Thongchai Thailand

CLIMATE CHANGE HURRICANES

Posted on: August 27, 2021

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in 2017, Bob Richling carries Iris Darden out of her flooded North Carolina home as her daughter-in-law, Pam Darden, gathers her belongings.

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF A MEDIA REPORT ON THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON HURRICANES

LINK TO SOURCE: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/21/weather/hurricane-henri-climate-change/index.html

PART-1: WHAT THE SOURCE ARTICLE SAYS:

How the climate crisis is changing hurricanes, CNN, August 21, 2021. Hurricanes — also called tropical cyclones or typhoons outside North America — are enormous heat engines of wind and rain that feed on warm ocean water and moist air. And scientists say the climate crisis is making them more potent. The proportion of high-intensity hurricanes has increased due to warmer global temperatures, according to a UN climate report released earlier this month. Scientists have also found that the storms are more likely to stall and lead to devastating rainfall and they last longer after making landfall. Interactive: Hurricanes are becoming more dangerous. Here’s why. “We have good confidence that greenhouse warming increases the maximum wind intensity that tropical cyclones can achieve,” Jim Kossin, senior scientist with the Climate Service, an organization that provides climate risk modeling and analytics to governments and businesses, told CNN. “This, in turn, allows for the strongest hurricanes — which are the ones that create the most risk by far — to become even stronger.” Scientists like Kossin have observed that, globally, a larger percentage of storms are reaching the highest categories — 3, 4 and 5 — in recent decades, a trend that’s expected to continue as global average temperature increases. They are also shifting closer to the poles, moving more slowly across land, growing wetter, and stalling in one location, Kossin found. “There’s evidence that tropical cyclones are more likely to stall,” said Kossin, naming hurricanes Harvey, in 2017, Florence, in 2018, and Dorian, in 2019, as examples. Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 60 inches of rain on some parts of Texas, causing about $125 billion in damages, according to the National Hurricane Center, and killing more than 100 people. Evacuees wade down a submerged section of Interstate 610 in Houston after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 caused widespread flooding. Evacuees wade down a submerged section of Interstate 610 in Houston after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 caused widespread flooding. “All of these were devastating to the places where they stalled,” he added. “The combination of slower movement and more rain falling out of them increases coastal and inland flooding risk tremendously.” A 2020 study published in the journal Nature also found storms are moving farther inland than they did five decades ago. Hurricanes, which are fueled by warm ocean water, typically weaken after moving over land, but in recent years they have been raging longer after landfall. The study concludes that warmer sea surface temperatures are leading to a “slower decay” by increasing moisture that a hurricane carries. And as storms like Henri makes landfall, torrential rain, damaging winds and storm surge become the most significant, often pernicious, threats. Storm surge, produced by wind blowing ocean water onshore is also expected to get worse over time due to stronger hurricane winds and climate change-fueled sea level rise, according to Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It’s a very dangerous phenomenon,” he said. “And it’s responsible for a lot of the loss of life in the storms.” For every fraction of a degree the planet warms, according to the UN report, rainfall rates from high-intensity storms will increase, as warmer air can hold more moisture. Earlier this week, what had been Tropical Storm Fred dumped more than 10 inches of rain on western North Carolina, according to the National Weather Service, which pushed the Pigeon River near Canton 9 feet above flood stage and killed at least four people. The science behind climate change attribution, which attempts to determine how much of a role it played in extreme weather, has made significant advances in the past decade, according to the UN climate report. Heat waves, flooding, drought and higher coastal storm surge are things that scientists are more confident now in linking to climate change. But there are still some questions around hurricane development that need answers, according to Emanuel. “Knowing where they develop and where they move is critical to understanding the threat,” Emanuel said. “So we have to take into account changing tracks, changing intensity, changing frequency, and changing genesis — and we’re confident about some of them and we’re not so confident about other elements.” In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in 2017, Bob Richling carries Iris Darden out of her flooded North Carolina home as her daughter-in-law, Pam Darden, gathers her belongings. In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in 2017, Bob Richling carries Iris Darden out of her flooded North Carolina home as her daughter-in-law, Pam Darden, gathers her belongings. Although it’s hard for scientists to tell whether odd storm tracks in the North Atlantic, like Henri’s, are becoming more frequent because of climate change, long-term changes along the coast in the Northeast will ultimately influence the storms that do make landfall there. “One thing that we might be able to speculate on is that the very unusually warm ocean along the US Northeast coast and Canada has a likely human fingerprint on it,” Kossin added. “These warm waters should allow Henri to maintain greater intensity as it moves northward.” Bob, in 1991, was the last hurricane that made landfall in the New England region. However, Irene, in 2011, and Sandy, in 2012, were destructive for the Northeast when they came ashore, even though they did not make landfall as hurricanes. Earth is warming faster than previously thought, scientists say, and the window is closing to avoid catastrophic outcomes Earth is warming faster than previously thought, scientists say, and the window is closing to avoid catastrophic outcomes The 2020 hurricane season tore through the alphabet so quickly that it was forced to use Greek letters as names from September through November. This year’s season is already above average: Atlantic storms beginning with the letter H typically occur toward the end of September, meaning Henri formed more than a month ahead of average. As the planet rapidly warms, extreme weather events will become more disastrous and possibly harder to predict. Unless climate and emergency management policies are fixed, Emanuel says infrastructure damage and potential loss of life will increase. “The forecasters’ nightmare is going to bed with a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico, headed toward a populated area, and waking up with a Category 4,” Emanuel said. “And as the climate warms, that becomes more and more likely.”

