Hurricane’s “price tags” may reveal the cost of global warming

Climate researchers say the idea of ​​putting a “climate price tag” on an individual storm could help the public understand how global warming is directly affecting them. This is especially true in places like North Carolina, which is still experiencing a boom in coastal development even as the intensity of hurricanes worsens under climate change, says Hans Pearl, professor of marine and environmental sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. “Coastal watersheds bear the brunt of floods, and rising sea levels add to the water problem,” he says. “Brings water more inside.”

Paerl reviewed historical flood and rain records since the late 19th century and found that catastrophic floods caused by hurricanes have increased dramatically in the past 20 years, according to a study published in 2019 in the journal. Scientific Nature Reports. The study concluded that there has been a shift in historical weather patterns that are now bringing more rain to the coastal region during each storm.

In recent years, these floods and rains have occurred Washed pig waste From pork farms in North Carolina to nearby waterways, damaging coastal ecosystems and valuable commercial fisheries. But the worsening floods haven’t stopped people from moving to the area, says Pyrrell, who has resided in Beaufort, North Carolina for the past 40 years. “Real estate is booming. People still want to build homes here.”

Nor should there be a hurricane until coastal residents face the flood problems associated with climate change. Floods that occur when the sky is clear – so-called Disturbing floods– is also escalating in cities like Miami; Norfolk, Virginia; And Charleston, South Carolina, according to a study Posted in March. These researchers found that of the 40 coastal tide gauges administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), roughly half of them measured the number of disturbing flood days since the mid-1800s due to local higher tidal ranges. Cities built along estuaries showed the largest tidal changes, as a result of sea level rise combined with dredging operations to deepen ports for shipping.

With the increase in the number and intensity of tropical storms in the Atlantic in recent years, officials of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in April were forced to Recalculation of the statistical average for a “normal” hurricane season. The new normal now is 14 tropical storms, up from the previous annual average of 12. This revised number includes seven storms that eventually became strong enough to be classified as hurricanes. (Once the winds of a tropical storm reach 74 mph, it’s called a Category 1 hurricane. From there, hurricanes advance all the way up to Category 5, filling in winds of 157 mph, according to Sapphire Simpson Hurricane wind gauge.)

Last year was a record season in the Atlantic, with 30 tropical storms, 13 of which turned into hurricanes. NOAA officials are expected to announce their 2021 forecast on Thursday, but in the meantime, the commercial weather forecast company announced. DTN, Which provides data to airlines, farms, trucking companies and other weather-dependent industries, and predicts another above-average season with 20 tropical storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes with a force of Category 3 or higher, says Rene Vandweig, the company’s vice president for weather operations. .

“We think the eastern coast of the United States has a greater threat than land this year, while in 2020, it was more in the western Gulf of Mexico,” Vandewij says. “This year we think it’s along the Florida coast, through Carolina, and then across the northeastern United States as well.”

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