25 Sep
Are Hurricanes Becoming More Dangerous? Are Hurricanes Becoming More Dangerous?

Are Hurricanes Becoming More Dangerous?

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A slew of data would seem to indicate that they are.

According to a report from Popular Science, scientists have not always been entirely sure whether climate change has worsened major weather events such as cyclones and hurricanes. Recently, though, scientists seem certain that global warming has indeed intensified the characteristics of storms.

PopSci's report includes a number of charts to help readers better visualize the data. Among the findings:

  • Rainfall has increased dramatically over the last few decades. By 2010, rainfall had increased by nearly 50 percent. Ten years earlier, that figure stood at roughly 35 percent, and as of 1990, the number nearly reached 30 percent.
  • Hurricane Harvey, which deluged the Houston area last year, killed 82 people and inflicted some $180 billion in damage, largely because of the effects of rainfall. Researchers guessed that rising temperatures upped the storm's rainfall totals by approximately 38 percent, dumping 34 trillion gallons of water on the region.
  • Wind speeds of hurricanes in the North Atlantic are increasing. While there's considerable variance from one year to another, PopSci's graph shows a "climbing mountain" sort of pattern indicating that the average hurricane speed has been gradually getting stronger for about the last 35 years.
  • The number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes has also increased worldwide as compared from 1979 to 1989 and 1990 to 2004. The South Indian Ocean area, in particular, has seen more than a 100% increase when comparing the two periods.
  • Storms are also costing people more when they rebuild and recover. There were three billion-dollar disasters in 1980, for instance, while the years 2010 and 2017 saw 16 each. In 1999, there were nine such events.
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Read 932 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 September 2018 07:26
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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