Enviroman asks, "have the frequency and ferocity of hurricanes and typhoons increased due to global warming?"
It appear to be so. To spawn a hurricane, you only need an ocean temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit; a cool, wet atmosphere above and a warm, wet one near the surface; and a preexisting weather disturbance with a bit of spin to it far enough from the equator (at least 300 miles) so that the rotation of the Earth amplifies the rotation of the storm. The more intense the storm becomes, the more the temperature of its core climbs, accelerating the spin, exacerbating the storm, and leading to the meteorological violence we call a hurricane. And violent it can be: The heat released in an average hurricane can equal the electricity produced by the U.S. in a single year. Time
Now, scientists at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, have analysed global tropical cyclone statistics since satellite records began. They found that there has been a sharp rise in the number of category 4 and 5 tropical cyclones - the most intense hurricanes that cause most of the damage on landfall - over this time period. (BBCNews.co.uk)
Between 1975 and 1989, there were 171 severe hurricanes but the number rose to 269 between 1990 and 2004. The author of the study, Dr Peter Webster, told the BBC News website: "What I think we can say is that the increase in intensity is probably accounted for by the increase in sea surface temperature and I think probably the sea surface temperature increase is a manifestation of global warming."
There were a lot of hurricanes last year. Japan had a record 10. We are getting hurrincane in the Atlantic where hurricane is not supposed to occur. From 1995 to 1999, a record 33 hurricanes struck the Atlantic basin, and that doesn’t include 1992’s horrific Hurricane Andrew, which clawed its way across south Florida in 1992, causing $27 billion dollars worth of damage. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that hurricane wind speeds have increased about 50% in the past 50 years. Hurricanes spawn tornadoes and there was an all-time record of 1,717 tornadoes in the United States last year.
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