Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Global Warming Increases Wind Shear, Reduces Hurricanes, Climate Model Shows

Date:
April 18, 2007
Source:
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Summary:
Climate model simulations for the 21st century indicate a robust increase in wind shear in the tropical Atlantic due to global warming, which may inhibit hurricane development and intensification. Historically, increased wind shear has been associated with reduced hurricane activity and intensity.

The white arrows represent strong cross winds, also known as wind shear. These winds are predicted to become more common in the Atlantic due to global warming. They can disrupt or destroy a hurricane by blowing the top away.
Credit: NOAA

Climate model simulations for the 21st century indicate a robust increase in wind shear in the tropical Atlantic due to global warming, which may inhibit hurricane development and intensification. Historically, increased wind shear has been associated with reduced hurricane activity and intensity.

This new finding is reported in a study by scientists at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami and NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton, N.J., and, scheduled to be published April 18th in Geophysical Research Letters.

While other studies have linked global warming to an increase in hurricane intensity, this study is the first to identify changes in wind shear that could counteract these effects. "The environmental changes found here do not suggest a strong increase in tropical Atlantic hurricane activity during the 21st century," said Brian Soden, Rosenstiel School associate professor of meteorology and physical oceanography and the paper's co-author. However, the study does identify other regions, such as the western tropical Pacific, where global warming does cause the environment to become more favorable for hurricanes.

"Wind shear is one of the dominant controls to hurricane activity, and the models project substantial increases in the Atlantic," said Gabriel Vecchi, lead author of the paper and a research oceanographer at GFDL. "Based on historical relationships, the impact on hurricane activity of the projected shear change could be as large -- and in the opposite sense -- as that of the warming oceans."

Examining possible impacts of human-caused greenhouse warming on hurricane activity, the researchers used climate models to assess changes in the environmental factors tied to hurricane formation and intensity. They focused on projected changes in vertical wind shear over the tropical Atlantic and its ties to the Pacific Walker circulation -- a vast loop of winds that influences climate across much of the globe and that varies in concert with El Niño and La Niña oscillations. By examining 18 different models, the authors identified a systematic increase in wind shear over much of the tropical Atlantic due to a slowing of the Pacific Walker circulation. Their research suggests that the increase in wind shear could inhibit both hurricane development and intensification.

"This study does not, in any way, undermine the widespread consensus in the scientific community about the reality of global warming," said Soden. "In fact, the wind shear changes are driven by global warming."

The authors also note that additional research will be required to fully understand how the increased wind shear affects hurricane activity more specifically. "This doesn't settle the issue; this is one piece of the puzzle that will contribute to an incredibly active field of research," Vecchi said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "Global Warming Increases Wind Shear, Reduces Hurricanes, Climate Model Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417182843.htm>.
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. (2007, April 18). Global Warming Increases Wind Shear, Reduces Hurricanes, Climate Model Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417182843.htm
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "Global Warming Increases Wind Shear, Reduces Hurricanes, Climate Model Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417182843.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers

California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — California's record drought is hurting honey supplies and raising prices for consumers. The lack of rainfall means fewer crops and wildflowers that provide the nectar bees need to make honey. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Species Found In Lake Under Antarctic Ice

Thousands Of Species Found In Lake Under Antarctic Ice

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A U.S. team found nearly 4,000 species in a subglacial lake that hasn't seen sunlight in millennia, showing life can thrive even under the ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — Poachers have killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012, as the booming ivory trade takes its toll on the animals in Africa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins