HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The last few years, a lot of conversation has been happening around the strength and number of hurricanes.
Are they getting stronger, and are we seeing more – and is it because of climate change?
Let’s take a look at the science.
There are two main questions when talking about climate change and hurricanes: will hurricanes become more frequent and will hurricanes become more intense as the climate warms.
The answers might surprise you.
Data suggests that yes - oceans and atmosphere continue to warm… but it also shows that wind shear will begin to increase.
That’s important because wind shear can rip hurricanes apart – or even keep them from forming in the first place.
And that suggests the frequency of weaker hurricanes could drop over time.
However, the storms that *do* form could be stronger thanks to those rising water temps.
That warm water is the perfect fuel to throttle these storms up.
But, we should say… the study of storms & climate change is complicated because of a lack of historical data.
It could likely take decades before we truly know the effects of climate change on hurricanes.