Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Aerosols Tend To Weaken Hurricanes And Cyclones

11.03.2014

Aerosols in the atmosphere produced from human activities do indeed directly affect a hurricane or tropical cyclone, but not in a way many scientists had previously believed – in fact, they tend to weaken such storms, according to a new study that includes a team of Texas A&M University researchers.

Renyi Zhang, University Distinguished Professor in Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M, and colleagues Yuan Wang, Keun-Hee Lee, Yun Lin and Misty Levy have had their work published in the current issue of Nature Climate Change.

The team examined how anthropogenic aerosols – those produced from human activities, such as from factories, power plants, car and airplane emissions and other forms – play a role in the development of hurricanes. The team used a complex computer model and data obtained from Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast in 2005 and produced catastrophic damage.

The researchers found that aerosols tend to weaken the development of hurricanes (tropical storms that form in the Atlantic Ocean) or typhoons (those formed in the Pacific). They also found that aerosols tend to cause a hurricane to fall apart earlier and wind speeds are lower than storms where anthropogenic aerosols are not present.

On average, there are about 90 hurricanes or cyclones that form each year around the world, meaning their findings could be crucial in how we evaluate and prepare for destructive tropical storms.

“The results are surprising,” Zhang says, “because other studies have leaned global warming by greenhouse gases makes hurricanes more intense and frequent. We found that aerosols may operate oppositely than greenhouse gases in terms of influencing hurricanes.

“Another thing we find, however, is that aerosols appear to increase the amount of precipitation in a hurricane or typhoon. The rainbands associated with such tropical storms seem to be larger and stronger.”

Zhang says the results could prove beneficial in how future hurricanes are studied – and how important the presence or absence of aerosols impact the development of such storms.

Katrina, for example, was the most destructive storm in U.S. history, with damages totaling more than $100 billion and the storm killed more than 1,800 people. Winds topped 175 miles per hour and the storm flooded 80 percent of the New Orleans area.

“The information produced from this study could be very helpful in the way we forecast hurricanes,” Zhang explains.

“Future studies may need to factor in the aerosol effect. If a hurricane or typhoon is formed in a part of the world where we know that anthropogenic aerosols are almost certainly present, that data needs to be considered in the storm formation and development and eventual storm preparation.”

Yuan Wang, who conducted the research with Zhang while at Texas A&M, currently works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar.

The study was funded by grants from NASA, Texas A&M’s Supercomputing facilities and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China.

###
About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world's leading research institutions, Texas A&M is in the vanguard in making significant contributions to the storehouse of knowledge, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represents annual expenditures of more than $820 million. That research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit http://research.tamu.edu.

Media contact: Keith Randall, News & Information Services, Texas A&M, at (979) 845-4644, Renyi Zhang at (979) 422-5826, or Yuan Wang at (979) 450-9106.

For more news about Texas A&M University, go to http://tamutimes.tamu.edu/

Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TAMU

Keith Randall | newswise

Further reports about: A&M Aerosols Hurricanes Technology Weaken destructive factories found gases greenhouse storms tropical

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht New study reveals where MH370 debris more likely to be found
27.07.2016 | European Geosciences Union

nachricht Exploring one of the largest salt flats in the world
27.07.2016 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-assembling nano inks form conductive and transparent grids during imprint

Transparent electronics devices are present in today’s thin film displays, solar cells, and touchscreens. The future will bring flexible versions of such devices. Their production requires printable materials that are transparent and remain highly conductive even when deformed. Researchers at INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials have combined a new self-assembling nano ink with an imprint process to create flexible conductive grids with a resolution below one micrometer.

To print the grids, an ink of gold nanowires is applied to a substrate. A structured stamp is pressed on the substrate and forces the ink into a pattern. “The...

Im Focus: The Glowing Brain

A new Fraunhofer MEVIS method conveys medical interrelationships quickly and intuitively with innovative visualization technology

On the monitor, a brain spins slowly and can be examined from every angle. Suddenly, some sections start glowing, first on the side and then the entire back of...

Im Focus: Newly discovered material property may lead to high temp superconductivity

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Ames Laboratory have discovered an unusual property of purple bronze that may point to new ways to achieve high temperature superconductivity.

While studying purple bronze, a molybdenum oxide, researchers discovered an unconventional charge density wave on its surface.

Im Focus: Mapping electromagnetic waveforms

Munich Physicists have developed a novel electron microscope that can visualize electromagnetic fields oscillating at frequencies of billions of cycles per second.

Temporally varying electromagnetic fields are the driving force behind the whole of electronics. Their polarities can change at mind-bogglingly fast rates, and...

Im Focus: Continental tug-of-war - until the rope snaps

Breakup of continents with two speed: Continents initially stretch very slowly along the future splitting zone, but then move apart very quickly before the onset of rupture. The final speed can be up to 20 times faster than in the first, slow extension phase.phases

Present-day continents were shaped hundreds of millions of years ago as the supercontinent Pangaea broke apart. Derived from Pangaea’s main fragments Gondwana...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

GROWING IN CITIES - Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Gardening

15.07.2016 | Event News

SIGGRAPH2016 Computer Graphics Interactive Techniques, 24-28 July, Anaheim, California

15.07.2016 | Event News

Partner countries of FAIR accelerator meet in Darmstadt and approve developments

11.07.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New study reveals where MH370 debris more likely to be found

27.07.2016 | Earth Sciences

Dirty to drinkable

27.07.2016 | Materials Sciences

Exploring one of the largest salt flats in the world

27.07.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>