Barometer

Is there any evidence climate change is making hurricanes worse?

13 November 2021

9:00 AM

13 November 2021

9:00 AM

Horror shows

Eight people were killed when fans of rapper Travis Scott rushed the stage at a concert in Houston, Texas. Some previous deadly concerts:

— 11 were killed at a Who gig in Cincinnati on 3 December 1979, after a crush sparked off by concert-goers outside the entry doors mistakenly thinking the band had started playing when they were only tuning up.

— Nine were killed at a concert by Pearl Jam at Roskilde, Denmark on 30 June 2000.

— 11 people were killed during a festival in Rabat, Morocco on 23 May 2009. Stevie Wonder and Kylie Minogue were on the bill, although not on stage at the time.

Third time’s the charm

How many people are likely to have a booster Covid jab? By 6 November, 10.1 million had had a third jab; 92% of those who’ve already had two jabs say they intend to have one; 4% say they are ‘fairly’ or ‘very unlikely’ to have a third jab. The most common reasons for refusing are:

— Believe two jabs is enough46%


— Will offer no extra protection39%

— Vaccine doses should be offered to people elsewhere in the world31%

— Worried about side effects23%

Source: Department for Health and Social Care

Private enterprise

How much carbon could Boris Johnson have saved had he taken the train, rather than a private plane, back from COP26?

— According to the campaign group Transport & Environment in May 2021 a private jet releases two tonnes of CO2 per hour. That compares with a European average of 8.2 tonnes per person per year.

— Private jet flights have an average passenger load of 4.7. Some 41% of flights are empty legs, with no passengers.

— A private passenger will typically be responsible for between 5 and 14 times as many emissions than if they had travelled by commercial plane.

— Their emissions will be around 50 times as much as if they had travelled by train.

Blowing in the wind

Caribbean nations say they intend to launch a legal case for damages from rich countries, on the grounds that historic carbon emissions have caused damage from hurricanes. Is there any evidence?

— The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has said ‘there is no strong evidence of increasing trends in major hurricanes since the late 1800s’.

— NOAA also says that ‘it is premature to attribute past changes in hurricane activity to greenhouse warming’.

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