Some perspective on the Philippine typhoon

Typhoon Haiyan-Yolanda, which hit the Philippines in November, 2013, has generated much hype in the media regarding it as “a sign of global warming.”  As usual, the Arizona Daily Star added to the hype with their reprinted editorial “Worst effects of climate change seen in Philippine typhoon.”  The title, itself, connotes a message of impending climate disaster, but the facts tell a different story.

These facts are reviewed at WUWT here. Some excerpts:

There is no trend in frequency of typhoons in the area as shown by Kubota, H. and Chan, J.C.L. 2009. Interdecadal variability of tropical cyclone landfall in the Philippines from 1902 to 2005. Geophysical Research Letters 36: 10.1029/2009GL038108.

“Despite global warming during the 20th century the number of tropical cyclones annually making landfall in the Philippines did not experience any net change. All variability was merely oscillatory activity around a mean trend of zero slope”


Weinkle et al., 2012 tracked tropical cyclones worldwide and also found no trend. “In recent decades, economic damage from tropical cyclones around the world has increased dramatically. Scientific literature published to date finds that the increase in losses can be explained entirely by societal changes (such as increasing wealth, structures, population, etc.) in locations prone to tropical cyclone landfalls, rather than by changes in annual storm frequency or intensity.”

“We have identified considerable interannual variability in the frequency of global hurricane landfalls; but within the resolution of the available data, our evidence does not support the presence of significant long-period global or individual basin linear trends for minor, major, or total hurricanes within the period(s) covered by the available quality data. Therefore, our long-period analysis does not support claims that increasing tropical cyclone landfall frequency or landfall intensity has contributed to concomitantly increasing economic losses.”


It should be clear from the observational data that claims of increasing storm frequency due to global warming are without any basis in fact.

P.S. Steve Goddard shows that the deadliest typhoon in history hit Pakistan and two typhoons hit the Philippines in 1970 following a 30-year cooling trend.

Data from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, show that this storm was the seventh strongest to hit the island since 1970, not the strongest as some media claimed.

See also:

Hurricane Sandy in perspective

No Atlantic hurricanes so far this season – a half time report

The significance of the 17-year pause in global warming

Colorado flooding not as bad as 1965 or 1935 according to state climatologist


One comment

  1. Thank you Mr. DuHamel for some excellent info and data. I plan to share this this page with some of the Chicken Little advocates who are also my friends on FACEBOOK. 🙂

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