A New Study Confirms that Warming Oceans Create More Intense Hurricanes.

A new article published in Science magazine confirms that warming oceans are creating more intense hurricanes. Since 1970, there has been an increase in the strongest types of hurricanes—those that measure 4 or 5 on the commonly-used Saffir-Simpson scale—and researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology set out to discover why.

After looking at a variety of climate variables, such as wind patterns and humidity, the researchers found that only rising sea surface temperatures were correlated with the increased hurricane intensity. “The inference is that if you keep warming things up, you’re going to get more intense storms,” study author Judith Curry told Nature. “We’re looking at a much worse risk than people were thinking about a year ago.”

Michael Hopkin, “Warming Seas Cause Stronger Hurricanes. Mega-storms Are Set to Increase as the Climate Hots Up,” news@nature.com, published online 16 March 2006.

C. D. Hoyos, et al., “Deconvolution of the Factors Contributing to the Increase in Global Hurricane Intensity,” Science, (16 March 2006).

Related Links:

http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060313/full/060313-12.html and
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/rapidpdf/1123560v1.pdf