Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Scientists predict ‘above normal’ Atlantic hurricane season

“We are seeing an increase in the number of hurricanes reaching the greatest hurricane status, category 3 and higher,” said dr. Emanuel said. “This is what we see unequivocally in the satellite data.”

James Kossin, also with NOAA, conducted research to further support the idea that hurricanes are getting stronger. With constant warming, he suggested, ‘You’ll see intensities like you’ve never seen before,’ even storms that pack 250 miles per hour wind. (Major hurricanes, starting with Category 3, have wind speeds between 111 and 129 miles per hour. A Category 5 storm, currently the strongest classification, is 157 km / h and higher.) “It’s just a matter of time , “he said.

Other research suggests that hurricanes can weaken more slowly after the onset, increasing their destructive capabilities, and that storms slow down as they approach and extend the damage over longer periods of time.

Between the greater water vapor in the atmosphere and the slowing down of the storm, dr. Kossin said there was a 41 percent increase in local rainfall associated with storms moving across land. In addition, he said the tracks of storms are moving away from the tropics and heading further north, with the subsequent expansion of the range of storm risks.

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The strongest debate is whether climate change is playing a role in the growing number of hurricanes in the Atlantic. Recent research suggests a strong role for human action, although not all of these actions are directly related to climate change.

The more conservative group of scientists attributes much of the increase in storms to natural volatility and a cycle of ocean warming and cooling, known as the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation; NOAA scientists called the phenomenon as one of the key factors in the rise in last year’s forecast of an active season. Other climate scientists, including Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, showed doubt as to whether the oscillation existed at all.

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Dr. Emanuel of MIT is one of a growing number of scientists who state that the large increase in the number of Atlantic storms is caused by humans, but not mainly due to global warming. The fact that the number of storms plunged in the 1970s and 1980s is in no way related to pollution, they say – especially atmospheric sulfur pollution drifting from Europe across the Atlantic during the post-war boom that cleared up environmental regulation is starting to clear the air up. “The hurricane drought of the ’70s and’ 80s was almost certainly an aerosol-related phenomenon,” said Dr. Emanuel said.

The finding, he says, “reminds everyone that our influence on climate goes beyond greenhouse gases.

Christopher Flavelle contribution made.

Nation World News Desk
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