Evacuees wade down a submerged section of Interstate 610 in Houston after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 caused widespread flooding.

PART-2: RELATED POSTS ON TROPICAL CYCLONES: https://tambonthongchai.com/2021/01/30/list-of-posts-on-tropical-cyclones/

  1. TRENDS IN TROPICAL CYCLONE ACTIVITY: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/11/28/trends-in-tropical-cyclone-activity/
  2. TROPICAL CYCLONES AND SST: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/03/22/ace-sst/
  3. TROPICAL CYCLONES OF THE PRE-INDUSTRIAL ERA: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/04/04/1737/
  4. TROPICAL CYCLONES AND CLIMATE CHANGE 2019: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/08/01/tropical-cyclones-climate-change/
  5. TROPICAL CYCLONES AND CLIMATE CHANGE 2020: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/03/04/agwcyclones/
  6. A FAILED OBSESSION WITH TROPICAL CYCLONES: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/09/20/a-failed-obsession-with-tropical-cyclones/
  7. THE HURRICANE OBSESSION OF CLIMATE SCIENCE: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/11/14/hurricane-obsession/
  8. CLIMATE CHANGE AND HURRICANES: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/09/18/climate-change-hurricanes/
  9. TOTAL HURRICANE ENERGY AND FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/09/15/emissions-hurricanes/
  10. WHAT TOM KNUTSON SAYS: “Tropical cyclones and climate change.” Nature geoscience 3.3 (2010): 157-163. In the paper, Tom Knutson spells out exactly what climate science claims in terms of the impact of AGW climate change on tropical cyclones with climate model predictions of the effect of rising SST on tropical cyclones. His main points are as follows: (1) Globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones will rise as AGW increases SST. Models predict globally averaged intensity increase of 2% to 11% by 2100. (2). Models predict falling globally averaged frequency of tropical cyclones with frequency decreasing 6%-34% by 2100. (3). The globally averaged frequency of “most intense tropical cyclones” should increase as a result of AGW. The intensity of tropical cyclones is measured as the ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy). (4). Models predict increase in precipitation within a 100 km radius of the storm center. A precipitation rise of 20% is projected for the year 2100. (5) Extremely high variance in tropical cyclone data at an annual time scale suggests longer, perhaps a decadal time scale which in turn greatly reduces statistical power. (6) Model projections for individual cyclone basins show large differences and conflicting results. Thus, no testable implication can be derived for studies of individual basins. NOTE: CO-AUTHORS INCLUDE EMANUEL, KOSSIN,
An aerial view of damage in the Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian on September 5, 2019.

PART-3: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

THE ESSENCE OF THE CLIMATE SCIENCE POSITION FOUND IN THE KNUTSON ETAL 2010 PAPER IS THAT THE IMPACT OF AGW ON TROPICAL CYCLONES MUST BE MEASURED AS THE ACE FOR ALL TROPICAL CYCLONES WORLDWIDE IN ALL SIX CYCLONE BASINS VIZ: NORTH ATLANTIC, SOUTH ATLANTIC, WEST PACIFIC, NORTH INDIAN, SOUTH INDIAN, SOUTH PACIFIC. A FUTHER HARD REQUIREMENT IS THAT DUE TO VERY LARGE DECADAL VARIABILITY, A STUDY PERIOD WITH A LONG TIME SPAN OF MORE THAN 40 YEARS IS NEEDED TO OVERCOME THE LARGE VARIANCE IN THE DATA.

SPECIFICALLY, DATA FOR A SINGLE CYCLONE SEASON IN A SINGLE CYCLONE BASIN DOES NOT CONTAIN INFORMATION ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING.

THE STUDY PRESENTED ABOVE BY KOSSIN, EMANUEL, AND CNN DO NOT MEET THESE REQUIREMENTS AND WE THEREFORE CONCLUDE THAT THEIR FIINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE IMPACT OF GLOBAL WARMING ON TROPICAL CYCLONES ARE NOT CREDIBLE. QED.

TOM KNUTSON

IMAGES FROM THE RELATED POST ON TRENDS IN TROPICAL CYCLONE ACTIVITY LISTED ABOVE

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  • David: thank you very much for that information.......something I was unaware of....very interesting.....
  • Ruben Leon: 1st you write your opinion and then you search for other opinions to support your opinion and call your opinion science. I'm as sure that the orbit
  • Ruben Leon: People who believe CO2 is causing climate change are either ignorant of basic science or they don't believe in gravity. CO2 is 10% heavier than Cal
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