Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Blow Harder




Many years back when I first started speaking of Climate Change, I would suggest that ultimately, a warmer climate is a more energetic climate. For that reason, I have always used the words climate change instead of global warming. It seemed intuitively correct to assume that although many regions would warm, some might cool. It also seemed to be a pretty safe bet that Hurricanes and Tropical Storms would become more frequent or perhaps more severe.

Well, the answer may be in.

Climate Change isn't making Hurricanes and Tropical Storms more numerous.

It is making them more severe.

Here is the Associated Press story.

Global Warming Making Hurricanes Stronger
by Joseph B. Verrengia
August 1, 2005

Is global warming making hurricanes more ferocious? New research suggests the answer is yes. Scientists call the findings both surprising and "alarming" because they suggest global warming is influencing storms now — rather than in the distant future.

However, the research doesn't suggest global warming is generating more hurricanes and typhoons.

The analysis by climatologist Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows for the first time that major storms spinning in both the Atlantic and the Pacific since the 1970s have increased in duration and intensity by about 50 percent.

These trends are closely linked to increases in the average temperatures of the ocean surface and also correspond to increases in global average atmospheric temperatures during the same period.

"When I look at these results at face value, they are rather alarming," said research meteorologist Tom Knutson. "These are very big changes."

Knutson, who wasn't involved in the study, works in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J.

Emanuel reached his conclusions by analyzing data collected from actual storms rather than using computer models to predict future storm behavior.

Before this study, most researchers believed global warming's contribution to powerful hurricanes was too slight to accurately measure. Most forecasts don't have climate change making a real difference in tropical storms until 2050 or later.

"I'm not convinced that it's happening," said Christopher W. Landsea, another research meteorologist with NOAA, who works at a different lab, the Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory in Miami. Landsea is a director of the historical hurricane reanalysis.

"His conclusions are contingent on a very large bias removal that is large or larger than the global warming signal itself," Landsea said.

This year marked the first time on record that the Atlantic spawned four named storms by early July, as well as the earliest category 4 storm on record. Hurricanes are ranked on an intensity scale of 1 to 5.

In the past decade, the southeastern United States and the Caribbean basin have been pummeled by the most active hurricane cycle on record. Forecasters expect the stormy trend to continue for another 20 years or more.

Since the 1970s, hurricanes have caused more property damage and casualties. Researchers disagree over whether this destructiveness is a consequence of the storms' growing intensity or the population boom along vulnerable coastlines.

"The damage and casualties produced by more intense storms could increase considerably in the future," Emanuel said."

Maybe there will be more rain in Mexico.

But maybe it will come all at once.

Maybe instead of turning into a desert,

South Texas will turn into a jungle.

Maybe insurers will stop insuring homes on the Coast.

South Florida will become red lined.

Maybe reinsurers will stop insuring insurance companies.

Maybe the POTUS will speak.

Maybe the cows will fly.


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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

love the blog. one of my favorites. keep it up. getting pretty too.

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never seen such a thing.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Charlie Loving said...

Weather is interesting isn't it? This may be a year that we see some interesting events. The height of the seaon is yet to come. South Texas still hasn't had a really big strike. and maybe Mexico will change to a verdant paradise?

9:20 AM  
Anonymous TinaPlowman said...

When I lived in Austin back in the 60's, sometimes as I watched a storm happen I was vividly reminded of when I lived in the tropics where it rained daily (during the "winter" months)at 4p.m. It occurred to me that one day it would be a lot like the tropics there in Texas. Now I'm living in the Ozarks. I understand that this area used to get many inches of rain, like that of a tropical rainforest. This is an extremely dry and hot summer we are having right now. Been here about 16 years now and this isn't the first time it has been like this. Winters have stopped being as harsh as well. Seems like everything is happening really fast, all these changes.

aaaaahsogreat to read your blogs, Oz. Thanks!
Tina

11:00 AM  

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