Global Warming Hysterics
Global warming is the natural effect that allows the Earth to maintain moderate temperatures, rather than unliveably hot by day and frigid by night. The blanket created by our atmosphere allows the temperatures to cool and heat slowly so that temperatures stay within our requirements for habitat. The main component, responsible for 97% of the warming is being pumped into the atmosphere by big corporations at a horrific rate, it is deadly if ingested into the lungs, it rots fruit, it degrades the integrity of metal, it is a compound of two volatile gases which feed fire and expolsion, and it causes thousands of deaths every year. There is no government control on this substance, and no politician will ever respond to a lobbyist pushing for a ban on this substance. The substance, of course, is water. But the easily generated hysterics and misinformation around how water and other substances react to global warming and whether global warming is amplified "anthropogenically", caused by man, has been debated since meteorology became an acceptable science for a "nice Jewish boy".
Sylvia: My grandson is a meteorist. He makes twelve thousand dollars a year.
Ethel: Well, at least his brother is a doctor.
Of the remaining 3%, carbon dioxide is the main component. Together, CO2 and a few others are referred to as "greenhouse gases", to give one the impression that the Earth is heating up like a greenhouse in the winter.
What is being asserted:
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a body organized by the UN and others to prove that the US should do something about anthropogenic global warming. However, when they get down to science, this what they assert. They are saying that a gradual trend of increase in temperature over the past 60 years may be due to increases in "greenhouse gases" associated with cars, jets, air conditioners, manufacturing processes and host of other gadgets that differentiate us from jungle tribes. This may be as much as 0.6 C over the past century, though it is increasing in rate. However, there seems to have been a cold trend over the past 4 centuries, so the warming may be natural as well. Hurricanes may be intensified because of thermodynamics, as early as 2050. They will not necessarily increase in frequency because of global warming. So far, this is just the advocate's position.
If the sun were heating the entire Earth, what would we experience? More hot weather, more cold weather, more wet or dry weather, more all of the above. The IPCC has asserted ALL of these. However, physics dictates that any additional heat would not heat the air alone, but it would diffuse into the water until the new changes were equalized. There's lots of water, so the heat that enters the water will go deeper until the pressure becomes a greater factor than the external heat source. Thus, air and water would slowly heat together. The ocean constant temperature would start at a deeper level.
What this meant for Katrina:
The surface temperature in the Gulf is about 90F. Hurricanes intensify at about 81F. Hence, any hurricane that enters the Gulf is a threat to intensify rapidly. Such has always been the case. Florida has always been a curteous gatekeeper, blocking the US Gulf coast. The last major storms of this type, slipped past the goalie in 1969 (Hurricane Camille) and 1961 (Hurricane Carla, the original 9/11) and 1957 (Audrey). There have been lesser storms as well. Here's a list. The advocates claim that global warming may have intensified Katrina and that future storms may be as intense or more intense. However, no conclusion can be drawn from a series of one.
What is hysterics and what is science:
In short, the advocates do not claim that there will be more hurricanes, increasing with global warming. They claim that storms MAY intensify. They claim that the effect is gradual. They claim that global temperatures have not increased significantly at this point. They have no evidence that humans caused significant global warming to date, and there is no evidence that Katrina was caused by global warming, natural or man made. There is no evidence that Katrina was intensified by global warming or whether it is part of a natural cycle. The advocates seem more interested in making us concerned for the future, in monitoring and arresting man made increases in global warming. The effects are generally conceded, even among skeptics, but most moderates in both camps think of man made global warming as a problem of centuries, or more radicals, decades, not of years. There is a significant amount of warming that is occuring due to natural cycles, so any strides made in this area may see less effect than desired. It's not going to get hotter out, next summer compared to this summer, because of anthropogenic global warming, AGW. The sky is not falling and the rivers will not boil.
This is the matter in short, not at all exhaustive, since there are many excellent resources available. I did not want to dwell too much on the subject. It is just that so many people have run with the misinformation, I would strongly urge you to do as much research as a half hour google session will allow. Then, we can concentrate on aiding the victims of the hurricane, rather than how to blame or discredit and take future action on hysterical "science".