Devastating hurricanes denote rise in ocean temperature: IPCC study

A United Nation sponsored IPCC research has found that hurricanes could cause greater destruction in future with the increase in ocean temperature. The research found that wind speed and affected regions would be more with the increasing temperature.

Heavy rain is seen at Orange Beach, Alabama, U.S. as Hurricane Nate approaches, on October 7, 2017 in this still image taken from a video obtained via social media. Jacob Kiper, Owensboro, Reuters

A UN-sponsored research on climate change has reported that financial losses caused by hurricanes could increase by more than 70 percent of its current statistics by 2100.

The study published in the Journal of Sustained and Resilient Infrastructure was conducted by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). According to the study, the increased sea surface temperature would be the major cause for the phenomenon of hurricanes.

The study conducted in 13 coastal regions in the Southern Carolina, US was based on simulating hurricane size, intensity, track and landfall locations. The researchers could arrive at 2 scenarios wherein ocean temperatures remain unchanged from 2005 to 2100 and when it has gone up till the worst predicted scenario of IPCC.

In the first case, where the temperature remains unchanged, there would be just 2 percentage chance of occurrence of a major hurricane in 50 years. The economic loss caused by it would be around $7 billion. In changing ocean case, the hurricanes would be intensive and the amount of damage caused would be much higher. The loss calculations may be up to $12 billion or more.

The research team had also gathered information about the hurricanes for the last 150 years from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and stimulated two different hurricane scenarios. The first one was estimated for the hurricane damages for over 100,000 years where information about possible damage in the region was calculated.

The HAZUS database of US Federal Emergency Management Agency made estimations of the loss caused in accordance with the wind speed. The costs of repair, replacement, content and inventory and other losses like income loss, business interruption and daily production output loss were calculated.

The researchers found that the increased ocean warming wouldn't cause frequent hurricanes. But the wind speed and storms would be greater in larger areas.

David Rosowsky of the University of Vermont and the University's Provost said, "The scenarios are evolving. What is today's worst-case scenario will likely become more probable in the IPCC's future reports if little action is taken to slow the effects of climate change."

The increasing severity of future hurricanes will be a direct result of an increase in climate change. So, proper plans need to be made for the construction of better amenities which protect the lives of people and a proper planning of this sort is the only way to reduce the damage and destruction caused by a natural calamity, said the climate panel in its report.