Global warming and hurricanes

Shortly after hurricane Katrina struck some
people started to blame particular hurricane events on global
warming. Most climate
scientists do not support such claims since climate models provide a window
into average climate conditions that will, in general, change the rate and
intensity of extreme events, rather than making predictions about specific
events. What we do know is that climate
models provide a strong link between greenhouse gases and warmer ocean surface
temperatures. It is also well understood
that hurricanes and tropical storms flourish over warm waters.苏州美睫美甲

Several studies have shown that hurricane frequency and intensity has been steadily increasing for the last 25 years. Scientists from Georgia Tech * have attempted to link this with various climate variables. They examined ocean surface temperatures, humidity and wind conditions using satellite data collected from 1970 to 2004. Analyzing data of this sort is extremely complex since it is an intrinsically multi-variable system. However, using statistical methods derived from information theory they were able to show that ocean temperature was the strongest predictor of hurricane frequency and intensity. At this point someone will usually point out that correlation != causation, however, the mechanisms for generating hurricanes are fairly well understood, especially in terms of the role of surface ocean temperature. In this case it is fair to say that the link they have discovered really only confirms what we already knew.

Climate modeling and our understanding of physical and chemical atmospheric processes provide a strong link between greenhouse gases and ocean surface temperatures. Thus it appears that some of the doom-saying is in fact coming true and that there are more serious consequences than a rising sea level associated with global warming.

*=press report, I could not read the ScienceExpress article

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