Climate change will increase the intensity of hurricanes


As we have discussed on numerous occasions, climate change increases the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and hurricanes.

At the beginning of the month, Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean and has caused extensive damage. Hurricanes feed on the energy released from the oceans. Therefore, with the increase in temperatures caused by climate change, scientists believe that they will increase in intensity more and more, however, they will not do so in frequency. How intense could those hurricanes be?

Hurricane increase

In the absence of planetary-scale satellite data prior to 1970, it is impossible to know how cyclonic activity evolved in the XNUMXth century. Before the installation of full satellite tracking, even very intense cyclones could go unnoticed if they did not make landfall, for example. Hence the prudence of scientists.

Unlike rainfall data and so forth, hurricanes need to be observed from space via satellites and monitored. After studies carried out since 1970, an increase in the frequency of cyclones was found for 20 years, unlike between 1970 and 1995.

Higher intensity of hurricanes

consequence of hurricanes

It is difficult to predict whether the number of cyclones that occur on our planet is due to natural variability or climate change, given the limited data that exists today. In the Pacific Northwest there were a slight decrease in cyclonic activity between 1980 and 2010.

However, the computer models that work to simulate the climate that this century will have, reveal a possible increase in the intensity of hurricanes, with greater intensity in winds and rains, and a possible decrease in their frequency on the planet.

“Cyclones with greater intensity are one of the expected consequences of climate change. The higher the water temperature and the level of humidity, the greater the intensity of the cyclone can be. However, these two elements are more intense due to the increase in the greenhouse effect ”, explains Valérie Masson-Delmotte, member of the GIEC, a global reference group on climate.

There is 7% more humidity in the atmosphere for every degree let the planet warm up. Therefore we must be aware of the intensity of the next hurricanes.


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