Will extreme weather like super typhoon Haiyan become the new norm?

Extreme hurricanes and typhoons may become the new normal. The strongest storms are getting stronger.

Climate scientists are confident in three ways that climate change will make the impacts of hurricanes worse. First, global warming causes sea level rise, which amplifies storm surges and flooding associated with hurricanes.

Second, as climate scientist Kevin Trenberth has noted, global warming has also increased the amount of moisture in the air, causing more rainfall and amplifying flooding during hurricanes.

Third, warmer oceans are fuel for hurricanes. Research has shown that the strongest hurricanes have grown stronger in most ocean basins around the world over the past several decades, and climate models consistently project that this trend will continue.

See a trend here?

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Tearful Speech By Philippines Man After Super-Typhoon Haiyan

195 mph winds devastated lives and communities. How would one recover from such horrible losses? 

I saw that. None of the delegates seemed to care. Some students walked out with him after his speech, silently, and were banned from the talks as punishment. The Warsaw talks are a corporate funded farce. Many green groups walked out in disgust (see reply further down in that discussion)

I did learn about this in my Environmental Science class. Thank you for the updated news and studies Ruth.

Green Desert: All signs point to climate change

An MIT atmospheric scientist says that Typhoon Haiyan had 10% higher wind speeds than it would have had without Climate Change, which translates to 30 to 40 percent more damage.

But, in a radio interview Monday on Public Radio International’s “The World,” Kerry Emanuel, an atmospheric scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an expert on tropical storms, took a second look at that view, which he himself had advanced two weeks earlier.

Working with a computer model used to forecast wind speeds in tropical storms, Emanuel and his colleagues at MIT compared weather conditions from the 1980s, before the current warming of the climate, with those forming the background for Haiyan.

What they found, he said, is “that the wind speeds are about 10 percent larger now.”

Warmer surface temperatures provide more fuel for tropical storms, Emanuel said, “so that really corresponds to something like 30 to 40 percent more damage than the same exact event might’ve done had it occurred in the thermal environment of the 1980s.” [emphasis mine]

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