A new study that includes a team of Texas A&M University researchers show that atmospheric aerosols from human activities do directly affect hurricanes… interestingly enough though… they tend to weaken them.
The work is published in the current issue of Nature Climate Change.
The team examined how anthropogenic aerosols… those produced from human activities… examples including factories… power plants… cars and airplanes… play a role in hurricane development.
The team used a complex computer model and data obtained from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in their study.
They found that aerosols tend to weaken the development of hurricanes.
They also found that aerosols tend to cause a hurricane to weaken earlier than it otherwise would without the emissions... also… that wind speeds are lower than for example… in hurricanes where anthropogenic aerosols are not present.
Interestingly… studies in the past have leaned the other way… that global warming by greenhouse gases makes hurricanes more intense and frequent…. So this study found that aerosols may operate differently than greenhouse gases in terms of influencing hurricanes.
The study also found that aerosols seem to increase precipitation totals in hurricanes. The bands of rain associated with hurricanes seem to be larger and stronger.
In conclusion… the report indicates future studies perhaps should factor in the aerosol effect.
For example… if a hurricane is formed where we know anthropogenic aerosols are certainly present… that data should be considered in formation and development and eventual storm preparation.
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