Science

Hurricanes are traveling more slowly - which makes them even more dangerous

Hurricanes are traveling more slowly - which makes them even more dangerous”

And that was before slowpoke Harvey hit past year. "Not quite like a cork in a stream, but similar", he said. So it isn't clear just how much of the change that Kossin found is actually attributable to human-induced climate change. Atlantic storms that make landfall moved 2.9 miles per hour (4.7 kph) slower than 60 some years ago, it said.

According to the study by Dr Jim Kossin from the National Centers for Environmental Information, tropical cyclones have slowed in both hemispheres and in every ocean basin except the Northern Indian Ocean. To help, the Texas General Land Office partnered up with the University of Texas to conduct a survey for Texans who live in the affected areas, asking if they are still displaced and how much damage to their homes still need to be fixed.

In the western north Pacific, the slowdown's been 30 percent; in the "Australian" region it's 19 percent.

"Roughly 7 percent more water vapor per degree C of warming", Kossin said. Older data on location, and thus movement, are more reliable, Kossin said.

"It is plausible to say that the local rainfall impacts, the impacts from slowing, are equal to and possibly greater than the impacts from increased water vapor in the atmosphere", he said. "I'm finding something that might be considered consistent [with climate change], but, really, no idea what's contributing what to this signal".

But there are probably more variables at play than a warmer climate putting the brakes on tropical cyclones.

While the new research suggests hurricanes and typhoons are slowing down over time, more work needs to be done to improve prediction models for how hurricanes may behave in the future.

"These trends are nearly certainly increasing local rainfall totals and freshwater flooding", Kossin said, "which is associated with very high mortality risk". "And, unfortunately, this signal would point to more freshwater flooding". Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



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