Hurricanes’ effects on ocean temperature revisited

Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 05:14 in Earth & Climate

The role of hurricanes in the global climate system has gained interest ever since scientists suggested that strong hurricanes have become more frequent in recent decades and might continue to do so as the planet warms. Because hurricanes are known to influence the oceans and overall climate system, the consequences of the increase in the frequency of hurricanes could reach further.When a hurricane passes over an ocean, its powerful winds stir and mix the warm surface water with the colder, deeper water. This mixing results in warm water being forced down into the deep ocean and cold water being brought to the surface layer. Scientists know that the cold water near the surface is reheated by the atmosphere to pre-hurricane temperatures within a few weeks, but they have been less clear on what happens to the warm water mixed into the deep ocean. It has been suggested that this heat...

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