While “scientific consensus” on climate change may sound like an oxymoron, there is consensus on three key questions about climate change and hurricanes, as demonstrated by recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Executive Summary

According to scientific consensus, there is no detectable link between human activity and hurricane activity, says Karen Clark, interpreting the IPCC's most recent report. Looking ahead, however, anthropogenic climate change could lower the frequency of storms. And with wind speeds of hurricanes jumping 2-11 percent, insurance losses for each storm will be higher, she notes.

The IPCC, the scientific body under the auspices of the United Nations that reviews and assesses the scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced by thousands of scientists around the world, has recently released its Fifth Assessment Report.

The summary of the report (reference 1 at the bottom of this article) along with an earlier Special Report on Extreme Events (reference 2) contain a synthesis and distillation of the current science, the climate model results and the global scientific opinion on climate change and its likely impacts.

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