Brace Yourself! Hurricanes Are Coming
New research shows increasing hurricane risk along the Northeastern coast of the USA in coming years due to shifting weather patterns.
More frequent and more powerful hurricanes in the future are projected to hammer this area, according to new research led by Durham University, UK.
What places are at risk?
The researchers warned that New York and other major cities along the Northeast coast of the USA are under increased threat from these severe storms. They say these areas need to be ready for potential impact.
The findings are published in the journal Scientific Reports and funded by the European Research Council; the National Science Foundation; the Alphawood Foundation; the Schweizer National Fund, Sinergia; and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research.
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The researchers blamed increasing carbon dioxide emissions for the change in hurricane tracks and expanding atmospheric circulation belts. Thus, with these new changes, hurricanes now are gradually moving northwards from the western Caribbean towards northern North America over the past few hundred years.
In addition, rising amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide expanded the Hadley cell – a pattern of circulating air in the Earth’s tropical belt – pushing hurricane tracks further north, away from the western Caribbean towards the Northeastern USA.
The study’s lead author, Dr Lisa Baldini, in the Department of Geography, Durham University, said: “Our research shows that the hurricane risk to the Northeastern coast of the United States is increasing as hurricanes track further north.”
Baldini warned, “Since the 19th Century, this shift was largely driven by man-made emissions and if these emissions continue as expected, this will result in more frequent and powerful storms affecting the financial and population centres of the Northeastern United States.”
With this increasing risk of hurricane activity in the Northeastern coast of the United States, the researchers stressed that preparedness and plans must be put in place to protect against the effects of destructive storms which could potentially occur more often in the future.