Global Warming And Hurricanes


According to a research by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, as the earth's climate is warmed by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the coming centuries may experience the strongest hurricanes with even more intensity. The prime focus of this article is global warming and hurricanes. Read on.


According to well known scientists and researchers in this field, the destructive nature of a hurricane, based on the hurricane strength, duration, and frequency, is highly correlated with the temperature of tropical sea surface, which reflects well-documented climate signals. This may include multidecadal oscillations in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, and global warming. Let us look into the global warming effect on hurricanes, if any.


The new studies suggest even with a dramatically hating world, hurricane frequency and intensity may not rise significantly during the next two centuries. Observing the changes in tropical cyclone number, duration, and intensity" over the past 35 years, based on satellite data, their main discovery was the number of cyclones have decreased throughout the planet excluding the North Atlantic Ocean. Although, there was a immense increase in the number and proportion of very strong cyclones.


Looking in to the effect of global warming on hurricanes, studies predict that only a one half category rise in storm intensity as a result of a ~2 °C global warming. Moreover, after adjusting the changes in population and inflation, despite a more than 100% boost in Emanuel's potential destructiveness index, no significant rise has been found in the fiscal damages due to Atlantic hurricanes.


Although suitably warm sea surface temperatures are considered fundamental for developing hurricanes, there is no direct link between global warming and hurricanes. Recent temperatures have been found to be the warmest for many ocean basins.


The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its fourth assessment report on climate change in 2007. The report noted the many changes in the climate, which included atmospheric composition, global average temperatures and ocean conditions. The report observed an increase in tropical cyclone intensity and considers that it is probable that storm intensity will continue to rise through the 21st century. Human contribution to the increase in tropical cyclone intensity is also looked upon as a probability.

Although many aspects of global warming effect on hurricanes are still being debated, it is commonly agreed upon that no individual tropical cyclone or hurricane can be attributed to global warming. Recent reports have sated that the strongest tropical cyclones are getting stronger particularly over the North Atlantic and Indian oceans. The rising wind speeds, have touched an average of 140 miles per hour in 1981 to 156 miles per hour in 2006. The ocean temperature, averaged globally over the all regions where tropical cyclones form, increased from 28.2 °C  to 28.5 °C  during this period.