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Study: Global warming pushing hurricanes out of tropics

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 09:29 a.m. HST, May 14, 2014

WASHINGTON >>Tropical cyclones worldwide are moving out of the tropics and more toward the poles and generally larger populations, likely because of global warming, a surprising new study finds. Atlantic hurricanes, however, don't follow this trend.

While other studies have looked at the strength and frequency of the storms, which are called hurricanes in North America, this is the first study that looks at where they are geographically when they peak. It found in the last 30 years, tropical cyclones, regardless of their size, are peaking 33 miles farther north each decade in the Northern Hemisphere and 38 miles farther south each decade in the Southern Hemisphere.

That means about 100 miles toward the more populous mid-latitudes since 1982, the starting date for the study released Wednesday by the journal Nature.

"The storms en masse are migrating out of the tropics," said study lead author James Kossin of the National Climatic Data Center and the University of Wisconsin. Kossin used historical tracks of storms in the Western Pacific, Eastern Pacific, North Indian Ocean, South Indian Ocean, South Pacific and the Atlantic.

That means more people at risk, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, because "you're going to hit more population areas," said Yale University historian and cartographer Bill Rankin, who wasn't part of the study.

In the region where Japan tracks cyclones, they are peaking 42 miles farther north each decade. That means cyclones that used to hit their strongest around the same latitude as the northern Philippines are now peaking closer to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai, Japan and South Korea, Kossin said. There are about 60 million people in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo alone.

The trend, however, is not statistically significant in the Atlantic basin, where storms threaten the U.S. East Coast. In the Atlantic region, the study has seen a northward drift of storms of only 4 miles a decade, which just could be random.

Kossin said the Atlantic region is different because of changes in pollution over the United States and other factors.

Kossin and colleagues say the changes start with man-made global warming, which alters air circulation from the tropics to just farther north and south. In the tropics, those changes increase upper atmosphere wind shifts called shear that weaken cyclone development. At higher latitudes the changes decrease the storm-decapitating shear, making those areas more favorable for storm intensification.

"The tropics are becoming less hospitable" for these storms, Kossin said. "The higher latitudes are becoming less hostile."

Past storm studies have been criticized because data doesn't go back many years. But Kossin, his colleagues and outside scientists say by looking at where geographically storms hit their peak this study avoids problems with haphazard measurements and thus can make a stronger connection to climate change.

"This is an important, very well researched paper that uncovers something that was unknown previously," said hurricane researcher Chris Landsea, science officer at the National Hurricane Center. Florida International University hurricane professor Hugh Willoughby called this the strongest tropical cyclone and global warming link yet.

