presented environmental analysis on the CBS Evening News, CNN, and Fox News Channel; on numerous national radio programs; and in virtually every major newspaper in the country.
Taylor received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his law degree from the Syracuse University College of Law, where he was president of the local chapter of the Federalist Society and founder and editor-in-chief of the Federalist Voice.
Latest posts by James M. Taylor (see all)
- Heartland Daily Podcast – James Taylor: Debate on Global Warming - March 31, 2016
- PUC Out of Line in NV Energy’s Dispute with Casinos - January 22, 2016
- 2015 Was Not Even Close To Hottest Year On Record - January 19, 2016
Just about every type of extreme weather event is becoming less frequent and less severe in recent years as our planet continues its modest warming in the wake of the Little Ice Age. While global warming activists attempt to spin a narrative of ever-worsening weather, the objective facts tell a completely different story.
New Records for Lack of Tornadoes
New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show the past 12 months set a record for the fewest tornadoes in recorded history. Not only did Mother Nature just set a record for lack of tornado activity, she absolutely shattered the previous record for fewest tornadoes in a 12-month period. During the past 12 months, merely 197 tornadoes struck the United States. Prior to this past year, the fewest tornadoes striking the United States during a 12-month period occurred from June 1991 through July 1992, when 247 tornadoes occurred.
The new tornado record is particularly noteworthy because of recent advances in tornado detection technology. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is able to detect more tornadoes in recent years than in prior decades due to technological advances. Even with such enhanced tornado detection capability, the past 12 months shattered all prior records for recorded tornadoes.
NOAA posted a list of the five “lowest non-overlapping 12 month counts on record from 1954-present.” Notably, each of these low-tornado periods occur since 1986, precisely during the time period global warming alarmists claim global warming is causing more extreme weather events such as tornadoes. According to NOAA, the lowest non-overlapping 12 month counts on record from 1954-present, with the starting month, are:
197 tornadoes – starting in May 2012
247 tornadoes – starting in June 1991
270 tornadoes – starting in November 1986
289 tornadoes – starting in December 2001
298 tornadoes – starting in June 2000
On a related note, a new record for the longest stretch of consecutive days without a tornado death occurred during 2012 and 2013.
New Records for Lack of Hurricanes
Hurricane inactivity is also setting all-time records. The United States is undergoing its longest stretch in recorded history without a major hurricane strike, with each passing day extending the unprecedented lack of severe hurricanes, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data.
It has been more than 2,750 days since a major hurricane struck the United States. This easily smashes the prior record of less than 2,300 days between major hurricane strikes.
Although global warming activists and their media allies often claim global warming is making extreme weather events more frequent and severe, virtually all extreme weather events are becoming less frequent and less severe as our planet gradually warms.
Droughts, Wildfires, Etc.
Pretty much all other extreme weather events are becoming less frequent and less severe, also. Soil moisture is in long-term improvement at nearly all sites in the Global Soil Moisture Data Bank. Droughts are less frequent and less severe than in prior, colder centuries. The number of wildfires is in long-term decline despite a recent change in wildfire policy that no longer actively suppresses wildfires. Just about any way you measure it, extreme weather events are becoming quite rare.
Anecdotes vs. Objective Data
Despite all this good news, a growing number of people believe global warming is causing an increase in extreme weather events. This is no accident. Fully aware of the objective facts, global warming activists are doing everything they can to distract people from the truth. Although extreme weather events are becoming less frequent, the Earth is a big place with a dynamic climate. There will always be some extreme weather events, even as they become less frequent and less severe. Global warming activists can always highlight some extreme weather event occurring somewhere on the planet and paint a false narrative that global warming must be to blame, even though extreme weather events are becoming rarer as the planet gradually warms and returns to pre-Little Ice Age norms.
Major hurricanes struck the U.S. Northeast on a fairly regular basis during the first half of the 20th century when temperatures were cooler. Now, as our planet warms, hurricanes of any sort almost never strike the U.S. Northeast. As a result, when even a minor hurricane like Sandy strikes the Northeast, it is a seemingly unheard of weather event. We can thank global warming for the fact that even a small hurricane like Sandy is a rare event in the U.S. Northeast. The same applies for tornadoes, droughts, etc.
Thank goodness science is conducted according to objective facts rather than activist propaganda!
[First published at Forbes]