There has been an ongoing controversy as to whether global warming is impacting hurricanes and other strong storms across the globe. In recent years many have argued that major storms, such as Hurricane Katrina in the United States in 2005, were tied to global warming. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicated that they believed greenhouse gases had already begun impacting storms.
The newest report on the matter has just been published for the online publication of the journal Nature Geoscience. The report, which is thought to be the most comprehensive to date regarding hurricanes and global warming, was collaborated upon by a panel of ten experts. The ten experts came from both the hurricane and climate change sectors and formed the World Meteorological Organization.
The panel would not say specifically whether global warming had already begun impacting hurricanes as they pointed to conflicting information on the topic. However, the panel did confirm that hurricanes will become stronger due to global warming. The number of hurricanes, however, will most likely decrease.
According to the researchers, hurricanes will decrease in number by the end of the century. The projected decrease is anywhere between six and thirty-four percent. However, the number of stronger, more damaging storms would be increased. These storms would also contain more rain, which is another sign of increased damage caused by hurricanes.
The strength of the hurricanes is expected to increase between two and eleven percent as well. While this increase does not sound significant, experts say that an eleven percent increase will cause an increase in damage by 60 percent. In addition, category 4 and 5 hurricanes would most likely double in in number.