June 1, 2018
Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1, and last year’s season was devastating for the U.S. Damage from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria cost the U.S. $267 billion. All three hurricanes went through a rapid intensification (RI) cycle, meaning the strongest winds within the storm increased by at least 30 knots (about 35 mph) in 24 hours. Harvey jumped from a Category 2 to a Category 4 just before its first landfall. Maria’s intensification was more dramatic, going from a Category 1 to a Category 5. This type of intensification is common in major hurricanes, as 79 percent of major tropical cyclones globally go through at least one cycle of rapid intensification.
Climate Central consulted with Phil Klotzbach of the Colorado State Tropical Meteorology Project to examine the historic number of Atlantic named storms that have undergone rapid intensification and to acknowledge limitations in detection. As a result, Climate Central used two starting points for this week’s analysis. The first is 1950, a few years after reconnaissance aircraft analyses began. The second is 1980, a year after regular satellite analyses were available. These data show the active period of the 1950s and 1960s, then a lull, followed by a bigger spike, with the influence of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) driving the lower values in the 1970s and 1980s. In a further analysis, one study earlier this year found an increase in rapid intensification from 1986-2015 tied to warming water east of the Caribbean Sea. While the study suggests the AMO is the primary influence, there has also been a net ocean warming on top of that cycle.
|Number of storms: 1950-2017||Number of storms: 1980-2017|
As the world continues to warm from the increase in greenhouse gases, the coming decades are likely to bring hurricanes that intensify even more rapidly. In an extreme example from today’s climate, one study indicated that 60 knots (70 mph) of intensification in 24 hours only happens about once a century. With no change in the rate of greenhouse gas emissions, that same extreme intensification rate could happen once every five to 10 years by 2100.
Rapid intensification, especially in the last 24 hours before landfall, leaves people less time to prepare for a hurricane’s impacts. And even people who know a storm is coming may not be ready for how much more intense the storm is when it arrives. For example, less than 24 hours before landfall in Dominica, Maria was forecast to hit the island as a low end Category 3 storm, and it actually made landfall as a Category 5. The science is advancing on the effects of climate change on hurricanes, and even if uncertainties remain, there are already things we do know. A warming climate intensifies the water cycle, so extreme rainfall is getting heavier. Global sea level rise means that storm surges will continue to be higher and extend farther inland, affecting many coastal populations, especially on the East and Gulf Coasts. Also, we are breaking many records in the Atlantic and globally.
Just last year, we saw several new records in the Atlantic basin:
A Rapid Intensification period (RI) is defined by the National Hurricane Center as an increase in the maximum sustained wind speed of at least 30 knots in 24 hours. Hurricane data were collected from the HURDAT2 dataset and intensity of storms was analyzed at synoptic times (00, 06, 12, 18 GMT). Only storms that had reached tropical storm status were considered for the rapid intensification analysis and subtropical systems were excluded. Because of limitations in detection (before satellite and aircraft reconnaissance), HURDAT2 data before 1950 were excluded in this analysis.
Source: Climate Central
A statement from Tom Gilbert, campaign director for New Jersey Conservation Foundation and ReThink Energy NJ On Thursday, May 23, New Jersey legislature passed a bipartisan bill that requires the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to set benchmarks for reducing emissions and adopt measures to ensure we meet them. May ...
An epidemic of chronic kidney disease that has killed tens of thousands of agricultural workers worldwide, is just one of many ailments poised to strike as a result of climate change, according to researchers.
Operational models for severe weather forecasting predicted Hurricane Harvey would become a Category 1 hurricane in 2017. Instead, it became a massive Category 4 just before it made landfall, tying Hurricane Katrina for the costliest hurricane on record.
Do climate shifts influence tornados over North America? New research found that Pacific and Atlantic ocean temperatures in April can influence large-scale weather patterns as well as the frequency of tornadoes over the Great Plains region.
A rare bright spot among dismal climate change predictions, new research findings show that some singing insects are likely to manage to reproduce even in the midst of potentially disruptive temperature changes.
Carrying signs and raising their voices in opposition, New Jersey landowners and citizens made the case that NJR should end its involvement in two pipeline projects that aren’t needed and that take the state in the wrong direction for meeting energy needs.
Source: The Irish Times - Harold Kingston, who runs a dairy farm in Courtmacsharry, Co Cork, with 160 cattle, is typical of the new generation of smart farmers, who have adjusted how they work in response to climate change.
With sea level rise and extreme weather threatening coastal communities, it's no longer a question of whether they are going to retreat; it's where, when and how. In a new paper, researchers advocate for a managed and planned retreat, not a short-term spur of the moment reaction to a massive ...
Source: Public News Service - Economists warn that the costs of climate change in the U.S. including from the health impacts of air pollution and natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires could top $350 billion annually in the next 10 years.
National or other emissions inventories of greenhouse gases that are used to develop strategies and track progress in terms of emissions reductions for climate mitigation contain a certain amount of uncertainty, which inevitably has an impact on the decisions they inform. Researchers contributed to several studies in a recently published ...
Explore our new wind and solar forecasting tool. How much electricity did solar and wind installations generate in your area in the past 24 hours? How much power will they produce today and tomorrow? The vast majority of Americans support expanding the production of solar and wind energy. But the average person ...
