James Elsner of Florida State University in Tallahassee examined the statistical connection between the average global near-surface air temperature and Atlantic sea surface temperature, comparing the two factors with hurricane intensities over the past 50 years. He found that average air temperatures during hurricane season between June and November are useful in predicting sea surface temperatures--a vital component in nourishing hurricane winds as they strengthen in warm waters--but not vice-versa. Elsner's paper is scheduled to be published 23 August in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
Several recent studies have warned that human-induced climate warming has the potential to increase the number of tropical cyclones (hurricanes), and previous research and computer models suggest that hurricane intensity would increase with increasing global mean temperatures. Others, however, hypothesize that the relationship between sea surface temperatures and hurricanes can be attributed to natural causes, such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, an ongoing series of long-term changes in the sea surface temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean.
"The large increases in powerful hurricanes over the past several decades, together with the results presented here, certainly suggest cause for concern," Elsner said. "These results have serious implications for life and property throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and portions of the United States."
Using highly detailed data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to monitor sea temperature anomalies over the past half-century, Elsner used a causality test to establish evidence in support of the climate change/hurricane intensity hypothesis. His analysis helps provide verification of a linkage between atmospheric warming caused largely by greenhouse gases and the recent upswing in frequency and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes, including Katrina and Rita, which devastated parts of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas in 2005.
"I infer that future hurricane hazard mitigation efforts should reflect that hurricane damage will continue to increase, in part, due to greenhouse warming," Elsner said. "This research is important to the field of hurricane science by moving the debate away from trend analyses of hurricane counts and toward a physical mechanism that can account for the various observations."
The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Risk Prediction Initiative of the Bermuda Biological Station for Research.
Harvey Leifert | American Geophysical Union
Geophysicists and atmospheric scientists partner to track typhoons' seismic footprints
16.02.2018 | Princeton University
NASA finds strongest storms in weakening Tropical Cyclone Sanba
15.02.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).
Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
16.02.2018 | Information Technology
16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy