'Devastating' hurricanes fuelled by warming ocean temperature may increase

CLIMATE CHANGE is affecting hurricanes and making them more dangerous.

New York City suffers flooding after Hurricane Ida hits US

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Hurricane Ida has battered Louisiana, leaving parts of the state without power for the next couple of weeks, as the storm has been one of the worst to hit the state. The storm was powered by the warmer water in the Gulf of Mexico as it picked up enough speed to classify as a Category 4 hurricane and the second-most damaging hurricane to strike Louisiana.

The only storm that exceeded Ida’s damage was Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Dr. Shuai Wang , Research Associate at Imperial College London, told the Express.co.uk: “Firstly, it intensified extremely rapidly to a very high landfall intensity.

“In this sense, it has been one of the most destructive and costly hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico making landfall.

“Secondly, it experienced a usually long life after making landfall in Louisiana, which caused devastating flooding hazards to the northeast coast of the US before moving back to the ocean.”

READ MORE: Hurricane Ida kills 29 as flash floods fill US subway

hurricane ida

Hurricane Ida has battered Louisiana, leaving parts of the state without power (Image: Getty)

hurricane ida

Scientists have warned that storms may only increase in intensity with the rising ocean temperatures (Image: Getty)

Scientists have warned that storms may only increase in intensity with the rising ocean temperatures.

Since hurricane intensity is primarily controlled by the underlying sea surface temperature, the rising temperatures due to climate change are a cause for concern.

Dr. Wang warned: “It is expected to see a higher hurricane intensity on average or at long-term timescale, which has been confirmed by some hurricane observations.

“This can be simply understood as a warmed ocean provides more energy for a hurricane to let it intensify further.”

hurricane ida

The IPCC report cautioned that the climate situation is currently at “a code red for humanity” (Image: Getty)

Studies have shown that the warming ocean has absorbed roughly 90 percent of the planet’s excess heat created by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

A report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revealed that the planet has warmed 1.1 degrees higher than pre-industrial levels.

The authors cautioned that the climate situation is currently at “a code red for humanity” and immediate action is needed.

“Bottom line is that we have zero years left to avoid dangerous climate change, because it’s here,” Michael E. Mann, a lead author of the IPCC’s 2001 report, told CNN.

The report showed that the proportion of high intensity cyclones ranging from Category 3 to 5 has increased over the past four decades.

This was attributed to the rising ocean temperatures.

Scientists warn for every degree the oceans heats up, cyclones are expected to increase as well as extreme rain events.

Roy Walsh

Roy Walsh

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