Hurricanes around the world are getting stronger and more intense: what comes next
Over the past four decades, hurricanes have intensified in almost all regions of the world, and according to federal research, climate change may be one of the factors. Writes about it Fox News.
A study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Research (CIMSS) of the University of Wisconsin-Madison analyzed 40-year-old enhanced infrared satellite images of tropical cyclones.
“Our results show that storms have intensified globally and regionally, in line with expectations of how hurricanes will respond to global warming,” said James Cossin, NOAA Scientist and lead author of the study. “This is a good step forward and an increase in our confidence that global warming has intensified hurricanes. But the results do not say exactly which of the tendencies is caused by human activity, and which may be just natural variability. "
The study found a significant increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones from 1979 to 2017.
According to the NOAA, a tropical cyclone is defined as a rotating “organized cloud and thunderstorm system” that originates over tropical or subtropical waters and has a closed low-pressure circulation. Depending on where the storms are, it can be hurricanes, cyclones, tropical storms, typhoons, or tropical depressions.
The study showed that the most stable tropical cyclone winds intensified over time.
On the subject: List of names and forecast for hurricane season 2020 unveiled
The data indicate an increased likelihood of tropical cyclones becoming large hurricanes, categories 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale. Storms of this magnitude have sustained winds of 111 miles per hour (178 km per hour) or more.
An analysis of satellite imagery over a 40-year period showed that planet warming increased the likelihood that a hurricane would grow into category 3 or higher by about 8%.
“Through modeling and our understanding of the physics of the atmosphere, the study is consistent with what we expect to see in a climate as warm as ours,” said Cossin.
The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season was the fourth consecutive Atlantic hurricane period in excess of the norm, with 18 named storms. In 2019, the three main hurricanes were Dorian, Umberto and Lorenzo.
Dorian and Lorenzo are assigned to category 5. Dorian looked like three other hurricanes (Labor Day 1935 hurricane, 1988 Gilbert hurricane and 2005 Wilma hurricane) and became the second most powerful hurricane in the history of the Atlantic basin in terms of wind, with maximum speeds reaching 185 mph ( 297 km per hour).
Hurricane Michael, who devastated the Florida-Panhandle strip in 2018, experienced a period of rapid transition to category 5 hurricane at a speed of 157 miles per hour (252 km per hour). Just 36 hours before hitting the Florida coast, Michael was in the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 1 hurricane at a speed of 90 miles per hour (144 km per hour).
Kossin’s latest study, based on previous work in 2013, identified trends in tropical cyclone intensity over a 28-year period from 1982 to 2009.
This time, Kossin noted that the initial dataset was “less convincing and required more case studies of hurricanes to demonstrate statistically significant results.”
The researchers expanded the study to include global hurricane data for 1979-2017 in addition to identifying differences in data caused by technological advances over time, including better satellite imagery.
“The main obstacle to finding trends is that the data is collected using the best technology at the time,” explained Cossin. "Each year the data is slightly different from the previous ones, each new satellite has new instruments and collects data in different ways, so we end up with a patchwork of all the satellite data that have been woven together."
In 2018, a separate study found that hurricanes travel more slowly overland due to changes in the Earth's climate, resulting in an increased risk of flooding when storms hang over cities and other areas, often for extended periods.
While the NOAA Climate Prediction Center is gearing up to present its initial seasonal forecast for the Atlantic Basin, researchers at the University of Colorado are predicting an above-average hurricane season this year, citing El Nino's likely absence as a major factor.
The Atlantic hurricane season 2020 will run from June 1 to November 30 and will include the names Arthur, Bert, Cristobal, Dolly, Edward, Fay, Gonzalo, Hannah, Isaiah, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Polett, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicki and Wilfred.
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