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.

1. High winds

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 hurricane is still rising at high altitudes,” said 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.

2. More rain

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% more water. That means we expect future hurricanes to release heavy rainfall.

3. Slow waves

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 the 2018 Paper, hurricanes in the United States have dropped by 17% since 1947. He said the storms, coupled with an increase in rainfall, are causing a 25% increase in rainfall in the United States.

Slow, wet waves also aggravate the flood. Cosin likens the problem to walking around your yard when you use a hose to spray 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.”

4. Wide waves

As hot water helps hurricanes, climate change is expanding the zone where hurricanes can occur. “Migration from tropical areas to tropical areas and tropical hurricanes in the middle latitudes,” Cosin said. That could mean more hurricanes at higher altitudes, such as the United States or Japan.

5. More flexibility

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 climate and hurricane models, the 2017 paper estimates that hurricanes will increase rapidly – with wind speeds accelerating to 70 miles or more in the 24 hours before the crash – from 1976 to 2005. , Their chances of being there during those years were about once a century.

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

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

This article appeared first The New York Times.


Leave a Comment