Climate Change and Ferocious Cyclones

by | Jul 20, 2023 | Climate Crisis, Environmental News

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The relationship between climate change and ferocious cyclones has recently attracted much attention. But the explanation for this relationship is not that simple. Let us first understand what a cyclone is.

According to the strength of the winds, tropical cyclones are divided into three categories: tropical depressions, tropical storms, and major cyclones. In the Indian Ocean and South Pacific, cyclones are referred to as cyclones; in the North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, as hurricanes; and in the Northwest Pacific, it is known as typhoons.

Climate Change and Ferocious Cyclones

Credit : FrankRamspott

How Does A Cyclone Form?

Tropical cyclone creation is a fundamental science that happens if a little air disturbance occurs near a tropical ocean and the water temperature is warm enough. The favorable atmospheric conditions, moisture, and uniform winds lead to the formation of the tropical system. It typically goes through several stages of development. Here is a general overview of how a cyclone forms:

  • Initial Disturbance: A cyclone usually begins as a tropical disturbance, which is an area of unsettled weather characterized by low atmospheric pressure. These disturbances often form near the equator over warm ocean waters, where the conditions are favorable for cyclone development.
  • Tropical Depression: As the disturbance gains strength and the winds circulate around a center of low pressure, it can develop into a tropical depression. This is characterized by sustained wind speeds of up to 38 miles per hour (62 kilometers per hour).
  • Tropical Storm: If the tropical depression continues to intensify and reaches sustained wind speeds between 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 to 118 kilometers per hour), it is classified as a tropical storm. At this point, the storm is given a name.
  • Tropical Cyclone/Hurricane/Typhoon: If the tropical storm continues to strengthen and the maximum sustained winds exceed 74 miles per hour (119 kilometers per hour), it becomes a tropical cyclone, hurricane, or typhoon, depending on the region in which it forms. The term used depends on the location of the storm: “hurricane” is used in the Atlantic and northeastern Pacific Ocean, “typhoon” in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, and “tropical cyclone” in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific.

Several conditions contribute to the formation and intensification of a cyclone. Warm ocean temperatures (at least 80°F or 27°C) provide the energy needed to fuel the storm. Additionally, the presence of moist air, low vertical wind shear (a change in wind direction and speed with height), and a pre-existing disturbance or disturbance trigger, such as a tropical wave, can enhance cyclone development.

It’s important to note that this is a simplified explanation of cyclone formation, and the process can be influenced by various complex atmospheric and oceanic factors.

Relation Between Climate Change and Ferocious Cyclones

Human-caused climate change affects tropical cyclones in three main ways: by warming the air and seas and by causing sea levels to rise. Generally speaking, the likelihood of tropical cyclones developing increases with increasing ocean temperature since it makes more heat energy accessible. So it seems sensible to believe that the risk of tropical storm activity rises as people continue to generate greenhouse gases that warm the globe.

It is well established that climate change raises the maximum strength of a cyclone and rainfall rates. The average sea level and storm surge both rise as a result. However, it is still unknown how climate change may affect the overall number of cyclones.

According to scientists, a changing climate will result in higher wind speeds and more Category 4 and 5 cyclones. Stronger storms produce larger storm surges, and rising temperatures raise the sea level, eventually resulting in higher water levels and stronger storm surges.

According to climatologists and weather specialists, climate change does not cause a cyclone; rather, it increases its frequency, intensity, and destructiveness. Because the areas where tropical seawater conditions exist are growing due to global warming. Scientists also anticipate seeing a cyclone in locations where they have never occurred before.

Will Cyclones Become More Intense In The Future?

In general, the assumption is accurate, but the situation is a little more difficult in the actual world. According to popular knowledge, storm frequency will either drop or remain steady while storm severity will grow.

There are many unknowns about how a tropical cyclone may evolve in the future. Multiple lines of evidence, however, suggest that we may see more tropical cyclones in the mid-latitudes, even if the total frequency of these does not rise. It is currently debatable.

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