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Home » Climate change will bring more hurricanes to New York, other midlatitude cities, study finds

Climate change will bring more hurricanes to New York, other midlatitude cities, study finds

Climate change will bring more hurricanes to New York, other midlatitude cities, study finds

A new study projects that more hurricanes will be coming to midlatitude regions, which include major population centers such as New York, Boston and Shanghai, because of climate change.

The study, published last week in the peer-reviewed British journal Nature Geoscience, finds that tropical cyclones — which are also known as hurricanes or typhoons — will expand from the tropical regions in which they are currently common. Due to global warming, the conditions that create hurricanes will become prevalent farther north in the northern hemisphere and farther south in the southern hemisphere.

Most of the world’s major cities are located in midlatitude regions, meaning that the more widespread hurricanes will have the ability to cause far more damage.

In a press release from Yale University, the article’s lead author, Joshua Studholme, a physicist in Yale’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, noted that hurricanes in the 21st century will appear in a wider range of latitudes than they have for the last 3 million years. “This represents an important, under-estimated risk of climate change,” he said.

The reason for the shift in hurricane latitudes has to do with the global wind pattern known as the Hadley cell, a circulation in which air flows poleward at a height of about 6 to 9 miles but returns toward the equator as it descends toward ground level. One effect of climate change is a decrease in the difference between surface temperatures near or far from the equator. Warming occurs more rapidly at higher latitudes because of feedback loops such as melting sea ice, loss of snow cover, and thawing permafrost, causing even more warming. However, air at higher altitudes actually warms faster in the tropics.


A new study projects that more hurricanes will be coming to midlatitude regions, which include major population centers such as New York, Boston and Shanghai, because of climate change.
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