Global Warming and Hurricanes
Tropical cyclones, also known as hurricanes in the
Atlantic and typhoons in the Pacific, are enormous heat engines fueled by warm
ocean waters. Rising sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and ocean subsurface
temperatures due to global warming are likely to have an effect on the overall
intensity of hurricanes and typhoons. The picture is complicated by wind shear
and other atmospheric phenomena which affect the size, development and impact of
specific storms. However, the longterm trend is for rising sea surface
temperatures, which pump additional heat and water into the lower atmosphere.
The heat energy converts to kinetic energy, or wind, and the additional water
comes out as increased rainfall. Shallow waters like the Gulf of Mexico warm
faster than the deep ocean, and thus contribute additional heat and moisture to
storms passing over them.
Two recent papers on a possible link between global warming and
stronger hurricanes are:
Kerry Emanuel (2005) Increasing
destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years Nature
P.J. Webster et al. (2005) Changes in
Tropical Cyclone Number, Duration, and Intensity in a Warming Environment
Future Global Warming
human-made interference with climate: A GISS modelE study
Hansen of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and Columbia
University Earth Institute and colleagues look at the question of how rapidly
climate change caused by global warming becomes dangerous, and by extension the
amount of time left to develop technologies to avoid the worst effects. Their
concern is that positive feedbacks (i.e. global warming activates phenomena such
as methane release, which cause more warming) may make the threshold of
dangerous climate interference occur much sooner than previously thought. Other
effects not yet adequately studied, such as ice sheet melting, could lead to
future sea level rise beyond humanity's control.
IPCC Global Warming Reports
Get recent 2007 reports on global warming from the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC). These include four parts on: "The Physical
Science Basis", "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability", "Mitigation of Climate
Change" and "The Synthesis Report". Produced by 2500+ scientific expert
reviewers, and 1250+ authors from 130+ countries.
Current Global Warming
Ross Gelbspan reports on current developments in global
warming at The Heat is
gives a concise and current picture of the effects of global warming
now and the politics of climate change in "Field Notes from a
Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change", 2007.
The 2006 average annual temperature for the contiguous U.S. was
the warmest on record. U.S. and global annual temperatures are now approximately
1.0°F warmer than at the start of the 20th century, and the rate of warming has
accelerated over the past 30 years, increasing globally since the mid-1970's at
a rate approximately three times faster than the century-scale trend.
The highest global surface temperature in more than a century of
instrumental data was recorded in the 2005 calendar year by the NASA Goddard
Institute for Space Studies (GISS). 2005 was in a dead heat with 1998, the
warmest previous year.
Extremes from NCDC
Recent data on hurricanes, typhoons, severe storms,
droughts and flooding around the globe.
Carbon Emissions and Global
680 million vehicles today, more to come. Motor vehicles could
add 2 gigatonnes of carbon to the atmosphere each year within 20 years. Ethanol
from biomass has the potential to reduce carbon emissions from the
transportation sector by reducing gasoline consumption. Summary of Global Warming and the Need
for Liquid Fuels from Biomass, BioEnergy '98, 1998.
Tens of terawatts (1 TW = 1 trillion watts) of
carbon-emission-free primary power will be required by 2050 to stabilize
atmospheric carbon dioxide content. For comparison, the power provided by all
combined energy sources today is 10 TW. A massive technical and commercial
effort will be required to meet this challenge. Summary of Energy implications of
future stabilization of atmospheric CO2 content, Nature 395: 881-884,
Politics and History of Global
The Heat is On: The High Stakes Battle
Over Earth's Threatened Climate
Gelbspan, 1997, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, New York.
Ross Gelbspan is a Pulizter Prize-winning
journalist who carefully describes both the scientific facts about global
warming and the public relations campaign to raise doubts about the existence of
global warming. A fascinating look at disinformation and politics supported by
fossil fuel interests vs leading climate scientists. The insurance industry may
provide a political counterweight, as it stands to lose billions from weather
disasters. A thoughtful look at the urgency and the political, economic and
technological difficulties we face in dealing with global warming. Get the book
and climate news updates at The
Heat is Online. This is an excellent, up-to-date site with recent
developments, facts and politics of global warming. See also Boiling
Point by Ross Gelbspan, 2004, How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists
and Activists Have Fueled the Climate Crisis.
Greenhouse: The 200-Year Story of Global
Gale E. Christianson, 1999, Walker
and Company, New York.
Christianson is Distinguished Professor of the College of Arts and Sciences at
Indiana State University and a Guggenheim Fellowship winner. This is an
excellent account of the history of the Industrial Revolution and the genesis of
global warming, blending accounts of scientific observations and the development
of fossil fuels. The science includes a history of theory and observation on
global warming from Fourier to Arrhenius to modern measurements of carbon
dioxide at Mauna Loa and General Circulation Models (GCMs). Paralleling this is
a detailed account of the rise of coal, steel, and railroads including Watt,
Bessemer and Carnegie and the average life in industrial England. Following
that, a history of oil from Drake's well at Titusville in 1859 to J.D.
Rockefeller and Standard Oil to the Middle East, and the automobile from Otto
and Daimler to Ford to GM to sport utility vehicles. Kyoto politics, coral reef
destruction, recent weather anomalies and future scenarios of global warming
conclude the book.
El Niño/ La Niña
El Niño Theme
Page is NOAA's central point of access to
all sorts of data and FAQ's on El Niño/ LaNiña, including impacts and
Increased El Niño frequency in a climate
model forced by future greenhouse warming A.
Timmermann, J. Oberhuber, A. Bacher, M. Esch, M. Latif and E. Roeckner, (1999)
Nature 398:694-697. 22 April 1999.
Using a climate model with higher resolution in the tropics, Timmermann et
al.show that forcing by a realistic scenario of increasing greenhouse-gas
concentrations causes more frequent El-Niño-like conditions (Pacific climate
oscillations) and stronger La Niña events. In other words, the El Niño/La Niña
phenomenon is likely to become more frequent, year-to-year variations may become
more extreme, and strong La Niña events may become more common. The mean sea
surface temperature will rise between years 2000 to 2100 in the equatorial
<--Back to the top of the Page
<--Back to the Global Warming Page
Copyright © 2012 by General Biomass Company. All Rights Reserved.