Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Landfalling Typhoons Have Become More Intense

Super Typhoon Haiyan as it headed toward landfall in the Philippines, where it caused enormous destruction. (Credit: NASA) Click to Enlarge.
In the Northwest Pacific, already a hotspot for tropical cyclones, the storms that strike East and Southeast Asia have been intensifying more than those that stay out at sea over the last four decades, a new study finds.

The proportion of landfalling storms that reach Category 4 or 5 strength — the storms that wreak the most damage, as recent examples like 2013’s devastating Super Typhoon Haiyan show — has doubled and even tripled in some areas of the basin, researchers found.  The increases seem to be the result of faster intensification linked to warmer ocean waters in coastal areas.

The findings, detailed Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience, are in line with the broader increase in the most intense tropical cyclones expected with rising global temperatures, though these trends have not yet specifically been linked to human-caused climate change.

‘Little Doubt’ Typhoons Intensifying
The Northwest Pacific normally sees the most tropical cyclone activity of any ocean basin because of the deep well of ocean heat available to fuel typhoons, as such storms are called there.

The new work is an outgrowth of a previous study by the same researchers that found that typhoon intensity had increased basin-wide since the late 1970s and suggested that another 14 percent increase in intensity could be expected by the end of the century, as the ocean takes up most of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gases.
“The results leave little doubt that there are more high intensity events affecting Southeast Asia and China, and these are also intensifying more rapidly,” MIT’s Kerry Emanuel, who has been studying the links between hurricanes and climate change for more than a decade, said in an email.  Emanuel provided some material to the researchers, but was not otherwise involved with the study.

Read more at Landfalling Typhoons Have Become More Intense

No comments:

Post a Comment