HURRICANES GET LARGER AND POSE MORE THREAT DUE TO GLOBAL WARMING

HURRICANES GET LARGER AND POSE MORE THREAT DUE TO GLOBAL WARMING

Ice melting. Waters rising. Hotter temperatures. What’s new? Well, hurricanes are getting worse and more threatening to human civilization, due to global warming.

The warming of oceans is already known as causing more intense hurricane seasons. Evidence is overwhelming that future storms will become windier, while rainfall is also expected to increase within hurricanes by up to 30 percent.

Research proved that urbanization – and the prominence of concrete and asphalt in cities – increase flooding risks. But all of that could be avoided if CO2 emission are regulated and ultimately, stopped.

 

IF YOU PUT ENOUGH CO2 INTO THE ATMOSPHERE, YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF STORMS WAY – FAST.

It was September 12 2018 when a new study was published on Stony Brook University’s website, showing the potential estimates of climate change on Hurricane Florence. Relying on proven methods of studying cyclones, scientists calculated for the first time the impact of climate change on a hurricane before it was over. They found out that it was growing larger, dumping 50 percent more rain than it would have without global warming.

Using comparative forecasts – present-day climate conditions versus pre-industrial ones – Kevin A. Reed and his colleagues wrote that “this increase is substantially larger than expected from thermodynamic conditions alone. We further find that the storm will remain at a high category on the Saffir-Simpson scale for a longer duration and that the storm is approximately 80 km in diameter larger at landfall because of the human interference in the climate system.”

More than 1 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia, were to evacuate from the storm’s path.

WHEN A BLOCKED HURRICANE GETS ANGRY

On August 25, tropical storm Harvey made its landfall as a hurricane in Texas, flooding whole communities, streets, houses and driving people to hide in shelters. The National Weather Service tweeted that “this event is unprecedented and all impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced.”

But the cause of all this seems to be in connection to the storm’s stalling. “Tropical cyclones, either tropical storms or hurricanes, tend to carry a lot of moisture with them and are often associated with pretty intense rain. But what makes this situation even more impressive is that the tropical storm itself — what used to be Hurricane Harvey — has pretty much stalled. For several days, it’s pretty much meandering around the same place, so the same location keeps getting the intense rain,” said hydro-meteorologist Matthew Kelsch (University Corporation of Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado) to Live Science.

Harvey was blocked by a high-pressure system, but when this lets up, the Tropical Storm can get moving again.

URBAN ENVIRONMENTS ADD UP TO CLIMATE CHANGE RISKS

As strange as it may sound to us – people living in modern civilizations – the transition of human environments from rural to urban, can intensify risks of flooding, especially to coastal regions.

Running simulations about how Houston could have been impacted if the urban development was halted in 1950, researchers found that the same Hurricane Harvey would not have been as damaging. The newly raised buildings changed the airflow over the city, leading to more rainfall. And asphalt and concrete increased the flooding risk.

Knowing this, we can ask ourselves how will the cities of our near future look like? Will architects still use steel and concrete for structures design, hence causing more storms? And will our lifestyles still be powered by burning fossil fuels?

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