New research finds that a warming planet will also alter ocean waves along more than 50% of the world's coastlines. This research has significant implications for coastal flooding and erosion.
A bipartisan group of elected officials today joined conservation leaders and citizen landowners whose land will be seized by PennEast pipeline after a court ruling on Friday, in opposition to an infrastructure project that will serve no public benefit.
Researchers have developed a battery-free underwater communication system that uses near-zero power to transmit sensor data. The system could be used to monitor sea temperatures to study climate change and track marine life over long periods -- and even sample waters on distant planets.
Researchers have discovered that the numbers of plant species recorded by botanists have increased in locations where the climate has changed most rapidly, and especially in relatively cold parts of the world.
New research used the 'One Health' approach to study three bacterial species in the noses of young cattle and found the carriage of the bacteria was surprisingly different. The findings which combined ideas and methods from both animal and human health research could help prevent and control respiratory diseases.
The Earth's carbon cycle is crucial in controlling the greenhouse gas content of our atmosphere, and ultimately our climate.
Source: Infobae - El cambio climático es probablemente el mayor desafío ambiental y social que enfrenta la humanidad, y que fue generado por el ser humano. Es un problema global que se resuelve en forma global, en donde existen muchos matices que hacen difícil el consenso entre los países respecto ...
Injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) deep below the seabed could be an important strategy for mitigating climate change, according to some experts. However, scientists need a reliable way to monitor such sites for leakage of the greenhouse gas. Now, researchers have studied natural sources of CO2 release off the coast of ...
By Eilis O'Neill (KUOW/EarthFix). Maya Miller (Climate Central) contributed reporting This story was produced through a partnership with EarthFix, an environmental journalism collaboration of public media in the Pacific Northwest. It’s part of “Breathing Fire,” a series of research reports and journalism features by Climate Central. The work has ...
Having productive conversations about climate change isn't only challenging when dealing with skeptics, it can also be difficult for environmentalists, according to two new studies.
New Jersey's Attorney General recently continued his opposition to the proposed PennEast pipeline by asking a federal judge to reconsider whether the private company can seize state-owned lands.
A statement from Tom Gilbert, campaign director for New Jersey Conservation Foundation and ReThink Energy NJ March 25, 2019 — “Today, the Senate cast a welcome bipartisan vote for a healthier, safer, cleaner New Jersey. “These amendments will ensure that the state takes the steps necessary to reduce emissions as ...
Source: The Weather Channel - A majority of Americans say they believe climate change contributed to the severity of the hurricanes that devastated Florida, Texas and parts of the Caribbean over the past six weeks, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Wine lovers may appreciate a dry white, but a lack of steady rainfall brought on by a changing climate is threatening a centuries old winemaking tradition in Italy, according to an international team of scientists.
A new study finds that if less than 1% of agricultural land was converted to solar panels, it would be sufficient to fulfill global electric energy demand.
By Ayurella Horn-Muller, Climate Central This story was produced through a partnership between Climate Central, a non-advocacy science and news group, and WVLT, a CBS-affiliated television station in Knoxville. WVLT meteorologist Ben Cathey contributed local reporting. Click here for the Climate Central report, “POLLEN PROBLEMS: Climate Change, the Growing Season, ...
Scientists have discovered how diatoms -- a type of alga that produce 20 percent of the Earth's oxygen -- harness solar energy for photosynthesis. The discovery could help lead to more efficient and affordable algae-based biofuels and combat climate change from fossil fuel burning.
Researchers analyzed thousands of climate change articles from 45 countries and territories around the world to determine how they frame the issue, and differences were revealed mostly by the wealth of the nation.
Air pollution -- especially ozone air pollution which is increasing with climate change -- accelerates the progression of emphysema of the lung, according to a new study.
A single enzyme found in early single-cell life forms could explain why oxygen levels in the atmosphere remained low for two billion years during the Proterozoic eon, preventing life colonizing land.
Molecular interactions between gases and liquids underpin much of our lives, but difficulties in measuring gas-liquid collisions have so far prevented the fundamental exploration of these processes. Researchers hope their new technique of enabling the visualization of gas molecules bouncing off a liquid surface will help climate scientists improve their ...
Forests in the eastern United States that are structurally complex -- meaning the arrangement of vegetation is highly varied -- sequester more carbon, according to a new study. The study demonstrates for the first time that a forest's structural complexity is a better predictor of carbon sequestration potential than tree ...
One quarter of the world's tropical land could disappear by the end of the century unless meat and dairy consumption falls, researchers have warned.
“Today’s ruling favored private interests over the public good by letting PennEast — owned in part by New Jersey Resources and South Jersey Industries — seize nearly 150 private and preserved lands for its ill-advised pipeline before theState of New Jersey has decided whether it will even be approved.”
Researchers have mapped out how much waves are likely to change around the globe under climate change and found that if we can limit warming to 2 degrees, signals of wave climate change are likely to stay within the range of natural climate variability.
Over the recent decade, total human impacts to the world's oceans have, on average, nearly doubled and could double again in the next decade without adequate action.
When will we see significant changes in the ocean due to climate change? A new study finds that some changes are noticeable already, while others will take up to a century.
Land trusts are engaging in strategic conservation planning to build resilience and minimize vulnerabilities to impacts of climate change in different ways. Learn more.