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Somewhere Between A Cat 1 And Cat 4

(AP Photo/NASA)
Now that we're smack-dab in the middle of hurricane season and working our way toward the one-year anniversary of Katrina, we're sure to hear a lot more about how much stronger and more destructive these are today than in the past. Is it global warming that's causing this trend of monster storms? Or could it be it's not the hurricanes that have gotten more powerful, it's the tools we use to measure them? That's what a new study suggests, covered here at Florida Today:
Studies that link a spike in hurricane intensity with global warming are spotting "artificial upward trends" because they rely on bad historical data, a paper suggested today in the journal Science.

Hurricane intensity is measured by the storms' surface winds. Sometimes those winds are estimated by looking at satellite pictures, using a subjective technique invented in 1972.

Better technology since then, including greater satellite coverage, has led inevitably to higher wind-speed estimates for more recent storms, the authors suggest.

Just some food for thought.