Press Advisory: Is Global Warming Causing Hurricanes?

Media Advisory
September 15, 2004

Contact: Katie Mandes  

Straight answers from a reliable source—The Pew Center on Global Climate Change

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Is there a connection between the recent severe weather events and global warming?  Some are suggesting the 2004 hurricane season is unprecedented; but is it really?

Scientists know that higher ocean temperatures are more suitable for hurricane formation (especially major hurricanes), while lower temperatures are associated with less active hurricane seasons, so the speculation is that hurricanes will increase in frequency or intensity in a warmer world.

“While there is much we can say about global warming with a high degree of confidence, the incidence of severe weather and its link to global warming is an area that requires further research,” says Eileen Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, “The ability of scientists to predict the potential response of hurricanes to global warming is very limited at the moment, so there is little that can be said with confidence.”

Claussen, who is widely regarded as one of the most credible resources on the topic of climate change, is a former Secretary of State for the Oceans and Environment and currently works with business leaders, policy-makers, scientists, and other experts to bring a new approach to a complex and often controversial issue. Her approach is based on sound science, straight talk, and a belief that we can work together to protect the climate while sustaining strong economic growth. 

The Pew Center on Global Climate Change has compiled a list of the frequently asked questions concerning a possible link between global warming and hurricanes. 

  • Is this year’s hurricane season unusually active?
  • Will global warming create more hurricanes in the future?
  • Will global warming create other types of severe weather?
  • Will damage from severe weather become worse in the future?
  • What can we do to reduce the consequences of severe weather?

The Pew Center has become a catalyst for collaboration in the business community, a key advisor to Congressional and international policymakers, and most importantly, an honest broker on the issue of climate change.