Think HF meant to say that "folks that make up the tropical weather community generally don't subscribe to global warming as the answer for the last couple of years." There are much more likely explanations for the past two seasons than the blanket "global warming" theory -- after all, activity is down in the Pacific basins as a whole (near-normal out west, below normal in the east); global warming isn't a localized phenomenon. The reasoning behind the past two seasons follows from a favorable phase of the so-called Pacific Decadal Oscillation (a reflection of the 30 year cycle Dr. Gray and others are always talking about) coupled with a favorable thermohaline circulation (ocean water/energy transport) across the North Atlantic. We've seen this in the past and we'll see it again in the future; further, there is a big problem in placing the past two years historically in context for all of the reasons HF mentioned. Statistically, a season of 21+ storms is not all that common, no matter the limitations in the dataset, and we just aren't likely to see it again next year. Above average? Sure.
As for lists -- there is no contingency for retiring Greek alphabet-named storms at the NHC, this coming directly from the horses' mouth. If such a situation comes about, they will make their policy then. Until then, we really don't know what'll happen -- because they don't either. The same holds for reusing the list again next year; unless there is a big reason to start with another name than Alpha, they probably won't.
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