(Washington, D.C.) Ancient photographs discovered in a Smithsonian Institution storage room depict what appears to be a hurricane, even though these destructive weather events are believed to be a relatively recent phenomenon. The most startling of the photos, sure to generate controversy among climate experts, has handwriting on its reverse side which reads: "Great Blow, Key West, September, 1897".
While photography and handwriting experts have yet to verify the validity of this historic artifact, the photograph seems to contadict the latest scientific theories about the origin of hurricanes, which have been tied to man-caused global warming ever since the record 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.
Hurricane expert Dr. Judith Cruddy, who examined the photograph, dismissed the evidence as either a well-crafted forgery, or the date was not recorded correctly. "We now know that hurricanes are a relatively modern phenomenon. Probably no true hurricanes existed before manmade global warming started in the early 1900's. Sure, there were some big oceanic thunderstorms before then -- some even sank ships in previous centuries -- but the hurricane as we know it is a modern phenomenon", Dr. Cruddy explained.
While climate experts express widespread consensus supporting Dr. Cruddy's views, most hurricane forecasters disagree. Chris Landlock, of the National Weather Service's Tropical Prediction Center said, "That's completely wrong. Hurricanes have always occurred, and always will occur. Just because we didn't have satellites to see them from space doesn't mean they didn't exist".
The photo (above), which appears to show wind driven waves and rain crashing into a seawall while palm trees are bent over by the wind, is sure to be closely scrutinized. "I just hope this doesn't set back our efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels use..", said Dr. Cruddy, "..we all know it is the right thing to do, and the last thing we need is to have the oil lobby in Washington stop progress over some fuzzy, black-and-white photograph."
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