|June 07, 2018|
America's 2018 Hurricane season to be most destructive ever with super-powered winds
|Scientists issued the worrying warning just days after the beginning of hurricane season, which officially kicked off on June 1.|
A team of researchers compared how differently 22 hurricanes that hit between 2001 and 2013 behaved in multiple simulations and concluded that the destructive winds would become 13 percent faster while moving 17 percent more slowly.
The predictions would mean a storm like last year's Hurricane Irma -- which hit the Caribbean and Florida leaving 124 dead - would be boosted from 185mph (298kph) to a terrifying 213mph (342kph).
The study, in the Journal of Climate, was conducted by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), a US federal agency funded by the National Science Foundation.
The full effects of the changes will not be fully seen until the latter decades of the century but they are starting now, the team said.
Most climate models used in the study also showed rainfall would be massively increased by as much as 34 percent, also increasing the destructive powers of hurricanes.
The changing weather phenomenon is linked to rising temperatures linked to global warming. The study warns that hurricanes are set to increase their power already from 2018.
One of the hurricanes researched by the team was the devastating Hurricane Ike, which killed 195 people and pummelled the Gulf Coast in 2008. Under predicted conditions by 2100 Ike would have had 13 percent faster winds, moved 17 percent more slowly and have 34 percent more rainfall.
The predicted scenarios pose immense threats to the USA southern states and Caribbean islands ravaged by hurricanes every year.
The paper's lead author and hydrologist Ethan Gutmann said: "The most dangerous aspect of this depends on where you live and what your exposure is.
"What we've seen in a lot of hurricanes recently is it's really the rain that causes the most damage.
"In some locations, it's the wind, particularly thinking about offshore infrastructure, be it oil platforms or what have you."
But the impact of future hurricanes may have been underestimated by this study, as it didn't consider hurricane-specific meteorological adjustments, another scientist claimed.
Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at MIT, noted that not taking into account the drag coefficient, which is the resistance encountered by hurricanes on their paths, equals to underestimate how dangerous future hurricanes will actually be.
Mr Emanuel also pointed out that the study also didn't consider that hurricanes draw up colder water as they approach the coastline, a factor that, on the other hand, can weaken their intensity.
But despite his criticism, Mr Emanuel agreed that the study holds scientific value.
He said: "The study represents an important advance in the science linking climate change and hurricanes.
"It is a nice step forward in understanding and predicting how hurricanes will respond to climate change."
And the terrifying predictions has implications for hurricanes hitting the UK.
Just last year, Hurricane Ophelia hit Ireland and the UK, killing 54 and leaving thousands in Britain without electricity from October 9 to October 18.
The US NCAR study compared changes in factors such as wind speed, rainfall rate, and the movement of the overall hurricane between the current and future conditions on earth.