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Global warming may spur wind shear, sap hurricanes

Reuters – April 17, 2007

To all of those that think we have this climate modeling stuff figured out, I present this article.  Not more than a few weeks ago there were scientists saying that they had linked global warming to an increase in hurricane activity.  Now, a fairly reputable scientists have published in a reputable science journal that the opposite may be true. 

If new models show that different logical conclusions may occur, doesn’t it call into question all of the models that are predicting climate change at a catastrophic scale?  I am not stating the global warming is fact or fiction.  I am simply stating that we need a massive effort to truly understand our climate before we enact extremely expensive controls and standards.

Global warming could increase a climate phenomenon known as wind shear that inhibits Atlantic hurricanes, a potentially positive result of climate change, according to new research released on Tuesday. The study, to be published on Wednesday in Geophysical Research Letters, found that climate model simulations show a “robust increase” in wind shear in the tropical Atlantic during the 21st century from global warming.  The study, by scientists at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lab in Princeton, New Jersey

Wind shear, a difference in wind speed or direction at different altitudes, tends to tear apart tropical cyclones, preventing nascent ones from growing and already-formed hurricanes from becoming the monster storms that cause the most damage.

The effect of global warming on wind shear is similar to the impact of El Nino, …. sudden development of El Nino was credited for an unexpectedly mild Atlantic season last year, when only 10 storms formed.

In recent years some scientists have suggested that human-induced greenhouse warming may be increasing the intensity of Atlantic hurricanes by heating up the sea water from which they draw their energy.  In February a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it was “more likely than not” that humans contribute to a trend of increasingly intense hurricanes.

Brian Soden, a co-author of the report: “The environmental changes found in the study do not suggest a big increase in tropical Atlantic hurricane activity during the 21st century.”

Hurricane researchers believe the Atlantic-Caribbean hurricane zone is in a period of heightened activity that began around 1995 and could last between 25 and 40 years.

Read the news story here.

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