Global warming has taken over our planet that it became able to control storm patterns. A new study shows that global warming is likely to bring deadly storms, especially in the United States and Britain. Scientists predict that this will happen by the end of 2100. The results of the study indicate that mid-latitude storms in warming climates are likely to go advance toward the poles. This may happen before they would reach their maximum intensity.
Storm patterns will change
Apparently, this type of dangerous storm would become the new rule, transforming into a normal weather process. The impacts on climate and weather would be the strongest in areas located near the northeastern ocean boundaries, like the west coast of the U.S. and the U.K. However, specialists claim that these storms will not be as powerful as tropical cyclones. Therefore, we do not need to panic thinking about another Hurricane Harvey that hit Houston or Ophelia that hit the UK.
But even if the statistics do not categorize them as cyclones, they would still be extremely dangerous, causing numerous deaths. Talia Tamalin is a lead researcher from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. She argues that the storms that the study predicts about appear to be weaker than cyclones. Nevertheless, mid-latitude storms can clearly create disasters, becoming hazardous for people leaving there.
She also offered Cyclone Xaver as an example. This dangerous European storm occurred in early October this year, causing 7 deaths in Germany. Generally, specialists associate low-pressure storms occurring outside the tropics with intense wind and rain. Relying on scientists’ climate models, the tracks of these storms might shift toward the poles.
This is not the first time when scientists scratch their heads, wondering how global warming will actually cause the global change in terms of weather patterns. Hence, researchers decided to analyze simulations from 20 state-of-the-art climate models. They run the models using the ‘projected’ configuration and the ‘historical’ configuration. The historical one simulated historical global atmospheric conditions.
Cyclones would be the norm in the future
The ‘projected’ configuration simulated the atmospheric conditions in a warming climate by triggering higher CO2 emissions. In this way, the team of scientists used an algorithm which helped them detect the course of individual storms while global temperatures increased. The results indicated that a massive amount of the poleward shift of storm activity is related to a longer distance. Over this distance, the storms appear to increase their strength.
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Researchers indicate that climate change is responsible for generating stronger winds at the upper level of the atmosphere. Previous studies indicate that storms need the ‘upper-level flow’ to grow. Furthermore, the upper-level flow is necessary to steer them toward the poles. Global warming also brings its contribution here, increasing the concentrations of atmospheric water vapor. This further sends the storms toward the poles.
The study shows that the hotter air usually features more water vapor. Hence, it will release more heat as the water vapor condenses. The wettest and hottest air tend to rise above, circulating up the eastern flank of the storm, heading towards the northern side. There, it will release latent heat.
Researchers show that this process tends to push the storm northward or southward, in case we are talking about the southern hemisphere. Furthermore, specialists predict that the effect would become even more severe in a warmer climate. Tamalin explains that generally mid-latitude storms from the Northern Hemisphere would occur in the western ocean basins.
The upcoming storms would be stronger than we imagine
They would move northward and eastward. Hence, the most affected regions would be those near the northeastern ocean basins. This includes the UK, the West coast of Europe, Canada and the West coast of the U.S. In a warmer climate, the correlation between extratropical cyclones and precipitation increases. This may also indicate the UK and the US may suffer due to potentially more dangerous flooding events.
Dr. Tom Bracegirdle from the British Antarctic Survey indicates that scientists need to work together to better understand the effects and behavior of mid-latitude cyclonic storms in a warming climate. Dr. Bracegirdle indicates that the new paper adds up to the existing evidence that we need to get used to more severe winter weather in the future. The extreme weather would appear as cyclones, devastating the UK, heading more further poleward due to global warming.
Professor Piers Forster is the Director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds. He suggests that climate change would trigger a decrease in the number of storms at the global level, but not in the U.K. Here, stronger and harsher storms affect the country because of a poleward shift that alters their track.
The dangerous storms bring intense rainfall and much stronger winds on shores in the UK. Even if they do not have the strength of hurricanes, Ophelia really scared inhabitants. It was a powerful storm which was nearly as severe as a hurricane. Specialists indicate that citizens need to get used to this kind of storms because they will become the new norm.
Climate change has transformed into a powerful force, affecting our weather, our crops, our food, our air, our water, our soil, and, generally, our entire planet. Policymakers try to find more solutions and to impose new regulations to diminish the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions to save us from extinction.
Climate change transformed into our greatest enemy, bringing severe droughts, hot heatwaves, and terrible hurricanes. Furthermore, it wiped out many species of animals and hundreds of them are on the verge of extinction. We need to open our eyes and see how extreme the problem of global warming reached to be. If we realize how important it is to protect the environment and diminish pollution, deforestation and fossil-fuel use, then we will be on the right track.
We are only a step away from a total disaster that could completely destroy the planet. All the animals and natural habitats in the world need us to make the right decision.