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In the eye of the storm

Alex Witze

Everybody’s been reviewing the new book on hurricanes and global warming, and Nature is no exception. We’ve got not one, but two reviews of Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics and the Battle Over Global Warming.

In Nature proper, James Elsner of Florida State provides the academic’s reading. He pulled off a nice metaphor for the lead of the review (calling the book ‘a reconnaissance flight into the turbulent debate over a link between hurricane activity and global warming’), which made me a tad envious. I thought I was being clever with my own lead for a review of the book, which appears online on Nature Reports Climate Change. Unlike Elsner, I chose to riff off the reputation of the book’s author, Chris Mooney, and his recent work on how scientists can best ‘frame’ their results for the public.

Both reviews, though, will tell you the main point of the book: the battle over hurricanes and climate change, with MIT’s Kerry Emanuel and Colorado State’s Bill Gray taking starring roles as antagonists. Storm World is a colorful glimpse into this highly publicized corner of tropical meteorology, with scientists trading barbs at conferences and via media appearances. It’s also a good book to read as hurricane season in several ocean basins nears its peak: at the time of this writing, Hurricane Flossie was bearing down on the Big Island of Hawaii with its category-3 strength winds.

Alex Witze

Nature’s chief of correspondents for America


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