Are hurricanes increasing in strength and is climate change to blame?

Excerpt from The Guardian. Go HERE to read entire article.

 

Is climate breakdown to blame?

A range of factors influence the number of hurricanes smashing into land, from localised weather to periodic climatic events such as El Niño. Prior to 2017, the US had experienced a hurricane “drought” that had stretched back to Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

But there is growing evidence that the warming of the atmosphere and upper ocean, due to human activity such as burning fossil fuels, is making conditions ripe for fiercer, more destructive hurricanes.

“The past few years have been highly unusual, such as Irma staying strong for so long, or the hurricane in Mozambique that dumped so much rain,” says Kossin. “All of these things are linked to a warming atmosphere. If you warm things up, over time you will get stronger storms.”

Climate breakdown is tinkering with hurricanes in a variety of ways. More moisture in the air means more rain, while storms are intensifying more quickly but often stalling once they hit land, resulting in torrential downpours that cause horrendous flooding.

Damage in the Rockaway neighbourhood of Queens, New York, where the boardwalk was washed away during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
 Damage in the Rockaway neighbourhood of Queens, New York, where the boardwalk was washed away during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Rising sea levels are aiding storm surge whipped up by hurricanes – one study found that Hurricane Sandy in 2012 probably wouldn’t have inundated lower Manhattan if it occurred a century previously because the sea was a foot lower then. According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the maximum intensity of hurricanes will increase by about 5% this century.

The expanding band of warmth around the planet’s tropical midriff also means a larger area for hurricanes to develop, resulting in fierce storms further north than before, such as Florence. In the Pacific, this change means typhoons’ focal point is switching from the Philippines towards Japan.

Researchers are currently attempting to ascertain if climatic changes will help bend the path of hurricanes enough that more will charge in the direction of the UK in the future.

“This has implications for places that have historically been unaffected by tropical cyclones,” says Collins, who added these newly hit areas are likely to suffer a significantly higher risk of structural damage than traditional hurricane zones.

“We are already seeing effects of climate change,” says Collins. “While there is not consensus on the frequency of hurricanes in a warmer world, there is a consensus that the hurricanes are becoming more intense, and hence their impact will be worse.”

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About lifelessons

My blog, which started out to be about overcoming grief, quickly grew into a blog about celebrating life. I post daily: poems, photographs, essays or stories. I've lived in countries all around the globe but have finally come to rest in Mexico, where I've lived since 2001. My books may be found on Amazon in Kindle and print format, my art in local Ajijic galleries. Hope to see you at my blog.

26 thoughts on “Are hurricanes increasing in strength and is climate change to blame?

  1. Pingback: Are hurricanes increasing in strength and is climate change to blame? — lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – All About Writing and more

    1. Marilyn Armstrong

      The thing is, in 1935, that was a terrible storm and damaged the entire east coast, including New England. It was the storm of the century. NOW we have storms like that multiple times per season. No more “storm of the century.” It’s just one more gigantic storm like all the other gigantic storms.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  2. Maria Matthews

    The article on Climate change and the sudden interest in the public does make me wonder if we are too late in taking notice. I have happily reached the age of 60 this year and can remember discussing the problems of climate change with my dad, way back in the mid-seventies. He was a botanist and so names like David Bellamy, Guy Callendar were bandied about in discussions about the ways of preventing a climatic disaster. Today it seems we are too “selfie aware” to look beyond the social bubble and think of a future that will mean our grandchildren may have a far poorer quality of life.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. slmret

      I haven’t quite reached 80,– I’m afraid I believe that your last sentence is very true, and it may apply not only to your grandchildren but also to yourself as you go through the next 20+ years.

      Liked by 2 people

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      1. Maria Matthews

        I agree and though this is scary to think of, I find some hope in the knowledge that here in Ireland, young teens 13-17 years recently protested regarding the lack of clarity and commitment of Irish politicians to saving our planet.

        Liked by 2 people

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        1. slmret

          That is wonderful to see — those young teens are in the group that will be most affected by climate change, and it’s good to know that they are learning enough to protest the lack of commitment! to saving the planet.

          Liked by 2 people

          Reply
    2. lifelessons Post author

      “Too selfie aware” is a brilliant appraisal of the problem. I just returned from a trip where it was impossible to get photos of any of the ruins or scenery because there was always someone putting themselves into the view to take a photo of themselves in front of it. The point was “me, me, me” not the view of the world. It is sickening.

      Liked by 2 people

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  3. Marilyn Armstrong

    And you know that insurance companies are NOT going to pay for the damage that the weather is doing. It will be MILLIONS of dollars from floods, fires, tornadoes. You can’t get them to fix anything NOW, but how much worse is it going to be next year? And the year after that?

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    Reply
    1. slmret

      So far this year, California is in much better shape than last year. There have been hundreds of little fires, but the firefighters have kept them to small acreage (mostly under 50 acres). We still have at least a couple of months to go in the fire season, but it’s a much better year than before!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
        1. slmret

          I’m not holding my breath yet — there are still 3 months of the season — but even this week in Malibu they kept a fire to 25 acres! They seem to have pre-positioned strike teams and equipment better this year, so they are getting to the fires before they have a chance to grow. AND we haven’t had any big winds yet this year.

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  4. dolphinwrite

    In grade school, we learned about the energy cycle. Later, in college, I took some science classes, some of this including weather. Then, when getting interested in flight, I read about different systems pilots need to be aware. Some research. Some listening. More reading. Driving across many states, remember being abroad, going on the high seas, I read. Then, one day, a friend was smoking a cigar, and never could one predict which way the drift. The world is huge. There a factors within factors, within factors. As of this article, there isn’t a supercomputer that can plug in all the factors, many of which we haven’t seen or understood, and there are factors throughout the universe, the sun having a huge impact. **I have never been interested in persuading, but more to encourage people to think for themselves. Read. Research. Do some of the math. Drive across the fruited planes. The more you do this, the more you’ll realize we don’t have the information. But moreso, one will realize we can affect locally, but this is one gigantic planet that uses everything and adapts. Breath more carbon dioxide, more plants grow, and we increase oxygen. It’s amazing. *One of the first thing I do when listening to anyone is listen to where they are coming from. Listening to their understanding. You can actually, if you look for it, listen for understanding.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  5. petersironwood

    Thanks for posting! I don’t think people quite realize how serious it is that so much ice has melted. It’s actually a big deal. Imagine our earth had always had ice cold water in the arctic. The “extra” heat the earth has kept lately would be like heating that ice cold water to 180 degrees F!! That is hot enough to cook all the fish, dolphins, whales, and people who touch such water. Most folks don’t realize how much heat it takes to melt ice.

    https://petersironwood.com/2019/09/04/essays-on-america-ice/

    Liked by 1 person

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