Saturday, 14 September 2019

Hurricanes And Climate Change

There is talk of Hurricane Dorian possibly turning up at the very Northerly tip of the UK as it passes between the UK and Iceland but by then it will be, as the weatherman called it, 'little more than a bit of a gust' and nothing like the 185mph monster which devastated The Bahamas last week.
The thing with Climate Change is that it doesn't mean there will be more hurricanes, it just takes the weather that is already there and ramps it up to 10 or in the case of Hurricanes, takes it to 5.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from August until November on on average there will be six hurricanes in this period with three major storms, classified as category three or above
As Climate Change tightens it's grips on our weather, The National Hurricane Centre says the average number of major hurricanes per year is on the up with an average of two per year between 1930 and 1999 but since the turn of the century, the rate has increased to just over three per year.
The intensity of Hurricanes, measured by their lowest central pressure, five of the top 10 have come in the last two decades and hurricanes have been developing faster due to the warming Ocean's, rising from a Tropical Storm through the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale quicker, Wilma doing just that over a 24 hour period and ending up as a top Category 5.
As is quite wrongly sometimes said, Climate Change is not making the hurricanes but it is creating the perfect conditions for them to thrive when they do arrive due to higher water temperatures, warmer air holding more moisture and rising sea levels which increase storm surge and flooding.
Another consequence is due to the increasing warmth of the ocean and air, hurricanes are slower moving so, the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that hurricanes are 10% slower today and linger longer so they dump more rain over a certain area instead of moving on quickly.
As the climate continues to change, Ocean temperatures will continue to rise and the warmer the water the stronger the hurricanes become resulting in more rain, flooding and wind damage so Climate Change won't create more hurricanes but it will make the ones that we do have more powerful and we are seeing that today and scarily, we are only at the start of the big, dramatic climate changes.

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