Studies done in the recent past connect the increase in number of hurricanes and their severity to rapidly increasing global warming. Also suggesting that many more are yet to come. Scientists say that logic suggests a clear link between Typhoon Haiyan and a warming world. Stormsreceive their energy from warming oceans and global warming should therefore make Super storms. Hence, one can expect Hurricanes and Typhoons like Haiyan to become more frequent in the future.
Scientists have grown increasingly confident that it makes perfect sense to see Hurricanes as heralds of global warming. Global warming, they believe caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, including those emitted by human activities have raised and will continue to raise the risk of severe weather phenomenon’s.
“India is struck by more than one cyclone in a year, thanks to weather models and data sets, now meteorologists can simulate storms under past, present and future conditions, helping to recreate the recent uptick in storms and project what might happen next”, says Meteorologist Mahesh Palawat at Skymet Weather.
Though it's premature to conclude there are significant long-term trends present, simply due to a lack of enough long-term data, said Thomas R. Knutson, a research meteorologist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The number of Atlantic hurricanes that form each year has doubled over the past century. The increase occurred in two major steps of about 50% each, one in the 1930s and the second since 1995.
The study at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, states that the proportion of major hurricanes to less intense hurricanes has sharply increased in recent years. "And it hasn't been a steady, gradual increase," said Greg Holland, a scientist from the Research Center. Greg also believes that while the storm severity seems to fluctuate in a natural cycle, their frequency is definitely on the rise.
But some beg to differ. According to a recent special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): “The average tropical cyclone maximum wind speed is likely to increase, but the global frequency of tropical cyclones is likely to decrease or remain unchanged.”
Because of the random nature of weather, no single event can be attributed to climate change. However, with new research methods and better quality data, scientists are increasingly able to connect the dots between extreme weather phenomenon and global warming.
Photo by Thealantic.