Saturday, September 17, 2005

Intense hurricanes linked to global warming

I guess I will be covering global warming from time to time because this trend is getting front and center more and more.

A new study from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the National Center for Atmospheric Research says the number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes worldwide has nearly doubled over the past 35 years, even though the total number of hurricanes has dropped since the 1990s. The shift occurred as global sea surface temperatures have increased over the same period,the scientists say.

This research appears this week in Science.

The only region that is experiencing more hurricanes overall is the North Atlantic, say the researchers, where they have become more numerous and longer-lasting, especially since 1995. The North Atlantic has averaged eight to nine hurricanes per year in the last decade, compared to the six to seven per year before the increase. Category 4 and 5 hurricanes in the North Atlantic have increased at an even faster clip: from 16 in the period of 1975-89 to 25 in the period of 1990-2004, a rise of 56 percent.

Find more about this troubling trend at the Georgia Tech hurricane research web site.

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