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Is Global Warming Causing An Increase In Hurricane Activity?

Date:
June 20, 2007
Source:
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Summary:
Global warming and increased hurricane activity...a case of natural influences or human intervention? Following Hurricane Katrina and the parade of storms that affected the conterminous United States in 2004--2005, the apparent recent increase in intense hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin, and the reported increases in recent decades in some hurricane intensity and duration measures in several basins have received considerable attention.

Hurricane Katrina taken Aug. 28, 2005, as the storm’s outer bands lashed the Gulf Coast of the United States a day before making landfall and leaving a path of destruction in its wake.
Credit: NOAA

Following Hurricane Katrina and the parade of storms that affected the conterminous United States in 2004–2005, the apparent recent increase in intense hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin, and the reported increases in recent decades in some hurricane intensity and duration measures in several basins have received considerable attention.

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An important ongoing avenue of investigation in the climate and meteorology research communities is to determine the relative roles of anthropogenic forcing (i.e., global warming) and natural variability in producing the observed recent increases in hurricane frequency in the Atlantic, as well as the reported increases of tropical cyclone activity measures in several other ocean basins.

A survey of the existing literature shows that many types of data have been used to describe hurricane intensity, and not all records are of sufficient length to reliably identify historical trends. Additionally, there are concerns among researchers about possible effects of data inhomogeneities on the reported trends.

Much of the current debate has focused on the relative roles of sea-surface temperatures or large-scale potential intensity versus the role of other environmental factors such as vertical wind shear in causing observed changes in hurricane statistics. Significantly more research – from observations, theory, and modeling – is needed to resolve the current debate around global warming and hurricanes.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Is Global Warming Causing An Increase In Hurricane Activity?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070619125716.htm>.
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. (2007, June 20). Is Global Warming Causing An Increase In Hurricane Activity?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070619125716.htm
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Is Global Warming Causing An Increase In Hurricane Activity?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070619125716.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

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