Monday, 29 October 2012

Climate Change And Atlantic Hurricanes

Hurricane Sandy is battering the East Coast as I write this. Never has breaking news been more approriate term as dire predictions abound. USA media are expecting a one on a hundred year event. But so far the media dont seem to be looking for reasons.

Climate change will make extreme events more likely. Indeed some call it climate chaos.

MotherJones reports that "across the globe, ocean temperatures in September were the second highest on record".

"The most striking and destructive aspect of Sandy is its breadth—tropical storm force winds reached a radius of 520 miles at one point yesterday. "

"According to MIT hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel "For ordinary hurricanes, we actually expect a little increase in the size, based upon recent work we've done,” Emanuel explains. "Not spectacular, but a little increase in size." "

http://m.motherjones.com/environment/2012/10/hurricane-sandy-climate-science

This is from 2006 seems to predict that climate change will make storms worse.
ftp://texmex.mit.edu/pub/emanuel/PAPERS/EOS_mann_emanuel_2006.pdf

But this is from 1998 says it wont. Presumably the science has moved on in 14 years.
"Scientists are uncertain about how these climate changes will affect the frequency of occurrence of North Atlantic hurricanes. Nor can they predict whether the storms will become stronger in future decades."
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/druyan_03/

This 2008 article predicts such storms will be rarer.
http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080518/full/news.2008.837.html

This from 2010 says fewer but stronger hurricanes http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1955838,00.html

At least Obama seems to be preparing for this, unlike Bush during Katrina. I hope that it doesnt do too much damage, and no loss of life; but the USA needs a wake up call more than most countries. Urgent action required.

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