Joe Romm has pointed out, in order of their scientific certainty, how global
warming makes storms more destructive:
sea level rise makes storm surges
higher sea surface temperatures
(SSTs) increase atmospheric water vapor leading to more rainfall and flooding,
increased water vapor and higher
ocean temperatures are likely to make storms more intense and bigger, and
warming extends the range of
increased SSTs, which can help sustain the strength of a hurricane as it steers
on a northerly track into cooler water.
Increased sea surface temperature is
the common denominator.
Typhoon Haiyan was one of the strongest ocean storms ever
recorded. It devastated large portions of the Philippines in November 2013 and
killed at least 6,300 people. It set records for the strongest storm ever to
strike land and for the highest sustained wind speed over one minute, hitting
315 kilometers per hour.
New analysis of what controls the peak intensity of
typhoons, cyclones or hurricanes, depending on where you live, suggests these
storms could get stronger and more frequent as a result of climate change.
NASA and NOAA-funded study, led by researchers at
Scripps Institution of
Oceanography, projects the intensity of typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean to
increase as much as 14 percent – nearly equivalent to an increase of one
category – by century’s end even under a moderate future scenario of greenhouse
gas emissions. It says that by then surface ocean temperatures will be more than
1.6oC higher than the average between1955-2005 and it is this heat that drives
In the past, disaster experts have used analyzed storm
surges and high rainfall separately to define flood zones and devise
preparedness plans. A new study, published in the journal
Nature Climate Change, shows that this method underestimates the risk of
storm surges and high rainfall occurring at the same time. The number of these
so-called compound events has increased over the past 100 years the researchers
Energy production that moves the
heat that drives these storms to a benign location mitigates the problems of storm surge.