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‘Hyperactive’ Hurricane Season Almost Makes Record for Zero Hurricanes; Networks Quiet about Climate

Humberto becomes first Atlantic hurricane hours shy of inactivity record.

Peak hurricane season has arrived and on Sept. 10 as Tropical Storms Humberto and Gabrielle churned in the Atlantic, the season was nearing a record: for NOT having a hurricane. Humberto finally ratcheted up to hurricane status on Sept. 11, just hours shy of the record, according to CNN.

The record for the latest first Atlantic hurricane of the six-month long hurricane season was set in 2002 by Hurricane Gustav.

On Sept. 9-11, all three broadcast networks reported that Humberto was nearing the record for latest formation of an Atlantic hurricane or that it narrowly missed it. But only one of the stories on the morning and evening shows ("This Morning," "Good Morning America", "Today," "Nightly News," "Evening News," or "World News with Diane Sawyer") mentioned the earlier predictions of a “hyperactive” hurricane season. A second story hinted that the network was “taking lumps” because of the “remarkably quiet” hurricane season, but did not specifically refer to prior forecasts or coverage. The networks’ stories on those three days were also silent on the matter of climate change, which all three networks had used earlier this year to promote global warming alarmism.

Although network morning and evening shows reported on Tropical Storm Humberto and its upgrade to hurricane status, only CBS “This Morning” on Sept. 11 brought up its own earlier reporting about the “busy year” for hurricanes. The team even brought Professor Michio Kaku back on to discuss the “unusual” hurricane season so far. Kaku still said that there could be severe storms to come before hurricane season ends Nov. 30.

For years, ABC, CBS and NBC have been trying to link hurricanes to global warming and climate change. 2013 was no exception. When the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecast for the Atlantic hurricane season was released in May, CBS declared it “could be another dangerous year along the East Coast,” and then turned to Time editor and climate change worrier Bryan Walsh who declared that “it is one” of the causes of hurricanes.

Two days after the forecast, on May 25, NBC’s John Yang ominously intoned: “Devastating tornadoes. Searing heat waves, withering droughts and related wildfires and powerful hurricanes.” He was introducing a “Nightly News” report that asked “why all this severe weather?” The answer they claimed was partly due to “man-made climate change.” He spoke with a scientist who said warming could increase “certain types of extremes.”

Meteorologist Anthony Watts and Environmental Studies Professor Roger Pielke Jr. have pointed out that the U.S. is actually experiencing a “drought” of “intense hurricanes,” meaning that it has been a very long time (more than seven years) since a category three or higher hurricane has struck the U.S. “Such a prolonged period without an intense hurricane landfall has not been observed since 1900,” Pielke wrote.

ABC also aired an “extreme weather” story on June 24 that brought up the damage done by Hurricane Sandy before saying “scientists say human-caused climate change is already helping shift the planet’s natural balance ...” CBS also aired an extreme weather and climate change report on July 3.

But the media view isn’t consistent with events. Climatologist Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama Huntsville, has said that “Hurricane Sandy was a minimal hurricane. So, it is in no way indicative of arising trends in hurricanes that might be attributed to global warming.”

"We've looked at hurricanes starting in the 1850s. There is no trend in hurricanes. In fact, if you look at the last seven years, there has not been single major hurricane hit the United States. This is the longest period of such a dearth of hurricanes in that entire record," Christy said.

National Geographic reported that Colorado State University researchers William Gray, a “pioneer” in hurricane forecasting, and Phil Klotzbach “say the influence of human activity on the formation and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes ‘is likely to be negligible’.”

The yearly Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and ends Nov. 30. NOAA’s forecast, released May 23, predicted 7 to 11 hurricanes with 3 to 6 of them being major ones (Category 3, 4, or 5). All three networks covered the announcement. “Good Morning America’s” Ginger Zee shared that news on May 24 saying, “Federal forecasters using the words ‘extremely active’ to describe what’s gonna happen come summer and fall.”

On Aug. 8, 2013, NOAA adjusted that forecast saying there was a 70 percent chance of 6 to 9 hurricanes, including 3 to 5 major ones.