Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Warmer Ocean Could Reduce Number Of Atlantic Hurricane Landfalls

Date:
January 25, 2008
Source:
National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration
Summary:
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 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.

Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 28, 2005.
Credit: NOAA

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.

Related Articles


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.

“We looked at U.S. landfalling hurricanes because it is the most reliable Atlantic hurricane measurement over the long term,” says Chunzai Wang, a physical oceanographer and climate scientist with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami and lead author on the article. “Using data extending back to the middle nineteenth century, we found a gentle decrease in the trend of U.S. landfalling hurricanes when the global ocean is warmed up. This trend coincides with an increase in vertical wind shear over the tropical North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, which could result in fewer U.S. landfalling hurricanes.” For the article, Wang worked with Sang-Ki Lee of the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies-University of Miami.

In terms of hurricane strength, Wang notes, “The vertical wind shear is not the only factor affecting Atlantic hurricane activity, although it is an important one.” Other factors include atmospheric humidity, sea level pressure, and sea surface temperature. 

This study also suggests that where the global ocean warming occurs is important for determining the vertical wind shear in the Atlantic hurricane main development region — within the 10°-20° North latitude belt that stretches from west Africa to Central America. Whether future global warming increases Atlantic hurricane activity will probably depend on the relative role induced by sustained long-term warming over the tropical oceans.

Observations from 1854 to 2006 show a warming of sea surface temperature occurring almost everywhere over the global ocean, with large warming in tropical regions of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. Warmer waters in the tropical Pacific, Indian and North Atlantic oceans produce opposite effects upon vertical wind shear; that is, warming in the tropical Pacific and Indian oceans increase vertical wind shear in the Atlantic hurricane main development region, while warming in the tropical North Atlantic decreases vertical wind shear. Overall, warming in the Pacific and Indian oceans is of greater impact and produces increased levels of vertical wind shear which suppresses Atlantic hurricane activity.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. "Warmer Ocean Could Reduce Number Of Atlantic Hurricane Landfalls." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080124115808.htm>.
National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. (2008, January 25). Warmer Ocean Could Reduce Number Of Atlantic Hurricane Landfalls. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080124115808.htm
National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. "Warmer Ocean Could Reduce Number Of Atlantic Hurricane Landfalls." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080124115808.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nervous Return to Everest a Year After Deadly Avalanche

Nervous Return to Everest a Year After Deadly Avalanche

AFP (Apr. 18, 2015) — In the Himalayan town of Lukla, excitement mingles with fear as mountaineers make their way up to Everest a year after an avalanche killed 16 guides and triggered an unprecedented shut-down of the world&apos;s highest peak. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
L.A. Water Cops Remind Residents of Water Conservation

L.A. Water Cops Remind Residents of Water Conservation

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 18, 2015) — "Water cops" in Los Angeles remind the public about water conservation methods amid California&apos;s prolonged drought. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Planet Defence Conference Tackles Asteroid Threat

Planet Defence Conference Tackles Asteroid Threat

AFP (Apr. 17, 2015) — Scientists gathered at a European Space Agency (ESA) facility outside Rome this week for the Planetary Defence Conference 2015 to discuss how to tackle the potential threat from asteroids hitting Earth. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gulf Scarred, Resilient 5 Years After BP Spill

Gulf Scarred, Resilient 5 Years After BP Spill

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) — Five years after the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, splotches of oil still dot the seafloor and wads of tarry petroleum-smelling material hide in pockets in the marshes of Barataria Bay. (April 17) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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