Reader: Global warming may cause more powerful hurricanes
Letter to the editor
There are six conditions known to favor the formation of hurricanes:
—Ocean water temperature is 80 F or more to a depth of about 170 feet.
—The atmospheric temperature is warm close to the ocean and cool high above the ocean.
—Humidity is high.
—There is no wind to oppose the formation of a circular storm (cyclone).
—The location is at least 300 miles away from the equator.
—There is a tropical storm in which hurricanes form.
If all six factors are present, the probably of a hurricane is high.
The climate of earth is warming because of increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide in our atmosphere. Temperatures of the atmosphere and the ocean are increasing.
Hurricanes derive energy from warm water. The heat from warm water powers the winds of the hurricane. Hurricanes extract heat from the ocean and convert it into mechanical wind power and then return cooler water as rain. Heat from warm ocean water is the power source for hurricanes. This is why hurricane season is in August and September in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico: because that is when that ocean water is the warmest. This is also why warmer ocean water may cause more powerful hurricanes like Irma, Harvey, and Maria.
Anyone can obtain scientific information about climate change from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences at nap.edu. Their books are written by scientists who are considered to be experts on climate change by the National Academy. Many books are available as free PDF downloads. If you wish to take action to reduce climate change and its consequences, you might examine the Citizen’s Climate Lobby website at citizensclimatelobby.org.
Dr. Bruce Krawisz