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Was The Gulf Coast A Result Of Global Warming?

While it may be tempting to blame hurricanes Katrina and Rita on global warming, an MIT climatologist says that it's wrong to blame any single event on long-term climate change. However, the power of tropical storms is increasing.

"There are troubling signs in the meteorological record of a link between global warming and hurricane intensity, says Emanuel, a professor in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. But the best available science suggests that the now-scattered populations of the Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama coasts are the victims of mere happenstance.

...What Emanuel does believe is that the average power of many tropical cyclones -- the blanket terms scientists use for hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones -- has risen sharply over the past several decades, at least in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. Moreover, the increase is closely tied to changes in the surface temperatures of the oceans where tropical cyclones are born. In other words, when the sea surface temperature rises, the energy of the cyclones above that surface also rises -- and at an even faster rate."

Full Story: The Gulf Coast: A Victim of Global Warming?

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