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• A new study shows that Hurricane Florence produced more extreme rainfall and was spatially larger due to human-induced climate change.
• How can we take more preemptive measures to ensure the safety of communities?
• Read more about how climate change is affecting hurricanes.
Previous research has suggested that human influences such as emission of greenhouse gasses that alter climate affects precipitation in extreme storms. The new research, however, is a first to use a “forecast attribution” framework that allows scientists to investigate the effect of climate change on individual storm events days in advance.
Changes in extreme weather are one of the most serious ways society experiences the effects of climate change, researchers say. Severe weather and natural disasters account for a lot of damage and have a major economic impact on areas where they happen.
In 2018, prior to the landfall of Hurricane Florence, researchers used simulations of the storm given climate change models to predict that it would be slightly more intense for a longer portion of the forecast period, rainfall amounts over the Carolinas would see a 50% increase due to climate change and warmer water temperatures, and the hurricane would be approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) larger due to the effect of climate change on the large-scale environment around the storm.
“With our ability for additional ‘hindsight’ numerical modeling of the storm around climate change factors, we found predictions about increases in storm size and increased storm rainfall in certain areas to be accurate, even if the numbers and proportions are not exact,” says Kevin Reed, assistant professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University.
Read the full article about climate change and Hurricane Florence by Gregory Filiano at Futurity.