Major storms are the most expensive natural catastrophes on the planet, costing upwards of $100 billion in certain cases. According to new data, hurricanes are becoming stronger and more destructive due to the unnatural impacts of human-caused global warming. According to a new study, the tendency is expected to continue as long as the temperature warms.
What causes a storm to form?
Strong tropical cyclones are examples of nature’s harshest wrath, whether hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean, or cyclones in the Indian Ocean.
The factors that combine to generate tropical cyclones are quite straightforward. It all begins with a little air disturbance near or in a tropical ocean.
A tropical system can emerge if water temperatures are high enough, usually over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and favorable air conditions with moisture and consistent winds. The system develops into a tropical depression in the Atlantic. When the system becomes stronger, it becomes a tropical storm, and when winds exceed 74 mph, it becomes a hurricane.
Is it true that hurricanes are growing more common?
In general, the warmer the ocean temperature, the more heat energy is accessible and the greater the chance of tropical cyclone development. As a result, it’s realistic to expect that the risk of tropical storm activity will grow as people continue to emit planet-warming greenhouse gases.
In general, this is correct, but things are a little more difficult in practice. Storm severity is expected to grow, while storm frequency is expected to decrease or remain similar, according to popular thinking.
Finding trends in the frequency or strength of tropical cyclones is difficult since trustworthy data are limited to worldwide satellite observations that are consistent and thorough.
Are storms becoming more powerful?
The authors of the same 2013 study discovered a significant regional and worldwide rise in the proportion of category 4 and 5 hurricanes.
“We infer that there has been a large and observable regional and worldwide rise in the frequency of Cat 4-5 storms of 25-30 percent every °C of manmade (human-caused) global warming since 1975,” the scientists write.
Surprisingly, the most intense storms rise is counterbalanced by a drop in category 1 and 2 hurricanes. The authors propose the following fascinating theory: We believe that this [balance] results from tropical cyclones being capped at a maximum strength specified by the potential intensity, which only modestly increases with global warming.
Are hurricanes intensifying more rapidly?
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Michael in 2017 and 2018 drew a lot of attention for their rapid intensification, defined as a wind speed increase of at least 35 mph in 24 hours. Recent research looked at the hurricane history in the Atlantic basin from 1986 to 2015 and showed that fast intensification increased at a rate of 4.4 mph per decade. The majority of the gains, according to the researchers, are due to a move towards the warmest phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, a normal cycle.
Does the forward speed of storms vary as a result of climate change?
Some climate experts believe that Harvey’s sluggish travel was caused by slower steering currents caused by a warmer environment. That question is still unaddressed at this time.
Is it possible that storms will get more powerful in the future? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), category 3, 4, and 5 storms cause 85 percent of hurricane damage. This is due in part to the fact that they have strong winds. A hurricane with 150 miles per hour winds has 256 times the storm’s damage potential with 75 miles per hour winds.
Is there a risk of injury or damage to people or property?
The predicted increase of severe cyclones poses a rising threat to civilization. Damages and disruptions will continue to escalate due to a mix of greater storms, sea-level rise, rising coastal populations, and infrastructure vulnerability.
According to the study described above, threats from tropical systems, particularly the most powerful cyclones, are on the rise.
For the foreseeable future, this tendency will continue. Although some of these projected consequences have already been baked into our warming environment, the most significant consequences can still be avoided. The only solution is a quick transition to renewables of our society and a better-prepared culture to face the challenges that lie ahead.