Here's why - Hurricanes in the Atlantic are now more frequent than at any time in the last thousand years. The frequency of intense hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean over the last 1,500 years has been closely linked to long-term changes in the El Nino and global warming, both of which affect sea surface temperature.
Climate researcher Jonathan Woodruff says that establishing the link between hurricane variability and climate change over these longer timescales "is a new viewpoint for us. There's a randomness to hurricanes. But the fact that we can see trends that rise above that randomness is significant and a bit of a surprise. Our work indicates that hurricane activity has responded noticeably to past climate shifts. When considering future climate change over the next century, our results indicate that measurable changes in hurricane activity could occur, rising above the noise in the system."
Weather researcher Michael Mann as saying that scientists now think that the hurricane peak 1,000 years ago and the current high activity are not produced by identical sets of circumstances. In BBC News, Richard Black quotes quotes Mann as saying, "Even though the levels of activity are similar (between 1,000 years ago and now), the factors behind that are different.
"The implication is that if everything else is equal, and we don't know that about El Nino, then warming of the tropical Atlantic should lead to increasing levels of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity."
What does this mean for us? More big winds are on the way!Can we learn any lessons (about the weather or about anything else) from the past? We can't even see what's right in front of our faces in the PRESENT! To learn more, click here and here.
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