Global Warming To Bring Fewer, But Stronger, Hurricanes
A World Meteorological Association panel, including Chris Landsea of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, predicts we’ll have fewer tropical cyclones (the technical term), going forward, but they’ll be more severe.
The study offers projections for tropical cyclones worldwide by the end of this century, and some experts said the bad news outweighs the good. Overall strength of storms as measured in wind speed would rise by 2 to 11 percent, but there would be between 6 and 34 percent fewer storms in number. Essentially, there would be fewer weak and moderate storms and more of the big damaging ones, which also are projected to be stronger due to warming.
An 11 percent increase in wind speed translates to roughly a 60 percent increase in damage, said study co-author Kerry Emanuel, a professor of meteorology at MIT.
The storms also would carry more rain, another indicator of damage, said lead author Tom Knutson, a research meteorologist at NOAA.
Former FEMA director James Lee Witt ways this is a significant warning that we need to be better prepared to face potential devastation.
The issue of hurricanes and global warming splashed onto front pages in the summer of 2005 when MIT’s Emanuel published a paper in Nature saying hurricane destruction has increased since the mid-1970s because of global warming, adding it would only get worse.
Several weeks later Hurricane Katrina struck, killing 1,500 people and the 2005 hurricane season was the busiest on record with 28 named storms and seven major hurricanes.Click here for reuse options!
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