Knutson found that any warming the global climate has experienced is not to blame for recent hurricanes and that any warming may actually reduce the number of Atlantic hurricanes.
There is always a flip-side, and this study indicates that the fewer hurricanes may be slightly stronger than average.
These results were published in Nature Geoscience, a scientific journal published by Nature, so the author isn't some crack-head.
However, before I get comments from bullheaded global warming alarmists, I'd like to point out why I like this study:
"In a concluding statement, the researchers said that although there was evidence both for and against the existence of a detectable anthropogenic signal in the tropical cyclone climate record, no firm conclusion could be made."
Why can no firm conclusion about climate change and hurricane frequency/strength be made?
"... a reliable record of past hurricane activity only stretches back about 35 years."
I don't really care if hurricane activity increases, or they become stronger - there are ups and downs in everything, and hurricanes have been doing their thing for a lot longer than humans have.
It's a bit like building a house along a river and expecting the river to never destroy the house with a flood. Most years bring average water levels, but you have to understand there will be years with drought and low flow, and years with high water and flooding.
In searching for more information on this new study, I stumbled upon a historical hurricane count (to the right).
This chart seems to only count tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere, but it's a good line to look at.
I found this chart on Watts Up With That?, a blog that comments recent news items in the field of science. I also found the author's blog, Ryan Maue is a PhD student at Florida State University.
In addition, I found another chart (below). More information can be found on Ryan's site.