Study: Global Warming Making Hurricanes Stronger
By Associated Press
posted: 31 July 2005
06:29 pm ET
Is global warming making hurricanes more ferocious? New research suggests the answer is yes. Scientists call the findings both surprising and "alarming'' because they suggest global warming is influencing storms now -- rather than in the distant future.
However, the research doesn't suggest global warming is generating more hurricanes and typhoons.
The analysis by climatologist Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows for the first time that major storms spinning in both the Atlantic and the Pacific since the 1970s have increased in duration and intensity by about 50 percent.
These trends are closely linked to increases in the average temperatures of the ocean surface and also correspond to increases in global average atmospheric temperatures during the same period.
"When I look at these results at face value, they are rather alarming,'' said research meteorologist Tom Knutson. "These are very big changes.''
THE OTHER SIDE:
Around the world, compassion and shock at the damage wrought by Katrina
11:26 AM EDT Sep 01
DANICA KIRKA Canadian Press
"Nature proved that no matter how rich and economically developed you are, you can't fight it," says Danut Afasei, a local official in Romania's Harghita county, where flooding killed 13 people last week.
Throughout Europe, concerned citizens lamented the loss of life and the damage caused to New Orleans, often described as one of North America's most "European" cities.
The sympathy was muted in some corners by a sense that the United States reaped what it sowed, since the country is seen as the main contributor to global warming.
Joern Ehlers, a spokesman for World Wildlife Fund Germany, said global warming had increased the intensity of hurricanes.
"The Americans have a big impact on the greenhouse effect," Ehlers said.
But Harlan Watson, the U.S. envoy for negotiations on climate change, denied any link between global warming and the strength of storms. "Our scientists are telling us right now that there's not a linkage," he said in Geneva.
Do you ever wonder why the Bush Administration flatly refuses to even consider that there might be a link between fossil fuel consumption and global warming? I think we all know the answer to that one...