How more powerful Pacific cyclones may be fueling global warming

Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 13:07 in Earth & Climate

Increasingly powerful tropical cyclones in the North Pacific Ocean may be fueling a powerful north-flowing ocean current, helping to boost the amount of heat it ferries to northern latitudes. By enhancing the speed of some ocean whirlpools called eddies, and suppressing the spin of others, the passing storms may be accelerating the heat-carrying Kuroshio Current — and that could warm the planet further, researchers report in the May 29 Science.  Researchers have long predicted that climate change would increase the intensity of tropical cyclones around the planet. Some observational data, including a recent study of tropical cyclone intensity over the last four decades, suggest that this supercharging of storms is already happening. Yet tropical cyclones’ own influence on the climate isn’t generally included in most climate simulations. The interaction of these relatively short-lived storms with a calm, quiescent ocean has been considered insignificant in the long-term climate picture, says Yu Zhang, a physical oceanographer at the Ocean University of China in Qingdao. But, in...

Read the whole article on

More from

Latest Science Newsletter

Get the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!

Check out our next project, Biology.Net