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mayihavesumor wrote:
That doesn't sound good.
on May 14,2014 | 07:20AM
false wrote:
would one be needing a degree to make things up?
on May 14,2014 | 08:45AM
Slow wrote:
I like to make things up. I put my head in the sand and tell myself everything is just fine. Those dumb old scientists, what do they know, anyway?
on May 14,2014 | 11:14AM
HanabataDays wrote:
So if this discrepancy persists, it's sure to mean the mass relocation of climate-change deniers to the Eastern Seaboard, where they can continue to convince themselves that everything's really status quo. To quote the Eagles, "I guess every form of refuge has its price".
on May 14,2014 | 09:34AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
I'm convinced that today's climate researchers can take any trend and connect it to global warming--as a way to explain data in the past. As with every other study, it seems the measurements may be good, but the conclusion lies a little closer to conjecture. The test for this and other theories is whether they are able to predict future trends accurately. So far the global warming group fails that test. Once we start making decent predictions, climatology will graduate to a field that can be taken more seriously.
on May 14,2014 | 10:20AM
Slow wrote:
I sure hope that global-warming deniers are right. We are doing nothing so they better be right.
on May 14,2014 | 11:15AM
kgolfinghawaii wrote:
And there is nothing we can do to affect the climate of our planet to any measurable degree. If we go back to the good old pristine days of burning wood and coal for warmth we are in trouble for sure. I know most folks scoff at this, but the Bible says in the end times, no I have no clue when they are coming, there will be changing weather patterns. This was written 2,000 years ago. So, is that happening, is this just normal cycles, etc. We don't know and we can't even make it rain for heavens sake in a small area with any kind of regularity or stop raining. How the heck are we going to change the climate of the planet because we are scared? Everything is cyclical. Who says 1982 was the best year for weather in the history of the planet? We know for a fact that less people die in warm weather than die in cold weather. We know crops grow better in warmer weather than cold weather. We know that photosynthesis is better with more CO2 than less. We know that there are thousands of weather indices that make weather patterns or whatever, but climate scientists in building their computer models leave out some of the most important parts, like moisture, cloud cover, etc. We know the climate worshippers have removed over half of the temperature measuring stations around the world used in measuring average temperature and almost all of them north of the middle of Canada and certainly in higher elevations. However, they leave the ones in the high urban heat islands on a road near an A/C unit or an asphalt parking lot. Oh yeah, those folks are so honest.
on May 14,2014 | 12:06PM
XML808 wrote:
So what is the explanation for receding glaciers and the melting polar ice caps?
on May 14,2014 | 11:38AM
Ronin006 wrote:
There is a simple explanation. Whales and other sea mammals generate heat. Since most have been declared endangered species and no longer can be hunted, their populations have exploded. Thus, they are generating more heat which is warming the Arctic waters and melting the polar ice cap and warming the atmosphere in the Northern Hemisphere which is causing glaciers to melt. There is no question about it; climate change is animal made.
on May 14,2014 | 05:35PM
HealthyandHappy wrote:
isn't this classified info?
on May 14,2014 | 06:36PM
sjean wrote:
“A report released Tuesday from an advisory group of retired U.S. military leadership echoes the findings of other recent reports on climate change: It is real, it is already happening and it poses major threats to the U.S. and the rest of the world. The federally funded Center for Naval Analysis and its Military Advisory Board, a group of 16 retired three- and four-star generals and admirals, affirm in the report that climate events like flooding, prolonged drought and rising sea levels, and the subsequent population dislocation and food insecurity, will serve as "catalysts for instability and conflict" in vulnerable regions of the world.” Just making stuff up.
on May 14,2014 | 12:13PM
CEI wrote:
Time to roll out the climate change hysteria once again. Take a few years of data plug it into a computer and just like magic the desired result comes out. The people thus far haven't bought into the man-made climate change theories so more of them have to be concocted and thrown against the wall to see if they stick. In case anyone was wondering I am not a climate scientist but I play one in the SA online discussions.
on May 14,2014 | 12:37PM
false wrote:
it was dark last night... Global warming?
on May 14,2014 | 01:35PM
false wrote:
It's sunny today... Global warning?
on May 14,2014 | 01:35PM
false wrote:
Can't believe we still have sand to stick my head in...
on May 14,2014 | 01:36PM
false wrote:
Anyway, i'm heading out to koko head to go snow boarding...
on May 14,2014 | 01:38PM
false wrote:
oh wait...
on May 14,2014 | 01:39PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Just wait a few minutes, it's just stomach gas........it will pass.
on May 14,2014 | 01:52PM
false wrote:
on May 14,2014 | 01:53PM
false wrote:
would that be global warning too?
on May 14,2014 | 01:58PM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
Stop Global Whining.
on May 14,2014 | 03:47PM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
"If you repeat a lie often enough, it soon becomes the truth." Josef Goebbels
on May 14,2014 | 03:54PM
HealthyandHappy wrote:
Before the seas rose I remember walking out to Rabbit Island at low tide.
on May 14,2014 | 06:43PM
bluhawaii74 wrote:
Great. We can get rid of all the Tsunami watch and Civil Defense costs. If this is true don't need them.
on May 14,2014 | 08:19PM
Waterman2 wrote:
New measurement tools as compared to old measurement tools. Apples to oranges. Can I have my degree now ?
on May 14,2014 | 09:44PM
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