Many media stories and talking heads on TV say Hurricane Ian’s destruction is a symptom of human-induced climate change, and that hurricanes are getting worse.

NOAA is considered an authoritative source on this subject and here is what they have to say:

We conclude that the historical Atlantic hurricane data at this stage do not provide compelling evidence for a substantial greenhouse warming-induced century-scale increase in:  frequency of tropical storms, hurricanes, or major hurricanes, or in the proportion of hurricanes that become major hurricanes.

Source: Global Warming and Hurricanes – Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

NOAA thinks future hurricanes later in the 21st century may have higher rainfall rates and that globally, such storms may increase somewhat in intensity: “the hurricane model also projects that the lifetime maximum intensity of Atlantic hurricanes will increase by about 5% during the 21st century”.

Trend in global tropical storms for the last 50 years. The blue line is tropical storms and the bottom line is hurricanes.

Note – Past data counts are sometimes omitted.  To some extent, this is done because storms in the past were not measured by satellite – and that in the first half of the century, if there were no ships in the area, many tropical storms were not recorded. Today, a tropical storm that achieves hurricane force winds for just a few hours is captured by satellite and counted as a hurricane – but would not have been counted decades ago.

By EdwardM