Global Warming And Hurricanes

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

September 27, 2005

Could our warm summer be contributing to hurricanes?

Major storms have become stronger in the last 35 years--the most recent being category five hurricane Katrina. In that same time, temperatures have risen by about one degree, which is important because hurricanes draw strength from warm water.

So does global warming make an impact? One climatologist says you can't prove it.

"If you go back before 1970 [and] you look at data from Hurricane Hunter Aircraft that began to go out in 1944. You'll see that in the 1940s and the 1950s that the proportion of category four and five hurricanes was in fact what it is right now," said Patrick J. Michaels Virginia State Climatologist.

Major hurricanes need a sea surface temperature of about 82 degrees to gain their strength.

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