What we know about climate change and hurricanes

In just a few hours, Hurricane Ida became a Category 4 storm overnight. Rapid energy raises questions about the impact of hurricanes on the Atlantic Ocean. Although researchers cannot say for sure whether climate change will be a longer or more active hurricane in the future, there is widespread agreement: global warming is changing waves.

Scientists say that the unusually warm surface of the Atlantic helped increase flood activity. “Man-made climate change is likely to contribute to that extraordinary warm ocean,” says James P. Kosin, a climate scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Climate change is taking a toll on the environment in some ways.

Here are some of them.

There is strong scientific evidence that hurricanes are becoming more powerful.

Hurricanes are complex, but one of the key factors in determining how strong a wave is in the end is the temperature of the ocean floor, because hot water provides more energy to stimulate waves.

“The potential is growing,” said Kerry Amanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We predicted it would increase 30 years ago, and the observations show that it has increased.

Strong winds mean downstream power lines, broken roofs, and worse coastal floods combined with sea level rise.

“Although the hurricanes themselves have not changed, the waves are rising at high altitudes,” said Dr. Emmanuel. Over the past century, he has used New York City as an example. “If Sandy Hurricane had occurred in 1912 rather than 2012, it probably would not have flooded down Manhattan,” he said.

Heating also increases the amount of water vapor that can be trapped in the atmosphere. In fact, each degree Celsius allows the air to hold about 7 percent more water.

That means we expect future hurricanes to release heavy rainfall.

Researchers do not yet know why hurricanes move slowly, but they are. Some say that global warming or global warming may be partly responsible.

According to Dr. Cosin’s 2018 paper, hurricanes in the United States have dropped by 17 percent since 1947. Storms combined with increased rainfall are causing a 25 percent increase in rainfall in the United States, he said.

Slow, wet waves also aggravate the flood. Dr. Kosin likens walking around your backyard when you use a hose to spray the water on the ground. If you go too fast, the water will not have a chance to start mixing. But if you go slowly, he will say, “You will get a lot of rain under you.”

As hot water helps hurricanes, climate change is expanding the zone where hurricanes can occur.

According to Dr. Cosin, “tropical storms migrate from the tropics to sub-continents and the middle latitudes.” That could mean more hurricanes at higher altitudes, such as the United States or Japan.

When the weather warms up, researchers say that hurricanes intensify. Researchers are still unsure of why this is happening, but the trend is clear.

Based on the 2017 Climate and Hurricane Models, Dr. Amanuel warns that hurricanes will be more vigilant – increasing their wind speeds by 70 miles per hour or more in the 24 hours before landing – from 1976 to 2005. On average, those years are approximately one century He estimated that it would be the same for about a year.

By the end of the 21st century, those hurricanes can occur once every five or 10 years.

“This is a nightmare,” said Dr. Emmanuel. “If there is a tropical hurricane or a Category 1 hurricane, there is no time to evacuate people,” he said.

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