?but that ones that DO occur will be more powerful – A surprising study shows that in the future, when the world is warmer, there will be fewer hurricanes like the terrible cyclone that devastated Myanmar?NOT more. This is because earth is heating up with such unexpected speed that the heat is reaching the stratosphere far faster than expected.

This means that there will be less of a temperature difference between the lower and upper atmosphere, and it is this difference that creates storms. Unfortunately, it is also what drives the jet streams, which will become sluggish and then stop if the heating continues. Without jet streams to clear the air, many large cities will quickly become unlivable.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says its findings o not support the idea that climate change is causing an increase in the number of hurricanes and tropical storms. In BBC News, Mark Kinver quotes NOAA researcher Tom Knutson as saying, “There have been some studies published that have suggested that this is the case, but this modeling study does not support that idea. Rather, we actually simulate a reduction in hurricane frequency in the Atlantic.”

But although there may be fewer storms in the future, Knutson predicts that the ones that do occur will be more powerful. Kinver quotes him as saying, “The model is simulating increased intensity of the hurricanes that do occur, and also increased rainfall rates.”

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

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