Spring hurricanes in Arctic to intensify: NASA

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    Recently, NASA stated that rapid warming due to climate change has severely affected the Arctic, with frozen parts of the Earth receding drastically.

    About the Study:

    • A study by NASA, “The influence of recent and future climate change on spring Arctic cyclones” looked into the influence of both recent and future climate change on major characteristics of Arctic cyclones during spring (March and April). 

    Key Findings

    • Spring Arctic cyclones will intensify by the end of this century because of sea ice loss and rapidly warming temperatures. 
    • Patterns: Hurricanes threaten North American coastlines every year and they appear to be intensifying,
    • Main cause: Climate Change
    • Ocean heat, air humidity, wind — all these ingredients factor into hurricane formation. And all are affected by climate change. 
    • Temperature: The global mean temperature is currently at 1.15 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels and the last eight consecutive years were the eight hottest years of humanity.
    • Weather:The changing weather could increase risks for Arctic ecosystems, communities, and commercial and industrial activities.
    • Cyclones:Cyclone wind speeds could increase up to 38 mph, depending on storm characteristics and the region’s environmental conditions. 
    • Spring represents an important period for sea ice–atmosphere interactions. 
      • Sea ice loss and rapidly warming temperatures will lead to stronger storms that carry warmer air and more moisture into the Arctic.
    • Impact :The exacerbated cyclone conditions may affect a greater area of sea ice and ocean and other components of the Arctic system for a longer duration in a warmer climate
      • More intense storms will be a hazard to shipping activities, oil and gas drilling and extraction, fishing, and Arctic ecosystems and biodiversity. 
    • Future Prospects :Scientists need more details about Arctic cyclones to form more accurate predictions of how the storms will influence sea ice that is already declining, as well as how the loss of ice will affect storm intensity. 

    Cyclones

    • Cyclones, also known as hurricanes and typhoons, are synoptic weather events that transport heat and moisture into the Arctic and have complex impacts on sea ice and the local and global climate.  
    • Arctic cyclones are low-pressure systems of varying size (around 200—1,500 kilometres in radius) and are often associated with large changes in temperature and humidity, strong winds, and heavy persistent precipitation. 

    Source: DTE