As a result, the 2016 hurricane season has “already generated the most accumulated cyclone energy in the Atlantic in October since 2005” (the year of Katrina, Rita, and Wilma).
Hurricane Matthew is super strong — because of climate change
“Category 4 and 5 hurricanes could double or triple in the coming decades,” expert warns.
Hurricanes “extract heat energy from the ocean to convert it to the power of wind, and the warmer the ocean is, the stronger a hurricane can get if all other conditions that it needs to exist are present,” meteorologist and former hurricane hunter Jeff Masters explained last month on Living on Earth. “So, scientists are confident that as we continue to heat up the oceans, we’re going to see more of these high-end perfect storms.”
LATEST FROM SE FLORIDA: parts could be uninhabitable for months -- Melbourne office of National Weather Service, as of early Friday morning --As of 2 AM storm bypassed SE coast, but it could hit Central coast of the state
Let’s look at some of the latest climate science. One 2013 paper found that “since 1975 there has been a substantial and observable regional and global increase in the proportion of Category 4–5 hurricanes of 25–30 percent per °C of anthropogenic global warming.” Another 2013 paper concluded that “dramatic changes in the frequency distribution of lifetime maximum intensity (LMI) have occurred in the North Atlantic,” and the stronger hurricanes “have become more intense.”
In other words, warming oceans create stronger hurricanes, like the one we’re seeing now.
Matthew spun up from a tropical storm to a Category 5 superstorm in an alarming 36 hours. The latest research says this is also a result of global warming. “Storms are intensifying at a much more rapid pace than they used to 25 years back,” explained the author of a 2012 study. “They are getting stronger more quickly and also [to a] higher category. The intensity as well as the rate of intensity is increasing.”
A 2015 study, “A climatological study of the effect of sea-surface temperature on North Atlantic hurricane intensification,” found a statistically significant relationship between higher intensification values and higher sea surface temperature [SST] values. “On average, mean intensification increases by 16 percent for every 1°C increase in mean SST.”
This warming-driven trend toward more rapid intensification [RI] is very worrisome. “The vast majority (79 percent) of major storms are RI storms,” and “the most intense storms are those that undergo RI,” according to a 2016 study. The latest storm tracks for superstorm Matthew have it threatening the southeast coast.
See the conclusion of the article at Think Progress.
Scientist Speaks out, amidst media blackout"Amid Media Blackout over Climate Change Links to Hurricane Matthew, Top Scientist Speaks Out" -- Democracy Now