Sunday, September 04, 2005

The average duration of hurricanes has increased by 60% since 1949

On 4 September 2005, the Sunday herald's Environment Editor Rob Edwards, told us the following:

1. Kerry Emanual, a professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, in a paper in the science journal Nature, showed that the peak wind speed of hurricanes in the North Atlantic and North Pacific had increased by 50% since 1949.

Over the same period, the average duration of the hurricanes had increased by 60%.

Emanual suggested this was clearly linked to a rise in the average temperature at the surface of tropical oceans.

2. In July, the Benfield Hazard Research Centre at University College, London predicted that the Atlantic would be twice as stormy as usual. It forecast 15 tropical storms in the Atlantic basin including nine hurricanes, four of which would be very violent. Chillingly, the centre also predicted that two of the hurricanes would hit the US coastline.


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