Sunday, May 23, 2010

Intensity of tropical cyclones may rise: WMO

Shashwat Gupta Ray in the Sakaal Times (India): United Nation’s climate body World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in a report has stated although global warming could cause the number of tropical cyclones to decrease around the world by the end of the century, the intensity of storms could be more intense.

“The total number of tropical cyclones worldwide will likely either decrease or remain unchanged. However, a likely increase in tropical cyclone intensity means that the frequency of the strongest tropical cyclones will more likely than not increase under the projected warming scenarios,” the WMO report has stated.

The WMO experts have concluded that there could be two to 11 per cent average increase in the maximum wind speed of tropical cyclones and approximately 20 per cent rise in rainfall within 100 km of the storm centre.

An update of possible consequences of climate change on tropical cyclones has been published in the March 2010 issue of journal Nature Geoscience. “Asia is especially vulnerable to storms and floods. Between January and November 2009, 48 million people were affected by weather-related events, which remains at highest risk with the largest number of affected people,” the report stated.

Benefits of investments in tropical cyclone early warning systems were demonstrated in Cuba in 2008, when the country was hit by five successive hurricanes, but only seven people were reported dead. In Bangladesh, nearly 3,500 lives were lost during super cyclone Sidr in November 2007, compared to two other events in 1970 and 1991 which respectively claimed over 300,000 and 191,000….

Cyclone Sidr, November 2007

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