Hurricanes Are Slowing Down and Leaving More Damage When They Hit Land

Dr Kossin said: 'Tropical cyclones over land have slowed down 20 per cent in the Atlantic, 30 per cent in the western North Pacific, and 19 per cent in the Australian region.

This means the more time they spend above land, the more devastation they can wreak with rainfall and storm-induced damages. A fast storm can distribute its water across a wider surface area, decreasing the chance of extreme flooding.

Experts believe that continued global warming will increase the severity of tropical storms, but they also believe this anthropogenic warming will increase rainfall. But one scientist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made a decision to look back in time, to see what happened in the past.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey's torrential rains, which dumped several feet of water on sections of Houston, Texas, last August, scientists showed that warmer sea and air temperatures pumped more moisture into the storm-which then fell as rain.

Kossin acknowledged problems with pre-1970s data but said that most of it deals with how strong storms are. A slow storm increases the risk of damaging floods.

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Texas state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said "I just need more convincing that there actually has been a 10% motion change".

"My study is pretty far from an attribution study", he said.

"These trends are nearly certainly increasing local rainfall totals and freshwater flooding, which is associated with very high mortality risk", he said.

The trend has all the signs of human-caused climate change, Kossin said. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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