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[greenyes] Climate Disruption - Effect on Strength of Hurricanes


from the August 01, 2005 edition
As planet warms, storms grow stronger
Scientists see evidence that hurricanes and typhoons have intensified. Are
new responses needed?
By Peter N. Spotts | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
For years, hurricanes and typhoons have served as poster children for the
hazards of global warming.
When simulated tropical storms churn inside the silicon universe of
researchers' computers, such cyclones grow in power, and sometimes in number
as well, as tropical temperatures increase. But when researchers have looked
for global warming's fingerprints on real tropical cyclones, the evidence
often has been inconclusive.
Now, one of the top researchers in the field reports that worldwide, these
storms are nearly twice as powerful today as they were 30 years ago. Global
warming has intensified the trend, exerting an influence stronger than he
would have believed even a few months ago, he says.
"I'd been thinking of a very modest response" of tropical cyclones to
climate change, "and what we're seeing is not so modest," says Kerry
Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.
The upshot: The 21st century could be a rough one for people who settle in
hurricane or typhoon-prone areas.
Peter Anderson, President
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Ph: (608) 231-1100
Fax: (608) 233-0011
Cell: (608) 698-1314
eMail: anderson@no.address

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