Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Global Warming Will Do Little To Change Hurricane Activity, According To New Model

Date:
August 13, 2008
Source:
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Summary:
Scientists have described a new method for evaluating the frequency of hurricane formation in present and future tropical climates. Compared to other global models currently in use, the new approach uses computer models that provide much more accurate representations of the processes that lead to hurricane formation.

Figure shows an example of a hurricane computer simulation generated by the Rosenstiel School team. The colors indicate water vapor in a vertical column of the atmosphere, where the dark red areas would indicate extremely heavy rainfall. The small size of each pixel, 3 km x 3 km provides remarkably accurate detail in the storm. In comparison, the number of pixels in an image used to represent storms in global climate models are typically 100 km x 100 km, at best.
Credit: UM/RSMAS

In a study published in the July 2008 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, Drs. David S. Nolan and Eric D. Rappin from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science describe a new method for evaluating the frequency of hurricane formation in present and future tropical climates.

Related Articles


While current thinking about changes in hurricane frequency comes mostly from computer simulations of global climate, the computer models used for these studies can only represent the coarsest features of hurricanes, thus casting doubt in their predictions of hurricane activity.

The new approach by Nolan and Rappin, developed in collaboration with Dr. Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, uses computer models with much more accurate representation of the processes that lead to hurricane formation, much the same way a digital image with more pixels allows for a more detailed photographic image.

The models are used to simulate the rate of hurricane development in tropical atmospheres with varying values of sea surface temperature and vertical wind shear (which is the extent to which wind speed and direction changes with height in the atmosphere). These two variables – ocean temperature and wind shear -- are considered to be the two most important factors in predicting hurricane activity, both in operational forecasting and in consideration of climate change.

"We designed the computer simulations to show that as the ocean temperature increased, hurricanes would form more rapidly and easily, even in the presence of wind shear," says Nolan, associate professor of Meteorology at the Rosenstiel School. "Instead, we got exactly the opposite result. As the water temperature increased, the effectiveness of the wind shear in suppressing hurricane formation actually became greater."

The simulations show that if they do form, hurricanes become stronger in the warmer environments. Together, these results suggest that in a global warming world, there would be less hurricanes, but those that do form could become stronger. The same prediction has recently been made by other studies using global climate models, and the similarity of the two predictions enhances confidence in the results.

"The additional aspect that our method offers is a much more accurate picture of the process of tropical storm and hurricane formation, as compared to the global models," Nolan said. "Our ongoing work with this model and others should lead to a much better understanding of the relationship between climate and global hurricane activity."


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 Will Do Little To Change Hurricane Activity, According To New Model." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080812160615.htm>.
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. (2008, August 13). Global Warming Will Do Little To Change Hurricane Activity, According To New Model. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080812160615.htm
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "Global Warming Will Do Little To Change Hurricane Activity, According To New Model." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080812160615.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Buffalo Residents Digging Out, Helping out

Raw: Buffalo Residents Digging Out, Helping out

AP (Nov. 22, 2014) Hundreds of volunteers joined a 'shovel brigade' in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, as the city was living up to its nickname, "The City of Good Neighbors." Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Hot Months, 1 Warm Year And All The Arguments To Follow

5 Hot Months, 1 Warm Year And All The Arguments To Follow

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) The NOAA released statistics Thursday showing October was the fifth month this year with record temps and 2014 will likely be the hottest on record. Video provided by Newsy
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