Tropical hurricanes in the 21st century will migrate north

(ORDO NEWS) — An international group of scientists, which included Russian experts, showed that tropical hurricanes and typhoons in this century will move to areas of northern latitudes. The reason is global warming.

Tropical cyclones usually form in low latitudes, where there is access to the warm waters of the oceans, but far enough from the equator. At the same time, the existing forecasting framework for such latitudes gives contradictory forecasts of climate change.

Meanwhile, tropical cyclones still reach northern latitudes today. Examples are Subtropical Storm Alpha, which was seen in Portugal in 2020, or Hurricane Anri, which hit Connecticut last year. And, according to scientists from Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), the University of Reading (UK) and the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology (Russia), these are only harbingers of future tropical cyclones that will rise to northern latitudes in the 21st century. The researchers presented their findings in the journal Nature Geoscience . They believe that such an anomaly has not been observed on Earth in the past three million years.

At the same time, much was unclear about how sensitive tropical cyclones are to the average temperature of the planet. But scientists have found that as the climate warms, the temperature difference between the equator and the poles will level out. During the summer months, this can lead to a weakening or even separation of the jet air flow around the planet , which will contribute to the formation and strengthening of tropical cyclones in mid-latitudes.

To come to such conclusions, scientists analyzed the results of numerical simulations of warm climatic periods of the past, recent satellite observations, various forecasts of climate change, as well as the physical processes underlying atmospheric convection on a planetary scale.

Simulations of past warm climates such as the Eocene and Pliocene have shown that tropical typhoons and hurricanes may have formed and intensified at higher latitudes than they do today. As a result, scientists came to the conclusion that the increasing warming of the climate in the 21st century will also lead to the movement of tropical cyclones to the north.


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