An important reason why hurricanes are becoming more severe due to climate change is additional heavy rainfall. Hurricane Harvey, which hit Houston in 2017, was one of the most extreme examples of this. During the storm, 15 inches of rain fell in parts of Texas.
But Hurricane Ida revealed another dangerous characteristic of hurricanes affected by climate change: rapid intensification. This occurs when the wind speed increases during a hurricane in less than 24 hours at a speed of at least 55 kilometers per hour. In Ida, the process was much faster: winds increased by about 100 kilometers per hour per day, from a Category 1 storm to a Category 4 storm, with a maximum wind speed of 240 kilometers per hour.
Ida moved relatively quickly, but scientists expect hurricanes to generally move across the land in the future, causing more precipitation in a particular location, resulting in severe flooding. This is exactly what Hurricane Harvey did to Houston in 2020. Hurricane Sally remained over Alabama. Researchers predict that in the future, violent, rainy, and slow hurricanes will do more damage. The continuous rise in sea level will also lead to more and more deadly storms.
just the beginning
Scientists are still researching how climate change affects winter weather and are increasingly convinced that a warming Arctic is leading to more violent winter storms.
A recently published study identified a possible link between the sudden cold weather in Texas last September and climate change. This may be due to the fact that the barrier between cold Arctic air and warm tropical air is becoming more unstable, and that the polar vortex (a current of air in the stratosphere) is becoming more likely to cause violent storms in the Arctic winter.
As weather causes havoc around the world, the general public may view climate change differently.
A recent update of a national survey in America found that 70 percent of Americans surveyed believe that climate change affects the weather. During the 14 years of the survey, belief in climate change was at an all-time high: 76 percent of Americans believe it is happening, and 52 percent think they feel the impact personally.
Edward Maybach, a climate change communications expert from George Mason University, participated in the survey. Tell by email:
“The harsh reality is that most American societies will certainly experience more and more severe weather events in the coming decades.”
This article was originally published in English at nationalgeographic.com
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