27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology


Impacts of Climate Change on Tropical Storms (Hurricanes)

Rouzbeh Nazari, NOAA-CREST, College (CCNY) at the City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY; and S. Mahani and R. Khanbilvardi

Each year hurricanes kill approximately 50 to 100 people from Texas to Maine. The average annual impact of Hurricane damages in the continental United States from 1990 to 2004 was about $17 billion and in 2005 Katrina alone cost over $200 billion not including over 1300 live lost. The number, intensity and amount of damage caused by hurricanes over the last two years, fifteen years and century clearly demonstrate that hurricanes are becoming stronger and more frequent. Some researchers believe this trend is caused by a 40-50 year cycle. However, the documented rise in SST caused by global warming is large enough to cause this increased hurricane activity. The thermal energy of warm water, which partly powers a hurricane, is known as tropical cyclone heat potential (TCHP). Oceanic features, such as warm core rings, eddies, and the Gulf Stream, represent a source of enhanced heat fluxes to the atmosphere that may cause the strengthening of tropical cyclones, such as hurricanes. This study was initiated by examining the relationships between the SST, sea surface height (SSH) and air temperature anomalies with the various phases of development of a hurricane. Preliminary analysis demonstrated that there is correlation between global warming and the occurrence of hurricanes because of the anticipated enhancement of energy available to the storms due to higher sea surface temperatures. The goal is to characterize and specify significant factors on tropical storms to improve the capability of predicting a hurricane and its damages to human lives and the economy. This information can be used to advise strategies for warning and also minimizing the magnitude of hurricane destruction, damages, and life losses.

Poster Session 5, Tropical Cyclone Modeling and Prediction
Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 1:30 PM-5:00 PM, Monterey Grand Ballroom

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