Home Sciences Hurricanes will double in 2050 due to climate change

Hurricanes will double in 2050 due to climate change

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Tropical cyclones are already more intense today than in the past, but they are about to become even worse and also more common. Climate change will provide the ingredients for these immense storms that develop into life-threatening hurricanes will double by the year 2050.

A study published in the journal Scientific Advances It also predicts that the maximum wind speeds associated with these cyclones could increase about 20 percent.

Despite being among the most destructive extreme weather events in the world, tropical cyclones are relatively rare. In a given year, they only form about 80-100 tropical cyclones around the world, most of which never make it to landfall.

Furthermore, accurate historical records globally are scarce, making it difficult to predict where they will occur and what steps governments should take to prepare.

An international group of scientists including Ivan Haigh, from the University of Southampton (UK), has developed a new approach that combines historical data with global climate models to generate hundreds of thousands of “synthetic tropical cyclones”.

These results “can help identify places prone to the greatest increase in tropical cyclone risk. Local governments can then take steps to reduce the risk in your region, so to reduce damage and fatalities”points out Dr. Nadia Bloemendaal, from the Institute for Environmental Studies at the Free University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), who led the study.

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“With the new data, scientists will be able to analyze tropical cyclone risk more precisely for each city or coastal region,” he added.

Researchers have been able to project much more accurately the occurrence and behavior of tropical cyclones around the world for decades to come in the face of climate change, including in regions where today hardly any tropical cyclones occur.

Category 3 or higher hurricanes will double

The team’s analysis describes that the frequency of the most intense cyclones, those of category 3 or higher, will double Worldwide due to climate change, while weaker tropical cyclones and tropical storms will be less common in most regions of the world. The exception will be the Bay of Bengalwhere the researchers found a decrease in the frequency of intense cyclones.

Many of the places most at risk will be in low-income countries. Countries where tropical cyclones are relatively rare today will see increased risk in the coming years, including Cambodia, Laos, Mozambique, and many Pacific Island nations such as the Solomon Islands and Tonga. Globally, Asia will experience the largest increase in the number of people exposed to tropical cyclones, with millions more exposed in China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.

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Even in countries where there are now none

Dr Ivan Haigh, Associate Professor at the University of Southampton, said: “It is particularly worrying that the results of our study show that some regions not currently experiencing cyclones tropical probably will in the near future with climate change.

As he points out, “the new data set on tropical cyclones that we have developed will go a long way in mapping changes in flood risk in regions with tropical cyclones”.

The study could help governments and organizations better assess the risk of tropical cyclones, thereby supporting the development of risk mitigation strategies to minimize impacts and loss of life, the authors conclude.

Reference study: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abm8438

Environment section contact: crisisclimatica@prensaiberica.es

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