The south central Atlantic has warmed this spring to anunprecendented degree, while temperatures in thestratosphere have continued to plummet, and air pressures atsea level are unusually low. These effects are a directresult of the ongoing global warming process, in whichexcessive carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere keeheat pressed close to the surface of the planet and preventit from radiating out into space.
The heating the the Atlantic, however, is much greater thanexpected, and scientists are predicting that the 2005hurricane season could be even worse than 2004.
Drs. William Gray and Philip J. Klotzbach presentedcalculations at the 19th Annual Florida Governor's HurricaneConferencea that indicate that there is a 73% chance that amajor hurricane will strike the U.S. coast between June 1and November 30. The chance that Florida will be struck is53% and that a hurricane will strike the Gulf of Mexico is 41%.
Dr. Gray, a professor at Colorado State University'sdepartment of atmospheric science, issues annual hurricanepredictions that are considered the most accurate in the world.
Because of changes in sea salinity and the atmosphericsituation, Dr. Gray predicted that high Atlantic stormfrequency and intensity would continue at least for anothertwenty years.
Last year, his predictions and warnings were extremelyaccurate. "We're going to see hurricane damage like you'venever seen it," he said in April of 2004. His 2004 forecast,released in May, called for 50% more storms than in atypical season, with eight hurricanes, three of them powerful.
As his response to the problem, Governor Jeb Bush of Floridastated at the conference that a new initiative to forceproperty insurers to provide policies "in English" shouldmake clearer to residents what is and is not covered bytheir homeowners insurance.
Last year, an unprecedented four consecutive hurricanescaused damage estimated at $42 billion.
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