Could cleaner air lead to more hurricanes? A new study suggests


A new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found that cleaner air leads to more hurricanes, according to a study published in the journal Scientists progress Wednesday. Research indicates that a 50% decrease in pollution in Europe and the United States correlates with a 33% increase in storm formation in the Atlantic over the past two decades.

More pollution less typhoons

Meanwhile, in the Pacific, more pollution is linked to fewer typhoons. NOAA hurricane specialist Hiroyuki Murakami came to this conclusion by running numerous computer climate simulations to study phenomena that could not be explained by natural climate cycles.

He hypothesized that since hurricanes need warm water to form and persist, the cooling of the air and seas resulting from a warming decrease in greenhouse gas emissions would naturally result in less disastrous events. This is why the Pacific, which suffers from a lot of pollution from India and China, also experiences more hurricanes.

The air is warm enough to warm the seas and cause devastating natural phenomena. Meanwhile, the Atlantic has seen a decline in pollution since 1980.

“That’s why the Atlantic has gone pretty much crazy since the mid-1990s and why it was so calm in the 1970s and 80s,” said climatologist and hurricane expert Jim Kossin of risk firm The Climate Service. Kossin was not part of the NOAA study, but confirmed that the pollution “gave a lot of people a break in the 70s and 80s, but we’re all paying for it now.”

Pollution kills lives

That might sound ominous until you consider how many extra lives are taken due to pollution. Kristie Ebi, a professor of public health at the University of Washington, said seven million people around the world die each year from air pollution, far more than from hurricanes. Ebi insisted that reducing air pollution was essential, regardless of what happens with cyclones.

The study is published in Scientific advances.

Over the past 40 years, anthropogenic aerosols have decreased significantly in Europe and the United States due to pollution control measures, while they have increased in South and East Asia due to economic growth. and industry in these regions. However, it is not yet clear how changes in anthropogenic aerosols have altered global tropical cyclone (TC) activity. In this study, we reveal that decreases in aerosols over Europe and the United States contributed to significant decreases in TCs over the Southern Hemisphere as well as increases in TCs over over the North Atlantic, while increases in aerosols over South and East Asia exerted substantial decreases in TCs over the western North Pacific. These results suggest that how society controls future anthropogenic aerosol emissions will have a substantial impact on global CT activity.

Source link


Comments are closed.