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Hurricanes and the effects of Global Warming. What hurricanes are. Tropical cyclone reaching winds >74mph Tropical cyclones are low pressure storm systems that develop over tropical oceans Hurricanes can span as much as 300 miles and typically live for a week. Hurricane behavior.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Hurricanes and the

effects of Global Warming

what hurricanes are
What hurricanes are
  • Tropical cyclone reaching winds >74mph
  • Tropical cyclones are low pressure storm systems that develop over tropical oceans
  • Hurricanes can span as much as 300 miles and typically live for a week
hurricane behavior
Hurricane behavior
  • Hurricanes have intense winds and heavy rainfall
  • Tend to follow trade winds but can move in erratic paths
  • Rotate counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere
categories and naming
Categories and Naming
  • Categories 1-5. Rated by wind speeds
  • Category 1 is weakest and 5 is strongest with winds >155mph
  • Hurricanes named alphabetically starting each year
  • Names alternate between masculine and feminine names
damage
Damage
  • Hurricanes inflict massive damage to property and life upon landfall
  • Can cause billions of $$ in property damage and claim thousands of lives
  • Winds can tear down houses and property
  • Rain and ocean swells cause massive flooding
  • 90% of deaths are from drowning after flooding
how hurricanes work
How Hurricanes Work
  • Most hurricanes begin as thunderstorms off the coast of Africa
  • Storms travel along trade winds over Atlantic ocean
  • Storms collect energy from warm ocean water on the journey
  • The ocean can absorb up to 1 kW/m² in heat from the sun
slide7
Warm humid air rises up to colder air
  • The cycle of water vapor rising and condensing into rain drives hurricane movement
  • Hurricanes work like giant heat engines
  • Require ocean surface temperatures at least 26.5ºC
  • Wind shear inhibits hurricane formation
landfall
Landfall
  • Hurricanes die off when they lose their source of warm ocean water
  • Land cannot sustain a hurricane
  • Hurricane winds and rain can still extend up to 150 miles inland
  • Even with lower wind speeds, the moisture still falls and floods land
effects of global warming
Effects of global warming
  • Many models predict the outcome
  • No model is perfect and many factors make hurricanes difficult to predict
  • Some theories point to warmer ocean temperatures and reduction of wind shear which should increase hurricane formation and activity
hurricane katrina
Hurricane Katrina
  • Hurricane Katrina was one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record
  • It was the costliest and one of the deadliest
  • Serves as a reminder of the power of nature
  • Changing the climate can affect hurricanes
  • Most models show more hurricane activity with global warming so it could only get worse
sources
Sources
    • http://www.howstuffworks.com/hurricane.htm
  • Pictures:
    • www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/cede_hurricanes/2
    • scifiles.larc.nasa.gov/.../hurricanebasics.htm