Presentation: Is Climate Change Increasing Hurricane Activity?




Environmental Science Institute
Emanuel, Kerry A.

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Environmental Science Institute



Are hurricanes becoming more powerful and destructive? Are these changes due to a natural cycle of hurricane activity or are they caused by human-induced climate change? Although this is currently a hot debate among scientists, new research suggests that the destructive potential of hurricanes is increasing due to the heating of the oceans. Two weeks before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, leading hurricane expert Dr. Kerry Emanuel published that he had discovered statistical evidence that hurricanes were indeed affected by global warming. He found that the duration and intensity of hurricanes worldwide have increased by about 50 percent since the 1970s and that this trend directly corresponds with a global increase in tropical sea surface temperature. Dr. Emanuel will share his groundbreaking research on how climate change can affect hurricane activity, provide an engaging portrayal of the science behind these awe-inspiring meteorological events, and discuss how to predict the long-term risk of hurricanes.

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