Hurricanes are slowing down, which could be a big problem


Taken together, these two studies suggest that climate change is already increasing the dangers posed by hurricanes and typhoons in far more ways than previously thought, and it will continue to compound numerous hazards, especially the threat of severe flooding. While this sounds like good news, it isn't: It's not that hurricanes' wind speeds are diminishing, but instead how fast the entire storm moves, a new study reports. The change is even more dramatic in storms that have made landfall from the North Atlantic - they're moving 20 percent slower.

Slower-moving storms mean greater rainfall totals, as seen with Hurricane Harvey in Texas past year.

The study in the journal Nature, finds a 10 percent slowdown in storm speed between 1949 and 2016.

A scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has found a link between global warming and the speed of hurricanes.

Tropical cyclones, including hurricanes and typhoons, are now crawling across the planet at a slower pace than they did decades ago, dragging out and amplifying their devastation, new research published Wednesday shows.

"I went in with that hypothesis and looked at the data, and out popped the signal that was much bigger than anything I was expecting", Kossin said.

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'The laws of thermodynamics reveal that, as the atmosphere warms by 1°C, the amount of moisture it can hold increases by 7 per cent.

But there are probably more variables at play than a warmer climate putting the brakes on tropical cyclones.

Another study that came out recently, using computer models, concluded that future storm movements will slow because of climate change.

Unhurried hurricanes also mean strong winds blowing more often over the same place and possibly more storm surge, Kossin said.

Kossin concluded that the trend has all the signs of human-induced climate change.