Monday, July 30, 2007

If Hurricanes Doubled in the Last Century...

This satellite image released by NOAA taken Thursday, July 26, 2007 at 7:30 a.m. EDT shows Tropical Storm Dalila off Mexico's Pacific coast. (AP Photo/NOAA)

What will this century be like? I shudder to think of getting 30 hurricanes a year instead of 15.

Reuters (via Yahoo News): Study blames climate change for hurricane rise

MIAMI (Reuters) - The number of Atlantic hurricanes in an average season has doubled in the last century due in part to warmer seas and changing wind patterns caused by global warming, according to a study released on Sunday.


The new study, published online in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, said the increased numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes in the last 100 years is closely related to a 1.3-degree Fahrenheit rise in sea surface temperatures.


In the new study, conducted by Greg Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Peter Webster of Georgia Institute of Technology, researchers found three periods since 1900 when the average number of Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes increased sharply, and then leveled off and remained steady.

From 1900 to 1930, Atlantic hurricane seasons saw six storms on average, with four hurricanes and two tropical storms. From 1930 to 1940, the annual average rose to ten, including five hurricanes

From 1995 to 2005, the average rose to 15, with eight hurricanes and seven tropical storms, the researchers said.

Changes in sea surface temperatures occurred before the periods of increased cyclones, with a rise of 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit before the 1930 period and a similar increase before the 1995 period, they said.

"These numbers are a strong indication that climate change is a major factor in the increasing number of Atlantic hurricanes," Holland said in a statement.

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