Reposting: MIT’s Kerry Emanuel on Climate and Hurricanes

August 25, 2017

Now that #Harvey has your attention.
A couple years earlier, I had asked Dr. Emanuel to give a play by play of Hurricane Sandy as it barrelled up the coast.

More below from PBS Newshour.

UPDATE – New York Times:

The relationship between hurricanes and climate change is not simple. Some things are known with growing certainty. Others, not so much.

The most recent draft of a sweeping climate science report pulled together by 13 federal agencies as part of the National Climate Assessment suggested that the science linking hurricanes to climate change was still emerging. Looking back through the history of storms, “the trend signal has not yet had time to rise above the background variability of natural processes,” the report states.

Temperatures have been rising, and theory and computer modeling suggest an increase in storm intensity in a warmer world, “and the models generally show an increase in the number of very intense” storms.

And while the science of attributing weather events to climate change is advancing, “studies of individual events will typically contain caveats,” the report stated.

Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University and an author of the report, said even if global warming does not change the number of storms — and, she noted, there could even be fewer hurricanes over all — tropical storms and hurricanes do gain energy from warm water, so the unusually warm water that has accompanied climate change “can have a role in intensifying a storm that already exists.”

More moisture in the atmosphere, she said, means the amount and intensity of rain associated with hurricanes and other storms is growing. While people might think of high winds and storm surge as the risks of hurricanes, she said, “freshwater flooding is potentially a much greater problem than the storm surge.”

Hayhoe, others here.

 

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One Response to “Reposting: MIT’s Kerry Emanuel on Climate and Hurricanes”

  1. wpNSAlito Says:

    Weather Underground Cat6 weather nerd commentariat are going nuts over the rate of intensification and the total amount of rain expected if Harvey stalls.


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