Global Warming May Reduce Hurricane Frequency

In further research supporting the hypothesis that global warming may reduce damage from hurricanes, NOAA published a preview of upcoming research today (Warmer Ocean Could Reduce Number of Atlantic Hurricane Landfalls). New research indicates that increased ocean temperatures will, as expected, increase wind shear over the oceans which in turn, may reduce the number of landfalling Atlantic hurricanes:

A warming global ocean — influencing the winds that shear off the tops of developing storms — could mean fewer Atlantic hurricanes striking the United States according to new findings by NOAA climate scientists. Furthermore, the relative warming role of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans is important for determining Atlantic hurricane activity.

The article, to be published on January 23 in Geophysical Research Letters, uses observations to show that warming of global sea surface temperatures is associated with a secular, or sustained long-term increase, of vertical wind shear in the main development region for Atlantic hurricanes. The increased vertical wind shear coincides with a downward trend in U.S. landfalling hurricanes…

This comes on the heals of research earlier this year that demonstrated a correlation between global temperatures and hurricane frequency that indicated that perhaps hurricane frequency is heightened by cooler temperatures (Hurricanes Frequent in Cooler Times).

[tags]Hurricanes, Global Warming, NOAA, Tropical Meteorology, Extreme Weather[/tags]


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