Rapid climate change, which causes tropical ocean warming, could lead to a significant increase in the frequency of extreme storms by the end of the century, scientists from NASA said.
The study team, led by Hartmut Aumann of the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, found that extreme storms – producing at least 3 millimeters of rain per hour in the 25-kilometer area – occurred when sea surface temperatures were higher than about 28 degrees Celsius.
They also found that 21% more storms create every 1 ° C that the temperature of ocean surface temperatures is rising.
Current climatic models show that with a steady increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (1% per year), the temperature of the tropical oceans can rise up to 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
If that were the case, we could expect the frequency of extreme storms to increase by as much as 60 percent at the time, the researchers explain.
Although climate models are not perfect, results like these can serve as a guide for those who want to prepare for the possible effects the climate can change.
"Our results quantify and give visual significance to the consequences of expected ocean warming," Aumann said.
"More storms mean more floods, more damage to the structure, more damage to crops, etc. Unless mitigation measures are in place."
For study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, the team skipped over 15 years of NASA-acquired Atmosferic Infrared Sounder (AIRS) data across tropical oceans to determine the relationship between average sea surface temperatures and the onset of heavy storms.
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(This story was not made by Business Standard employees and is automatically generated from a syndicated source.)