CNN.com - It's a 'new era' of hurricanes - Sep 23, 2005: "(CNN) -- Hurricanes aren't behaving like many of us are used to them behaving. They're bigger and meaner, and more numerous than many people have seen.
Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne tore up parts of Florida last year. After tweaking Florida, Katrina and Rita are wreaking havoc this year along the Gulf Coast from Alabama to Texas.
But don't rush to blame it on global warming, experts warn.
Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, told a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday that we're in a period of heightened hurricane activity that could last another decade or two.( See scientists collect data -- 1:33)
'The increased activity since 1995 is due to natural fluctuations (and) cycles of hurricane activity driven by the Atlantic Ocean itself along with the atmosphere above it and not enhanced substantially by global warming,' he testified."
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