Climate change making hurricanes stronger

Climate change making hurricanes stronger
Climatalogists now have clear evidence that global warming is making hurricanes, typhoons, and other tropical cyclones more intense and destructive. Computer models and basic physics have for years suggested this was the case. Hurricanes should get stronger as the world warms, because they get most of their energy from warm ocean water. But confirming the theory has been difficult, because hurricanes are tough to measure and relatively rare. To overcome these problems, researchers studied satellite images of tropical cyclones worldwide and used pattern-matching algorithms to interpret them. Previous studies had yielded inconclusive results. But this time the researchers expanded the data set by 11 years—using images from 1979 to 2017—and the pattern became clear. Overall, they found that warming had increased the likelihood of a hurricane developing into a major one, Category 3 or above, by about 8 percent a decade. Almost all of the damage and deaths caused by storms are from those measured as Category 3 or higher. “The trend is there and it is real,” lead author James Kossin, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, tells The New York Times. Forecasters are anticipating a busier-than-usual hurricane season this year. When Tropical Storm Arthur formed in the Atlantic last month, it was the sixth year in a row that the season kicked off before its official start date of June 1.
 

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