February 2, 2023

Intense hurricanes, typhoons could double by 2050, scientists report

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Extreme Hurricanes and Typhoons – Most Catastrophic storm on the planet – In almost all regions of the world it could more than double by 2050. Due to climate changeScientists reported Wednesday.

the study, Published in Science Advances, Severe storms have been described as equivalent to or greater than Category 3 hurricanes. He noted that the likelihood of hurricanes in the coming decades is high, and that people in the world’s most at-risk areas will be affected by severe storms.

The researchers also found that wind speeds in these storms could increase by up to 20%, as well as a dramatic increase in the frequency of Category 4 and Category 5 storms – more than 200% in some areas.

“Our findings also emphasize that areas that are currently (very) at risk may actually begin to be affected by tropical storms due to climate change,” said Nadia Blumandal, a meteorologist at the University of Amsterdam. And the lead author of the study told CNN in an email. “We are surprised to see the disproportionate amount of developing countries at risk of future climate change.”

Researchers used a statistical forecasting system called STORM to create meteorological conditions for the past and future of 10,000 years. He then used high-resolution wind velocity maps to test future changes locally, “which is very important in the context of risk assessment,” Bloomandal noted.

Scientists have found that areas around Hong Kong and parts of the South Pacific are most likely to experience strong storms.

TOKYO – The world’s largest metropolitan area with a population of about 38 million – currently has a 4.6 percent annual chance of being hit by severe storms. In the future, scientists found that the number would increase by 13.9%.

Another significant leap was to Hawaii. Currently, Honolulu has a 4% chance of being hit by severe hurricanes each year. In future years, that number will be 8.6% – as the study shows, more than doubling.

The researchers said that their findings were likely due to rising sea levels around the world. Ocean temperatures have risen dramatically over the last several decades as a result of burning fossil fuels. The hot water will “produce more fuel to accelerate the storms,” ​​Bloomandel said.

Houses were damaged in the Central Philippines in November 2013 after Typhoon Haiyan.

The only regions where scientists have not seen future severe tropical storms double are the Gulf of Mexico and the Bay of Bengal. The frequency of severe storms in the study remained “fundamentally unchanged,” Bloomindal noted, as the climatic conditions there would be less favorable for future tropical storms.

“Global climate models are offering increasing environmental stability in the region in the face of future climatic conditions,” Bloomandal wrote. “Due to this increased environmental stability, the overall frequency of tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico is likely to decrease, as conditions have become more unfavorable for the development of tropical storms.”

But it also noted that when tropical storms form in these regions, warm water will provide additional fuel to accelerate hurricanes to Category 3 or higher.

So while these scientists expect to see fewer storms in the Gulf of Mexico or the Bay of Bengal as a whole, they will be extremely powerful and expensive.

Increased costs

Hurricanes and typhoons are responsible for more financial losses than any other natural disaster. In the last decade alone, the study notes, the United States has lost $ 480 billion to tropical storms and hurricanes.

One reason, Bloemdale said, is that it is more important than ever to be able to project where the most severe storms will occur in the future.

A resident of Grand Oil, Louisiana, visits his home after being hit by Category 4 Hurricane Ida in August 2021.

“Our findings could help identify areas with the highest risk of tropical storms,” ​​Bloomandal said in a statement. “Local governments can then take steps to reduce the risk in their area, to reduce the damage and casualties.”

Globally, 80 to 100 tropical storms form each year. But reliable records of these storms – which could only be observed by ships or when they landed – only date back to the 1960s, when scientists had weather satellites. This has made it difficult to predict long-term changes in the midst of a climate crisis.

With this new research, scientists say, the world will get a clearer picture of what the future holds for the world’s most destructive phenomena.

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