Tropical Cyclones Are Moving Slower, And That's Not Good News

Tropical Cyclones Are Moving Slower, And That's Not Good News

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Aletta was centered about 350 miles (565 kilometers) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, Wednesday morning.

He just published new research that found Atlantic hurricanes and other tropical cyclones have lost about 10 percent of their speed in the last 70 years.

And that was before slowpoke Harvey hit previous year.

The Atlantic Basin remains inactive and the storm now has a zero threat to life or land.

The slower a cyclone moves over the ocean, the more moisture and intensity it gathers; the slower it moves over the land, the more time it spends drenching it.

The study published in Nature this week by USA weather experts shows the problem weather systems are taking longer to travel across the planet.

Kossin estimates that hurricanes have already slowed down enough that they could in theory double local rainfall and flooding.

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That's the real risk of a slower storm.

The authors say the slowdown is likely to contribute to worsening destruction alongside the associated increase in rain rates caused by global warming.

In particular, a slowing of circulation as the polar regions warm up faster than equator ought to slow down storm tracks, as well.

Christina Patricola, a scientist with the climate and ecosystem sciences division of California's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, called Kossin's work "important and new" and says she found it "pretty convincing".

In a warming world where atmospheric circulations are expected to change, the atmospheric circulation that drives tropical cyclone movement is expected to weaken. However, scientists have struggled to isolate the impacts of climate change on the characteristics of extreme weather events. Under the right conditions, that can do far more damage than high winds or storm surge.

But Kossin chose to investigate it, based on the expectation that climate change is already altering the general, large-scale circulation of the atmosphere, within which hurricanes are embedded and by which they are steered.

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