Can Hurricanes And Typhoons Get Stronger In The Near Future?

A recent study shows that as climate change worsens, Hurricanes and typhoons will become more dangerous in the near future.

Hurricanes and typhoons are no laughing matter. They’ve been known to cause severe property damage, loss of life, and city-wide destruction. But have we seen it all?

No one can forget the destructive power of Hurricane Michael in 2018 that wreaked havoc in coastal and tourist communities before plowing into Georgia with more than 100 mph winds.

There have been really strong typhoons and hurricanes in the past; however, a recent study shows that as climate change worsens, tropical cyclones such as hurricanes will become more dangerous in the near future.

Anthropogenic Effects on Hurricanes and Typhoons

A review published in the journal ScienceBrief Review, entitled “Climate change is probably increasing the intensity of tropical cyclones,” analyzed more than 90 peer-reviewed articles in hopes of finding a consistent signal of how human activity affects hurricanes, typhoons, and other tropical cyclones.

Researchers consisted of scientists from Princeton University, the University of East Anglia, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In a press release from the University of East Anglia, researchers write that the study shows the growing evidence of how climate change is fueling more powerful hurricanes and typhoons, a visible trend that scientists expect to continue globally as temperatures rise.

The study notes that the increase in tropical cyclones’ intensity would equate to roughly a 5% increase in maximum wind speeds if the global temperature warms by 2 degrees Celsius.

The NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab has articulated for years the consensus of scientists studying climate-hurricane connections that greenhouse warming will inevitably cause hurricanes in the coming century to be more destructive and intense with higher rainfall rates.

A 2019 study published in the journal Nature entitled “Recent increases in tropical cyclone intensification rates” found significant evidence that the intensification rates of tropical cyclones couldn’t be explained by natural variations alone.

Undeniable Role of Climate Change in the Severity of Hurricanes and Typhoons

It is undeniably clear from recent studies that, unlike past hurricanes that were simply due to variations in nature, future tropical cyclones will become increasingly stronger and more violent. Although current scientific literature is unclear whether the same deviation can be said for frequency.

The study reveals that rising global sea levels and flooding will become a more evident problem. Additionally, the rapid warming of the world’s oceans is definitively going to strengthen tropical storms, consequently contributing to more severe property damage and high risks of fatality.

Maya Chung, a doctoral candidate in Princeton’s Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, explains that the combination of increasing storm intensity and rainfall rates together with continued sea-level rise will, unfortunately, act to increase inundation of low-lying unprotected regions.

Thomas Knutson, a division leader at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamis Laboratory studying hurricane-climate interactions, says that there is a possibility, in the real world, that hurricane activity will increase more than the suggested ranges of existing studies.

Originally published at The Science Times

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