As if the coronavirus pandemic weren’t bad enough, more bad news is coming: hurricanes are getting stronger, and this is part of an ongoing trend, according to the latest reports.
This is the conclusion of a study that’s been led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist James Kossin at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The paper was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal on Monday.
Winds of tropical cyclones are getting stronger
CNET notes that this study analyzed satellite data from 1979 to 2017 and discovered that the maximum sustained winds of tropical cyclones (hurricanes and typhoons) became stronger over time.
“Through modeling and our understanding of atmospheric physics, the study agrees with what we would expect to see in a warming climate like ours,” Kossin stated recently.
The data is pointing to an increased probability of tropical cyclones to become massive storms that can even reach categories 3,4 and even 5 on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.
The website mentioned above offers readers an example: Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas back in 2019 as a Category 5 storm, and the winds were of at least 157 mph.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1, and NOAA will be revealing its initial outlook for the season during this week.
It’s important to note the fact that back in 2018 the NOAA forecast a near-normal season, but the definition of normal seems to be changing these days.
The increasingly intense tropical cyclone may be linked to climate change
Kossin has been tracking hurricane data for a few years now and he was also involved in a 2018 study that found hurricanes to be slowing down.
But the new study mentioned above is suggesting increasingly intense tropical cyclones may be linked to climate change.
“It’s a good step forward and increases our confidence that global warming has made hurricanes stronger,” said Kossin. He continued and said, “but our results don’t tell us precisely how much of the trends are caused by human activities and how much may be just natural variability.”
Check out more about the issue in the original study.